Wholesale & Distribution International - Spring 2016 - 90


RETAIL/DISTRIBUTION

OMAHA PAPER CO.

Omaha Paper Co. / HQ: Omaha, Neb. / Employees: 43 / Specialty: Printing, packaging, facility, ecommerce solutions supplier /
Robert Powell, president: "We're all about looking for new opportunities, new products, if they fit our business model."

Omaha Paper Co. is in the process of transitioning from a
traditional paper supplier to an e-commerce juggernaut.

More than Paper

Omaha Paper Co. is diversifying its business in response to the impact
of the digital age. BY TIM O'CONNOR

W

hen Omaha Paper Co.

began looking at how to take
advantage of the Internet it
discovered the potential of an e-commerce platform. Through a trial-and-error process, the company figured out
that it was possible to sell its products
nationwide. Since Omaha Paper Co. was
unsure of the outcome and did not want
to risk the company's reputation, President Robert Powell and his brother, Vice
President Kevin Powell, decided to start
a new company to work out the kinks.
90 www.wdimagazine.com Spring 2016

Within a few years, the test company was
selling products to all 50 states. One customer in Hawaii paid shipping costs that
were more than the product itself. The
lesson was clear: Customers will pay for
convenience if a business offers an easy-
to-navigate website and delivery.
The e-commerce test is nearly over.
The Powell brothers plan to use the lessons from the test company to launch
the new Omaha Paper Co. website in the
second quarter this year, a move they expect will signal the next evolution of the

family owned business. "The website is
a 24-hour salesperson that presents our
company to the world and it can make
your company extremely efficient by
providing a tremendous amount of information to potential customers," Robert
Powell says.
The new website will offer improved
search capabilities so that customers
can quickly find the exact or comparable
product they want and purchase it online through Omaha Paper Co. "Having a
smart search is one of the absolute most


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wholesale & Distribution International - Spring 2016

Contents
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Wholesale & Distribution International - Spring 2016 - Cover2
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Wholesale & Distribution International - Spring 2016 - Cover3
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