Tuesday, November 26, 2013

PIJAC Canada: Success in Burnaby & Working in West Nipissing

For close to two years PIJAC Canada has been working with our members in Burnaby, BC and the city of Burnaby on the issue of banning the sale of dogs, cat and rabbits in the city.  Yesterday a decision from Council determined that they would not support a ban.  Below is the most recent article from Burnaby Now outlining the debate.

We received notice yesterday that West Nipissing, Ontario was looking at a ban on all exotic pets.  We have since been in contact with the City and provided them with the PIJAC Canada Exotic Animal Policy. We have also offered our assistance as they review the issue.  See the article below.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Flexi’s Chic new VARIO leash captures the title at this year’s National Pet Industry Trade Show.

The first annual National Pet Industry Trade Show New Product Contest was ripe with competition.  Being our largest event, exhibitors knew real estate in the new product section was tight so they offered up only their best merchandise for the visitors to vote on.  The big winner for this year, was flexi with their new VARIO retractable leash.  An international superstar on the pet product scene, flexi never fails to come up with chic yet functional designs for modern dog walkers.  To find out more about the VARIO, we caught up with Dennis Dubbelman, flexi Sales Manager for the USA & Canada.            

How many years has flexi been making retractable leashes?

The retractable dog leash was invented 40 years ago by Manfred Bogdahn. He patented the product and started his company Flexi in 1973. Since then we have continuously developed and improved the product. Most parts are produced in our state of the art factory. The assembly of the leashes is still done manually, ensuring the high flexi quality.

How many lines do you currently have?

We have a complete range of leashes for all dog sizes, different types of customers and with different price points:

  • Classic & Comfort: The best sellers from flexi.
  • Design Range: For the style and fashion interested pet parent.
  • Special Range: For L & XL dogs and working dogs (police, army, customs).   Also includes our cat leash and City leash.
  • Luxury Range: Glam with Swarovski Crystals and Leather:  For the high end customers.
What sets this new design apart from previous ones?
The new flexi VARIO does not only have a new rounder, more modern design, it also has 5 new patented highlights:

  • Handle adjustment for sizes M & L: For more comfort and safety.
  • Comfortable braking system: Easy to use.
  • Tape guidance system: for smooth retraction.
  • Multi-belt link system: For Soft Stop Belt, LED Flash Belt, or Duo Belt.
  • Extendable with VARIO Accessories: LED Lighting system or Multi Box.

What was the particular inspiration for this design?

At flexi we only manufacture retractable dog leashes. We always strive for perfection. With the new VARIO we are offering solutions for topics related to walking your dog.

Where is the flexi VARIO available in Canada?

The flexi VARIO is only available to the pet specialty channel. Due to high demand we are working with selective distribution through Kane Veterinary Supplies Ltd.

Congratulations to flexi on being the first ever winner of the New Product contest at the National Pet Industry trade show.

La nouvelle laisse de luxe VARIO de flexi remporte le premier prix au salon national de l’industrie des animaux de compagnie

Le moins qu’on puisse dire, c’est que la concurrence était féroce entre les candidats au tout premier conours du meilleur nouveau produit décerné au salon annuel de l’industrie des animaux de compagnie. Connaissant bien l’intérêt suscité par les nouveaux produits à notre plus grand salon, nos concurrents étaient prêts à présenter leurs meilleurs produits aux visiteurs. Flexi a été couronné cette année grâce à sa nouvelle laisse rétractable VARIO. Superstar internationale sur le marché des produits pour animaux, flexi ne manque jamais de présenter des produits élégants, fonctionnels et modernes pour les promeneurs de chiens. Pour découvrir VARIO, nous nous sommes entretenus avec Dennis Dubbelman, le responsable des ventes de flexi au Canada et aux États-Unis.

Depuis quand flexi fabrique-t-il des laisses rétractables?

La laisse rétractable a été inventée il y a 40 ans par Manfred Bogdahn, qui fait breveter son invention et a fondé son entreprise flexi en 1973. Depuis lors, nous n’avons jamais cessé de créer et d’améliorer notre produit, dont la plus grande partie des pièces sont fabriquées dans notre usine de pointe. Les laisses sont toujours assemblées à la main, pour garantir la grande qualité des produits flexi.

Combien Flexi compte-t-elle de gammes?

Nous proposons une offre complète de laisses pour toutes tailles de chiens, pour tous les types clients et à prix variés. 

  • Classique et confortable : les meilleurs vendeurs parmi les produits flexi.
  • Design : pour les propriétaires qui aiment la mode et le style.
  • Spéciale : Pour les gros et très gros chiens de travail (police, armée, douanes), les chats et les laisses de ville.
  • Luxe: Laisses glamour avec cristaux Swarowski et cuir, pour le client haut de gamme.

