ADI Is Proud Of Printing 800 Page Catalogs

So much for the Internet, recycling and trees:

"The North American operation is particularly adept at producing ADI’s catalogs, Flink said. It produces four 800-page printed catalogs annually. And it prints 100,000 copies of each of those catalogs. These best practices will be shared with the other regions."

Bigger laugh: I actually had to do that with a Radio Shack catalog when I worked for them. The store restroom ran out of TP but it did have a catalog. 

Or target practice, that little house in the middle makes a great bull’s eye. 

Update: 5 years later, ADI has now started an online version of their catalog:

Though, I apologize in advance, but has not the Internet (including ADI's own site) been a fairly effective online catalog already?

And, how quaint, the 2019 catalog includes a 'Camera Technology Guide' that teaches resolution up to 3MP:

Any wonder the average ADI expo dealer attendee is so poorly informed?


H, thanks. B does mention that same point above.

My main objection is that printing 320 million pages annually for a catalog is a ridiculous waste of paper and environmentally hard to justify in 2015.

You guys are missing the point. ADI charges all of it's manufacturers for putting their products in the catalogs. It is a money making venture.....

I also 2nd Uline as the worst company ever to send catalog upon catalog. They send one on every shipment and one atleast every month through the mail. My guess is that they would improve their bottom line by atleast a million or more by not sending out so many catalogs. I throw them in the trash everytime.

Im more of a quick search type of guy. I dont want to look at an index of a catalog to see what I am looking for. My bathroom breaks arent long enough to do that.

It's a crime to waste all that money and resources on a catalog most people never open. We dispose of thousands of pounds of unread materials a year. Giant catalogs that get opened and immediately thrown out.

hahaha Carl! I sincerely hope you didn't have to resort to such desperate measures, but looks like you're good for about 890 more of those situations so you're all set!

we will purchase items from Uline from time to time and as a result will receive at least one copy of their catalog monthly in the mail and not to mention the catalog you receive with your order as well... they are 600 plus full color pages...

Printed material has value, if people are going to use it.

But if you send huge number of copies that no 'reader' is paying for and has not even explicitly asked for, the volume of waste is going to be huge.


I actually like the idea of a catalog. True, I use the Internet for most of my search. I was however surprised to discover through that very catalog , some items I needed for a project a while ago. Then I went through the internet and found a less satisfactory solution, it also took me mcuh longer with the web. Books have their validity, browsing throug a page seems not to be the same as looking at a screen. I welcome this catalog and would like to see similar from other distributors. The cost to the environement however has me worried.

Perhaps you meant "revulsion" instead of revolusion, correction coming from a frenchman :-)

Don't forget their IP catalog (annual) and their 16 page monthly sales flyer. These add another 25 million pages or so...

Though even then its high-gloss, low absorption, low fiber composition would still likely leave you 'hanging'.

And it is great for the emergency situation where you run out of TP.

Don't forget about their monthly sales flyer that they print.

Catalog > Website, their website sucks. I love shopping on Amazon, I can find anything I want by typing in just about any word or phrase that has to do with the product. If I don’t have the ADI part number I can’t find anything. ADI systems support is useless too. ADI basically sucks but it’s the only real option for small parts/cable. No one else can compete with their prices, I’ve looked. I use the catalog to browse and the website to order.

That appears to be typical practice about distributors. The same goes, I believe, for being showcased in distributor demonstrations, show floor spaces, marketing materials, etc.

ADI collects $3000 per page from vendors who are pretty much forced to particpate. So if I am not mistaken, that is more than $10 million annually. Nice profit center. Who cares if it is effective marketing or if it is bad for the environment?

When searching for products online, I find that some of the direct-to-end-user resellers actually provide the best browsing experience, not only for electronic security, but also for things like door hardware. Once I locate a product on one of these sites, I try to find a brand/model number and then usually backtrack to the manufacturer's site to get more detailed information.

My biggest pet-pieve are poorly designed sites.

The art of information hierarchy, graphical balance, flow of information, or effective search engines seem to be overlooked and the money spent on changing sites to be stark white with no delineating features and tons of hidden menus.....basically the net is being turned into a huge Windows 8 looking cesspool. Graphicaly childish and innefective.

Don't get me wrong, I love a sleek modern look, but not at the cost of function. However, in the case of ADI, they have neither.

Well let's start with people offering comments in this thread about their experiences.

I have an instinctive revolusion to big print catalogs. I got the B&H once last year and was dumbfounded.

So they spend millions printing catalogs (400,000 copies at, at least, $3 a piece) but can't spend a fraction of that on getting a website that works...

Well, by my estimation it's more like 40,000 trees, but hey who's counting. What's one decimal point when you're talking about natural resources, right? Especially when it concerns such an important necessity as an ADI catalog. ;o)

I think many sites in our industry are difficult to navigate for product. Might be worth a survey. Which Distributor Website/Online Catalog is most user-friendly and the easiest to find product?

I recently received an 890 page ADI catalog from an integrator friend of mine who was delivered multiple copies. It's sitting in my bathroom, and I thumb through it when I have a few extra minutes on my hands. :)

Same here. Usually it's some sort of alarm product, and never anything revolutionary, but useful in that niche application, or this project five years ago. That sort of thing. On the video side, I never see anything new.

ADI's website is bad especially for browsing. Unless you know the exact ADI part number, your not going to find much that explains what your looking at.

Is that a testament to print or a criticism of their website?

It's probably easier to find products in ADI's paper catalog than it is their website.

400,000 trees per year!

As long as they plant a tree for every catalog printed.

320 million pages annually: 800 page catalog x 100,000 copies x 4 times a year

I don't think you need to be John Muir to see the absurdity in printing 320 million pages per year. Even worse to tout it as some sort of feature.

Welcome to the 21st century. You're only 14 years late. :D

I recently received an 890 page ADI catalog from an integrator friend of mine who was delivered multiple copies. It's sitting in my bathroom, and I thumb through it when I have a few extra minutes on my hands. :)

Call me old fashioned, but I still get a kick out of browsing through a printed catalog, and I did learn about a few niche products from some smaller manufacturers that I might not have heard about otherwise.

From a professional standpoint, however, my days of using printed materials to conduct research is long over - I am way too spoiled by the resources on the internet. I'm getting so I don't even want CDs from manufacturers; I would rather harvest "fresh" information from the web at the time that I need it.

So now you better understand ADI's priorities :)

"Flink said ADI also wants to help vendors—particularly smaller vendors—to do business in different countries."

Ha! I hope they don't use the same model as in their U.S. modus operandi.