TradeNet honored as A+ Supplier… Again!

TradeNet is pleased to receive a 2016 A+ SAGE Rating Award for providing excellent service and products. The rating continues an ongoing string of SAGE A+ designations for TradeNet.

sage-2016-aplus_lightTradeNet is a leading supplier of printed promotional products ranging from magnets, to dry erase boards, to calendars, to Sticky Notes, to scratch pads, to direct mail and more. Distributors from across the nation obviously appreciate the diversity, quality and economy of TradeNet’s Your Message Your Way® product line.

SAGE A and A+ ratings are awarded each year to top industry suppliers based on a distributor rating system from SAGE, a primary product research system in the promotional products industry. Distributors rate suppliers on a variety of criteria and decide which suppliers to use.

As part of the business relationship between SAGE and PPAI, the SAGE rating makes TradeNet eligible for the industry’s annual PPAI Supplier Star Awards Competition.

TradeNet is accustomed to having an A+ SAGE rating, but it’s still great to be able to hold it up when the report card comes out.

Three decades for TradeNet


Tom Mertz isn’t one to dwell on the past, but the founder, President and CEO of TradeNet Publishing, Inc., can recall a time when he was calling on businesses to sell magnetic dry erase memo boards and then cranking them out on the kitchen table of an Iowa farmhouse. The year was 1986.

See what’s happened in 30 years.

From that rather innocuous beginning, TradeNet Publishing rapidly became a major national supplier of erasable boards and refrigerator magnets. We are new based in Gardner, Kansas, on the outskirts of Kansas City. We have 130 employees, each who plays a critical role in TradeNet’s ongoing success in offering an extensive line of Your Message Your Way® printed promotional products.

TradeNet has revised its logo for 2016 to recognize 30 years of helping bring success to the distributors of the promotional products industry. We’re looking forward to more decades of helping deliver “Your Message Your Way.”

TradeNet gets 'Star' nomination; votes welcomed

 Distributors’ success remains TradeNet’s goal 

PPAI Star_155x119TradeNet is always dedicated to the continued success of its distributor partners serving the promotional products industry.  We take pride in providing customers what they need, when they need it, on time and on budget.  It’s very important to us that we provide superior customer service and quality products and thus enable our distributors to fulfill their promise to clients.

If you as a distributor feel we’ve accomplished this goal, that we’ve consistently exceeded your expectations, we’d be delighted to receive your support for the PPAI Supplier Star Competition, an honor that recognizes PPAI Supplier companies for excellence in customer service and product and decorating quality.

To vote for us for this prestigious honor, simply visit

Thanks in advance for your support and for allowing us to be your partner in business in success.

PPB Magazine puts Scott Perry in limelight

PPB May 2015 PPB Scot May 2015

Scott featured in magazine’s “Day-in-the-life” article

PPB Magazine — one of the top publications serving the promotional products industry — has offered up a day in the life of one of TradeNet’s finest in its May 2015 issue. Scott Perry, Director of Pre-Production Services, was the focus in one of the magazine’s ongoing series about key people in the industry.

Thanks to PPB for bringing to everyone’s attention a TradeNet manager who fully ascribes to the value customer service brings to all TradeNet products. The article is a fun read and we at TradeNet even learned a few things about Scott.

Click here to check out Page 84 of this month’s PPG Magazine.

AppleFest 2 results in winners all around

With 16 scrumptious apple dishes entered in the competition, just about everyone was treated to an apple-ishous treat.

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APPLE WINNERS — Scott Perry congratulates AppleFest 2 winners, from left, Kim Cash, Emily Eslick and Debbie Evans.

Supplied with apples from Cider Hill Family Orchard, the renowned chefs of TradeNet prepared an array of pies, dumplings, tarts, cakes, crisps and such as part of a judged competition. A panel of six judges had the difficult — if not enjoyably filling — task of ranking the 16 entries in what’s been dubbed TradeNet AppleFest. Each and every entry was delicious. TradeNet employees can vouch for that, because once the judging was completed, there were still plenty of samples for all to taste.

This is the second year for AppleFest. Scott Perry, TradeNet’s Director of Pre-Production Services,  has a direct connection with the Cider Hill Family Orchard in Kansas City, Kan., and last year offered up apples. The Customer Service team took things a step further and created a competition. Now that AppleFest 2 has been declared a success, looks like this will be an annual tradition when the fall apple season rolls around.

AppleFest 2 winners:

1st — Debbie Evans, Customer Service (Caramel Apple Cheesecake)

2nd — Kim Cash, Mail Services (Grand Girls Fresh Apple Cake)

3rd — Emily Eslick, Assembly (Apple Crisp)

Rumor has it the Cider Hill Orchard is getting ready to start selling pumpkins. Another competition, perhaps?


