Supplier Spotlight: Out of Many, One Great Company

Supplier Spotlight-HPG_v1

In the midst of a national crisis, during which many companies lost footing, HPG has been able to harness the power of its collection of brands to meet customers’ needs.

Trina Bicknell, CRO of Braintree, Massachusetts-based HPG, says the company’s broad assortment of innovative products and multiple distribution points across the country are just two reasons HPG is the ideal partner for distributor clients.  “We really strive to make it easy for our customers to do business with HPG,” Bicknell says.

HPG was born in 2016 with the acquisition of Hub Pen Company, an industry stalwart known for quality writing instruments. Hub has since been joined by nine other brands offering everything in hard goods from pens to technology.

HPG’s newest addition is Batch & Bodega, which offers small-batch food items coupled with “awesome swag” for great gift options. “We are proud of all our brands and the work we have done over the past five years,” Bicknell shares.

Quality and customer service are at the core of HPG’s mission, which Bicknell says is even more relevant almost a year into a world responding to COVID-19.

“I actually believe all of our brands are stand out brands in the industry because of our products and our people, from our innovative tech products like our Docksy from Origaudio or our sober stick from Handstands, to our new magnet coolie from BEST, which can stick to any metal surface, to our Javalina pure pen,” Bicknell says.

“I think that mission today is even more relevant,” she says. “We really proved last year by performing hundreds of customer end-user shows and keeping our associates safe. Our success is built on those authentic partnerships with our customers and our employees.”

HPG can also attribute much of that success to the company’s high standards and commitment to corporate social responsibility. “CSR and environmental responsibility are both very important to HPG,” Bicknell says.

“Our official mission statement is to create an authentic partnership with our clients and employees to make the lives of those around us better; engaging people in spirit as well as deed in pursuit of success anchored by integrity, dependability, speed, quality, value, innovation and a passion for heroic service.

“Our compliance department is diligent about standards and [conducting] social audits to identify any gaps and/or risks, and about working only with compliant factories that meet our social audit guidelines.”

HPG’s products are primarily made overseas in China, India and Vietnam, with a healthy portion also produced in the U.S.

Bicknell says while the overseas facilities offer the most cost-effective manufacturing and enable the supplier to cross-produce best sellers when necessary, supply chain and port issues present challenges for HPG as they do many other suppliers in the industry.

“Luckily, being private equity-backed provides us with support to enable us to order product earlier and in larger quantities to ensure we are in stock,” she shares.

HPG’s focus on environmental responsibility encompasses products and packaging, Bicknell says. “We are looking to see where we can add sustainable products and use reduced/recycled packaging where possible.”

Bicknell points to the Debco “ugly box” and Beacon’s all-new line of bamboo products as examples of this effort, in addition to HPG’s support of restoring damaged ecosystems through One Tree Planted, an organization that plants a tree for every wood product sold through BCG, as well as products from the Origaudio Sticks and Stones collection.

“We are very happy to support that organization,” she says.

Looking ahead, Bicknell says HPG is open to adding the next great company to its portfolio and finding opportunities to become an even stronger supplier for customers.

Clients can look forward to a continued partnership with HPG that centers on innovation, including virtual tradeshows and a new customizable digital catalog tool, which allows clients the option to place the end-user’s brand or logo on every product in the catalog in just five quick clicks. “You are also going to see us announce some exclusive partnerships with brands formerly found only in the retail space,” Bicknell says. “We are very excited about these new beginnings.”

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