Established 1998 in Saint Louis, Incentive Source has steadily grown, with the addition of a Kansas City office shortly thereafter and with the later addition of offices in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Seattle. The company has customer service hubs in Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, and Iowa to service all time zones, according to the company’s founder, Mark Wunderlich.Mark Wunderlich, IncentiveSource Founder, is optimistic about the Incentive, Rewards, and Recognition (IRR) business, despite the looming recession. “The opportunities in the incentive space keep growing as we navigate the post-pandemic environment. With the labor shortage, the value of employee incentive programs and benefits is going to more important than ever. The emergence of employee retention programs has become a significant part of our business, and we only expect that to grow. Historically, recessions drive corporations to increase their budgets and interest in sales incentive programs to help drive their business.”
Wunderlich says “his company welcomes calls from any business or organization seeking to purchase brands for engagement, incentive, recognition, loyalty, corporate gifting, event, casino and amenity programs." We offer the best brand names for every major product category, everything from brand name watches, electronics, tools, cookware, food gifts and everything in between,” among them Citizen Watch America brands, including Bulova and its other lines.
The company’s primary mission, he says, is explained in its tag line: “Representing the Manufacturer, Serving the Motivation Industry.” “What this means is IncentiveSource educates our customers specifically on the incentive marketplace and on all aspects of our brands, products and capabilities to maximize their sales and customer satisfaction. We also take the approach that we work for and represent our brands, but we also work for and represent our customers. This gives a unique positive experience to both our brands and customers.”
IncentiveSource, he says, “supports incentive houses, onsite event management companies, promotional products distributors, destination management companies, corporate travel agencies and advertising agencies just to name a few. We are involved in all kinds of programs ranging from casino programs, sales and channel incentive programs, individual experiential incentive travel, corporate gifting programs for customer and employees as well as travel amenity programs. We also have multiple suppliers that offer decorated products, so we get involved in a variety of logo product programs and promotions. Our job is to be brand-name merchandise experts for our clients and be the best possible brand ambassadors for the brands we represent.”
According to Wunderlich, “The single biggest change in the last few years (since the beginning of the pandemic) is the availability of some products. In the good old days (pre-pandemic), we just knew that most products were available, and we did not even need to check with the supplier before making a sale. Now, we must check product availability before quoting just about every project. Lead times have also changed drastically for larger orders. Lead times used to be 90-120 days; some were as low as 60 days. Now some lead times are six months to a year in the case of some products. This impacts our customers greatly. Representatives like IncentiveSource not only have to spend a lot of time tracking down products, but we also must help shift the mindset of our buyers and their customers to plan much further out than they have in the past.”
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