The late Eighties and the early Nineties began to see a dramatic shift in the sale and distribution of office products. The success of wholesale clubs and the office products “superstore” phenomenon began to have a tremendous impact on the 13,000 independent, family-owned office product dealerships that once dominated the sale of office products to corporate America, with the dealer base ultimately shrinking to approximately 3,000. The industry was going through major changes and consolidation, not only in the distribution channels, but the manufacturing channels as well.
Samsill leadership knew that significant changes would be required to remain and grow as a player in the new millennium. At the beginning of the 1995 fiscal year, Mark appointed James Bankes as President and Chief Executive Officer of Samsill Corporation and focused on his role as Chairman of the Board. James, as the fourth President and first non-family member, would be responsible for the ongoing operation of the company. In that same year Samsill became a member of the Hogan Quality Consortium, a two-year program to start Samsill on its journey to becoming a truly world class company. This proved to be an important move as it established strategies for propelling the company to a new level.
In 1998, Samsill entered a partnership with David Liu, a longtime associate in importing product from Asia. The result was a new joint venture factory located in Quingdao, China, for manufacturing leather and vinyl business accessories. In 1999, Samsill formed another partnership with the Rihan family in Mexico City to create Samsill de Mexico, a manufacturer and importer of ring binders, sheet protectors and related products.
Throughout this period Samsill was busy updating technology and operational systems, focusing on the continuous improvement and automation of the plant in Fort Worth. Sales distribution continued to grow with expansion into the college bookstore market and the custom loose-leaf business. American Beauty Custom Products, a separate custom business formed in 1991, was acquired as Samsill Custom Products Division.