Our story begins with our founder and CEO Ron Hill. He connected with professionals working with Sylvan Learning Centers, which was using toys as a way to incentivize students to improve in subject knowledge. From there Ron plugged into the family entertainment industry and discovered the potential business opportunity.
In 1996, Redemption Plus was born in Ron’s parents’ basement. His goal was to integrate technology with a unique product line to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience for his customers and their guests. In tandem, Ron discovered the vital importance of creating work-life balance within his business, something that, at the time, was a “big idea.” He quickly instilled a culture of playfulness, balance, philanthropy and creativity.
Ron’s background in technology was the guiding force in Redemption Plus quickly becoming the first in the industry to innovate many technology and business solutions including a customized e-commerce experience, the digital packing list (which did away with manual product entry) and redemption counter merchandising.
"Ron always had the goal of growing Redemption Plus by helping our customers be more successful and profitable” Steve Jordan, Redemption Plus CFO, said. “ The efficiencies and services we are able to offer today are the fruit of many iterations, developed and honed by working closely with our customers over the years. It was never his goal to just out-sell competitors, it was to out-serve our customers.”
Yet throughout time, the lack of innovation within the industry-led Redemption Plus to stagnation. After all, if it’s working, why change? Simply put, we became lazy. Meanwhile, the rest of the industry was working to catch up and eventually it did.
"We went through growing pains, as many companies do within their first decade of business,” Justin Michaels, 16-year tenured Account Executive, said. “Our continuous improvement and discovery processes, unfortunately, became customer-facing by way of turnover. People who had been customer representatives for years were no longer with us. We became misaligned with our customers, losing sight of what our core proficiencies were as a company. This caused an identity crisis within the industry. No one knew what was going on at Redemption Plus.”
Throughout this struggle and despite it all, we discovered our values and our Purpose, “enriching lives through insights that empower,” which stands at the helm of all we do. Along with internal disturbances, outside forces gave us a reality check. [Thank Goodness!]. Big retailers like Amazon set the stage for what a great e-commerce shopping experience should be like. From that, we realized we were making it difficult for customers to do business with us. We became aware it was time to modernize our brand and the way we do business.
The result: 2017 through most of 2019 were spent doing necessary (and tough) work to lay the foundation of where we are today. We began innovating again. Redemption Plus became the first redemption vendor in the industry to offer comprehensive service packages complete with product, training, merchandising and reporting solutions. Our design services create tailored and unique redemption spaces that are unmatched within the industry. We relaunched and simplified a stale product line, including crane and merchandiser offerings, that is now backed by performance data. Our Product Solutions team built an indexing system that identifies core prizes every redemption assortment needs, taking the guesswork out of choosing from hundreds of prize options. We introduced “Storyboards,” which allow customers to shop by pre-designed merchandising layouts, assembled based on product performance data. We invested in warehouse technology and management to ensure orders are fulfilled accurately and in a timely manner. And finally, we participated in immense discovery, planning, developing and system implementation of a new website to be launched in Fall 2019.
Our commitment to customer education and knowledge growth will persist as we continue to mature as an organization. Newly implemented systems will allow us to grow and adapt as technology continues to change at an ever-increasing rate. Most importantly, we know redemption doesn’t matter until it does, and that’s why the ease of doing business with Redemption Plus remains our most fundamental goal. By focusing on ways to reduce our customers' wasted time, money, inventory and resources around redemption, we have built service solutions that help them focus on growth.
In 23 years of business, we amassed 1,200+ customers across the United States and Canada and for that we are eternally grateful. We have grown to a team of 54 employees who are dedicated to helping our customers’ redemption program run efficiently. At Redemption Plus, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we take seriously our responsibility to help FEC businesses be the best they can be. We love to dream big have a genuine desire to understand and create meaningful connections with all those we touch - customers, customers’ customers, industry partners and beyond. After all, we turn on the lights each morning to help our customers grow more by wasting less.
And that’s that.