PYMBLE, NSW, 25 January 2018 – Steve Barilla, a long-time Dealer at Gawler Country Office National, has recently been awarded the honour of the Gawler Citizen of the Year Award.
This is a first-time nomination and win for the local resident who has been a business owner since the ripe old age of 18 when he first entered the office stationery industry.
The Gawler community consists of about 25,000 residents, north of the Adelaide CBD on the edge of the Barossa wine country. Unbeknown to the Steve, he was nominated for the Award several months prior to the final announcement, together with several other nominees. During the assesment process, Steve was reviewed for his management of his business and his staff, together with his involvement in the local community.
Steve was totally surprised when he received a call from the Gawler Lord Mayor to announce his win: “I thought it was a prank call. I actually didn’t believe it”.
Asked why he thought he’d received the award, Steve’s noted that: “as a business owner, you have an important responsibility, not only for managing your business, but also for empowering your staff and for supporting your local community”. As a strong advocate of building relationships in business, Steve is a member of the local Rotary Club, whilst also a sponsor of several local sports teams.
Having been a member of the Office Brands group since the late 90’s, and involved in the office products industry for over 40 years, Steve has seen the industry evolve significantly during this time. Steve sights technology as the most significant change that he has seen: “It’s too easy for a customer to shop elsewhere now and the human interaction is being lost”.
Whilst Steve credits the Office Brands business for its supportive structure, business tools and investment in technology to maintain pace with new customer purchasing habits, Steve’s recipe for success remains the personal relationship and service he provides his customers.
“You need to maintain the human interaction and personal communication with your customers or else you’ll be forgotten”.
Whilst Steve says it hard to build a business, you need to have positive attitude. You can be given all the tools you need, but you need the drive to ride the ups and downs of business.
Finally, Steve’s advice to others: “ensure you provide range, service, delivery and great communication to your customers”.
About Office Brands
Office Brands is Australia’s largest independent business supplies reseller group.
Established in 1999, Office Brands delivers its 180 Dealers, geographically located across Australia, the strength of network with the power of independence. With the combined reassurance of being part of an organisation with a combined annual turnover in excess of $350 million.
Office Brands supports independent business supplies resellers to be competitive by consolidating buying power, offering international procurement solutions, differentiated marketing services, industry leading technology solutions and business support services.
For more information, please visit officebrands.com.au or contact our Support Office on (02) 8599 6866.