Friday, December 26, 2008

Why We Are Bucking the Downturn

Our certificate frame sales are up. Corporate buyers are shopping recognition and finding our unique, cost effective products. Companies do not want to give up recognition. But, as departments are asked to cut costs, alternatives are being sought out on the web. And who do they find? for employee recognition or award frames. The product is a nice breath of fresh air for those who traditionally use plaques. Our certificate frame products are 50-70% less than the cost of a plaque. We offer upgrades, but most corporate buyers are moved by lower price points and the fresh look.

Fusion Frames is diverse. Fusion Frames is a DBA. The parent company Berkeley Tandem, Inc. has been in business since 1995 with long-time established corporate program customers such as CarMax, American Red Cross, Southwestern Great American, and Boy Scouts of America. We are looking optimistically toward 2009 and will continue to put service first with an emphasis on trimming the production fat, analyzing inventory and optimizing our internet marketing. We covet our corporate buyer relationships. And thought we have tried to sell through ASI and other specialty product marketing avenues, we feel the product was always miss-understood and that the market our product appeals to was not shopping ASI catalogs.

We are unique, we sell direct, we make our product, we sell 10 or 1000+. We are made in the USA. We are environmentally conscientious. We are lean and mean and ready for more companies and organizations to discover us. Mention you read our blog, contact us directly at and we will be happy to send you a free sample. Join us, slice your budgets and continue to buck the downturn.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Certificate Paper Journey to Green

When deciding on a paper for your certificates what matters? Is it the brightness of the paper? Print ability? Recycled content? Weight? Price?

As a company we are implementing a sustainable initiative. And part of that initiative is to analyze frame components and if we feel we can make changes that are more environmentally family we do so. Our house certificate paper is Cougar by Weyerhaeuser. We have been using it for years and offer it in a bright white and a cream natural with various pre-printed designs and sizes. Is it the best sustainable choice?

While we continue to weigh our options, I can tell you about why Cougar has been working for us. The white is a 98 brightness. Corporate colors print beautifully. The natural cream is a nice cream, not too yellow and compliments our frame colors. It foil stamps and die cuts well. It is a very economical paper and available on the floor from our paper distributor. There is 10% recycled content and it is a Sustainable Forestry (SFI) certified paper. The quality is high enough for proper reproduction of corporate graphic standards and the digital is laser guaranteed.

Problems arise when choosing high recycled content to produce a certificate that the customer prints on, self-personalizing on office printers. 100% recycled can trash a printer and achieving brightness on non-virgin paper takes more bleaching chemicals. Many recycled papers are made from papers imported from countries that do not have our strict environmental regulations. I'm feeling better about that fact that 90% of Weyerhaeuser's paper is produced in the US and is produced chlorine free.

While I feel Cougar is a good choice, could we make a choice that is better for the environment, while holding down costs and providing great quality? We will keep looking. I would love to increase the recycled content while holding the paper brightness. I would like to know that the recycled content is not coming from industry by-products that are even more harmful to the environment. And I will look for the ECF or Elemental Chlorine Free logo.

Awareness is half the battle. If all manufacturing could be more aware, then we could make some serious progress toward sustainable, closed loop production.