Wes Cromer marks 25 years with TradeNet

Wes Cromer worked in Assembly and then as a shift supervisor when he joined the TradeNet team in 1989. But when it was discovered Wes had a unique talent, his role changed. Wes, it seems, has a knack for catching typos and order entry errors before products went into production.  Wes became TradeNet’s first full-time proofer, a position he kept for more than 15 years.

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TradeNet President & CEO Tom Mertz, right, congratulates Wes Cromer for his 25 years with the company.

Wes has now been with TradeNet for 25 years, the past seven in the Order Entry department. He’s seen the company add employees, expand its production capabilities, move into expanded facilities and embrace new technologies. He seems to have gotten past the fact that when he was first promoted to proofreader, his desk was sandwiched between the presses and the lamination equipment in a busy shop.

“I owe a lot to TradeNet and have really enjoyed working here,” Wes said when being recognized for his years of service to the company. Wes was honored this week at a monthly all-employee meeting. Other than President & CEO Tom Mertz, Wes has worked longer at TradeNet than any other current employee.

Co-workers know Wes to be friendly, helpful and professional… and still with that knack for catching mistakes early. When Wes isn’t working, he enjoys a hobby-turned-business as a landscape photographer. He also is a cyclist and runner.

Thanks, Wes! And congratulations on 25 years with TradeNet!




Cookout at the A-OK TradeNet Corral

The burgers and dogs were sizzlin’ and the fixins’ were fine as TradeNet said thanks to everyone in the plant with lunch on the house.

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CAT & HAWK — K-State and KU allegiances aside, Steve Hale, left, Director of Marketing, and Scott Perry, Director of Pre-Production Services, made for a dynamic cooking team at the TradeNet cookout.

On Thursday, managers did the cookin’ and helped with the servin’ to all departments and the day and night work shifts. Cool, comfortable weather was ideal for cooking and even allowed for some courtyard dining.

The “busy season” is underway at TradeNet, so the company-wide cookout was one way to express appreciation for everyone at TradeNet for their good work. Thanks everyone!

BBQ Mali Services
HAPPY CAMPERS — This fine group obviously enjoyed having managers cook their lunch. Here we have, from left: Daphnie Dudley, Linda Browning, Oscar Benitez, Dana Newman and Kim Cash.
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OPEN WIDE… — … and say “Customer Service!” Debbie Evans, left, and Vickie Greener ham-burgered it up for the camera before heading back to their home territory, Customer Service.


Lean Event #2 focuses on improving inventory system

LEANING FOR TN -- The second TradeNet team taking part in a Lean event consists of, from left: Colby Miller, Marketing; Mike Sanor, Accounting; Renee Calovich, Bindery; Curtis Holbert, Assembly; Dana Newman, Mail Services; and Nate Ward, Shipping  Receiving.
LEANING FOR TN — The second TradeNet team taking part in a Lean event consists of, from left: Colby Miller, Marketing; Mike Sanor, Accounting; Renee Calovich, Bindery; Curtis Holbert, Assembly; Dana Newman, Mail Services; and Nate Ward, Shipping & Receiving.

TradeNet is “Leaning” into improvements these days. Teams comprised of employees are making it happen.

The company’s second “Lean” event took place this week. Representatives of several departments spent two full days determining how to improve the inventory system. The time was spent reviewing and mapping the current system, getting input from peers and submitting a plan for improvement. In other words… Lots of work! The good news is the Lean team came up with a solid plan to streamline processes and allow better control of inventory storage and ordering.

The Lean Enterprise system helps improve quality, eliminate waste and reduce delays. Doing so is intended to allow TradeNet to better serve customers.


Thanks to Lori Ryan for 15 years at TradeNet

Lori Ryan is congratulated by TradeNet CEO Tom Mertz for her 15 years with the company.

Lori Ryan has color coding down to an art form. As a Graphics Assistant at TradeNet, it’s up to Lori to connect proofs with orders and generally keep things flowing in the Graphics Department. TradeNet most definitely makes the most of Lori’s organizational skills.

This week Lori was recognized for another aspect of her work at TradeNet, that being 15 years of service. She initially worked in assembly, but for the past six years has been in Graphics. Those around her have come to depend on her strong work ethic and willingness to put in long hours to get the job done. Having a rather long daily drive to work, Lori has been known to stay in a nearby hotel when winter storms move in. Better be safe and not have to risk missing work!

Thanks, Lori, for being a true “TradeNetter” for so many years.  Everyone at TradeNet appreciates your good work.