Pourquoi cette nouvelle laisse est-elle différente des autres?

La nouvelle laisse VARIO de flexi a des lignes plus fluides et plus modernes, ainsi que 5 fonctionnalités brevetées :

  • Poignée ajustable (M ou L) pour plus de confort et de sécurité.
  • Système d’arrêt confortable et facile à utiliser.
  • Système de guidage du ruban pour bien rétracter la laisse.
  • Système à bandes multiples : pour la bande à arrêt amorti, la bande clignotante LED, et la bande double.
  • Peut être complétée par les accessoires VARIO : système d’éclairage LED ou multi boîte.

Quelle est l’origine de son design?

Flexi fabrique des laisses pour chien dans un souci constant de perfection. La nouvelle gamme VARIO propose des solutions pour tous les aspects de la promenade des chiens.

Où les laisses VARIO sont-elles vendues au Canada?

Les laisses VARIO de flexi ne sont disponibles que par des détaillants spécialisés. En raison de la forte demande, nous nous sommes associés à des réseaux de distribution exclusifs par l’entremise de Kane Veterinary Supplies Ltd.

Bravo à flexi, le tout premier gagnant du concours du meilleur nouveau produit du salon National de l’industrie des animaux de compagnie!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Burgham Sales - Putting People First

By Pierre Saint- Louis for PIJAC Canada

The Voice met Steve Schlichtmann, Vice President of Marketing and Operations at Burgham Sales Ltd. to talk about the company and more specifically the values ​​that are at the heart of their success in the Canadian pet industry. Starting off, Mr. Schlichtmann speaks of humanism and the importance of putting people at the center of business activities. Indeed, "It is the teamwork and community family values ​​related to the effort that allowed the company to cope with the many challenges it has faced throughout its history” he says.

Burgham Sales Ltd.  was founded in Montreal in 1953 by Hans Schlichtmann Sr., grandfather of Steve. A third generation company, it has experienced steady and consistent growth since its inception. For a bit of history,  note  that the original company started in the family basement, and grew until it reached the sizeable  state of the art facilities in Scarborough, Ontario that serves the retail pet trade nationwide.

About the Founder, Steve tells us: "As far as I can remember, my grandfather attached great importance to the value of things right down to the smallest details. For him, a simple inexpensive product itself, was a link in a great economic system, a link that you must learn to see with the same attention as the other components. It was also the same for effort: he was a demanding man and expected as much from his children and his staff. “Mr. Schlichmann Sr.’s grandson goes on to tell us: "The values ​​that he passed on were always imbued with an acute awareness of the role of individuals working in the business. We were a family and we all had to work as a family, it is also the legacy that my father and uncle handed down to me. "

"My grandfather has also left us with an incredible sense of entrepreneurship. He was a great visionary:  in the early days of the company, Burgham Sales distinguished itself by developing its own product lines while sourcing abroad to introduce innovative products to the Canadian market at the time". Steve then tells us: "We were even ecological ...” he explains, "... we recycled everything we could. But I must emphasize that it was mostly for economic reasons. But if recycling in industry is now a standard, it must be said that Burgham had already been doing it for a long time “he says with a smile!

Steve goes on to say, "More prosaically, this entrepreneurship was manifested and still manifests itself within Burgham at all levels of management:  from operations to management of human resources all the way through supply logistics, including transportation to storage. This has prepared the company for today’s competitive environment while still providing necessary, consistent service to the retail pet trade through their very dedicated sales force across Canada.

When we ask Mr. Schlichtmann, specifically on the challenges facing the company today, he continues on with the subject of competitiveness: “Currently, we are in a phase of consolidation, in order to remain competitive in a challenging economic environment. In our industry, if we cannot provide ourselves with us a solid operational base, how can we deal with the issues facing us while supporting our customers? “What is most important of all, we asked?” The balance between small family pet stores and larger companies, of course! Without the small stores, without any pet stores, what would happen to our industry? It is important to understand ... “Mr. Schlichtmann says " ... it is within these small family pet stores that have developed over time, a real expertise about animals. Who else, other than the pet store owners and their employees, can attract and educate consumers about the necessary care for their pets? Our role at Burgham is to contribute to the success of our customers by allowing them to have the necessary support and products so that their businesses can grow, regardless of their size. It is our customers who have mastered the knowledge essential to the viability of our industry."

To conclude, throughout our interview, Mr. Steve Schlichmann proved to be a passionate and deeply human individual. This is why we ended this interview by leaving the last word to him, revealing a family vision still relevant today: "You know what fascinates me the most about my job? It is to see that, even in a modern context where each day we use state-of-the-art computer hardware at every stage of our operations, the fact remains that it is still direct human contact with the customer that prevails!