Much has led up to the unveiling of the inaugural PPAI 100 list, slated to debut at the 2023 North American Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., June 4-6.

PPAI Media spent more than a year studying what defines a top company in the modern promotional products industry. As we solicited industry feedback and held internal debates, one idea came to the forefront again and again: It’s about more than last year’s top line.

To be called a leader in the industry, a company should be forward-looking and well situated for the future. Its holistic strength and positive positioning should be a model to competitors large and small.

With this idea in mind, PPAI Media went to work identifying tangible metrics that would encapsulate the most admirable traits of a leading company in promotional products or any industry.

Numerous categories and scoring scenarios were modeled by the Association’s research department, which ultimately unlocked a proprietary scoring rubric that allows for apples-to-apples comparisons of one distributor to another and one supplier to another.

As companies closed their books on 2022 – a record $25.5 billion year for the industry – PPAI began to contact companies with potential to rank among the 50 leading suppliers and 50 leading distributors based on available data. Although much of the information inherent to scoring the PPAI 100 program and benchmarking the leaders was previously available to the Association, some is more private for companies.

Surveys were sent this spring to nearly 200 companies, helping PPAI understand their business fundamentals and adherence to best practices in both the technology and corporate responsibility categories. Because the program’s scoring matrix includes revenue as a major factor, surveys were only sent to companies believed to have the mathematical potential to vie for a spot.

Taken alongside data already at hand, each company’s answers provide insights on whether it belongs among the PPAI 100 and where it should rank.

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