There’s something universally appealing about seeing your name in print. Even better? Seeing it printed on something long lasting. For over 20 years, Whatcom County has been turning to Kathy and Randy Cross and their laser engraving business, LaserPoint Awards and Promotional Solutions. Perusing their website proves they have the imagination to source wonderful things to thank your employees, promote your business or mark a memorable occasion.
Why do people like incentives? “People like to be recognized and feel that someone is really watching and appreciating their efforts,” Kathy explains. “When you are given an award and thank you, that’s huge. We know because our customers are so happy with the outcome of their recognition events.”
With the internet at your fingertips, it’s tempting to think you can source these items yourself and perhaps save your company a few dollars as well. Many have tried and that’s where the expression “penny wise and pound foolish” comes to mind.
Kathy illustrates that concept with a story about a hapless new employee of a longtime customer who ordered hundreds of flash drives for a huge event with reps coming in from all over the world. Two days before the event, as the employee tried to load them, they failed.
As Kathy explains, “We’re very selective and we know which vendors have quality dialed in and who will come through in a crunch because stuff happens. A faceless 800-number doesn’t care when things go south. In the previous example, our vendor would have sent new drives out via overnight delivery. It’s important for companies to work with someone local when things happen, because they do!”
Another benefit of having long-term, trusted relationships is that LaserPoint has a history of all past orders so they can quickly access details and repeat or turnaround jobs quickly. With this familiarity also comes the benefit of working with someone who understands your business.
Since Kathy and Randy keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry, they know what’s new and trending and are in the best position to offer advice. They see the big picture and can provide incentives that are effective and will get your business noticed.
The Crosses live out on five acres and run LaserPoint from a showroom and fulfillment area. Here they work with apparel, promotional items, awards, name tags, screen printing and embroidery. When you can feel and touch things and order samples, it makes a big difference over disconnected online ordering.
Kathy is quick to point out that LaserPoint fills a lot of versatile niches. They love making personal occasions memorable. They can engrave bridesmaid or groomsman gifts like flasks or ornaments, personalize wedding gifts and mark special events like baby showers or anniversaries.
In 1997 the couple transitioned their manufacturing business into LaserPoint Awards and Promotional Solutions. They already had the laser equipment and realized that they were the only company north of Seattle with the ability to offer laser engraving, providing a substantial benefit over their competitor’s rotary engraving efforts. The laser could render logos and copy by reading from an art program. Although we take this capability for granted, 20 years ago it was unheard of and there were substantial charges to set up artwork. Now clients could have all the graphics they wanted and they were thrilled since it made things so simple and elegant.
Another important lesson Kathy would like to impart is the value of realizing that if something has your name on it, you want it to be a quality item. “I always tell new customers, ‘Do not put your name on cheap pens because your name is the last thing someone sees as they’re throwing it in the trash can in frustration.’ You need a pen that writes well – not necessarily expensive – but not just a pen. The pen we have I’ve sold thousands of because people love the weight and the feel of it, how it writes and its fraud-proof ink. Randy and I were in a restaurant and the bill came with one of our pens. We complimented the waitress and she warned us not to take her favorite pen.”
LaserPoint received the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce 2016 Small Business of the Year which was an impressive honor in a town full of great local businesses. Kathy points out that their customer service philosophy has earned them much of their repeat business. “A lot of our competition requires two-week leads and we recognize that with the pace of business today, that isn’t always possible. We have a lot of stock on hand and I don’t think we’ve ever turned anyone down. We can make any last-minute item happen. Randy has a notebook filled with hundreds of thank you notes for things we’ve been able to pull off in record time.”
So if you are looking for a quality item to recognize the important people or employees in your life, give LaserPoint Awards and Promotional Solutions a call. Randy and Kathy will take good care of you.