Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Come visit us at our new location!

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

After a year of preparation, we have finally moved to our new location at 6049 South Loop East Houston TX 77033. Come by and say Hi!!

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Are Office Depot workers pushing unnecessary computer fixes?

Friday, November 18th, 2016

CBS News is reporting that
Office Depot is under fire for services that a former employee believes take advantage of unsuspecting customers.

The retailer says it helps about 6,000 customers per week with its free PC health checks, and that it does not condone any of the alleged conduct that was uncovered. But CBS affiliate KIRO-TV’s undercover cameras showed how employees used the service to sell customers expensive computer repairs that weren’t there, reports KIRO’s Jesse Jones.

Office Depot’s technicians repeatedly told customers their computers were infected.

“It’s got malware symptoms in there,” one said.

They said they could fix them — for a hefty fee.

“It actually looks like it’s $180 right now,” the technician estimated.

The only problem? All the PC’s were brand new and fresh out of the box. The computer security firm IOActive also gave them a clean bill of health.

“We found no symptoms of malware on these computers when we operated them,” said Will Longman, IOActive VP of Information Technology and Security.

Office Depot employee Shane Barnett said his bosses ignored his repeated warnings and were more concerned about sales and quotas.

“I hate the program. I hate it,” Barnett said.

“I refused to do it. They’re like, ‘You have to hit these numbers.’ I’m like, ‘I’m not going to make things up so you can hit your numbers. I’m not going to do it,’” he added.

Barnett said his hours at Office Depot have been cut since he began speaking up more than two years ago. The company declined an on camera interview, but a spokesperson said: “We intend to fully review the assertions and take appropriate action.”
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Drones Can’t Deliver Copy Paper

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Ever since Amazon announced its entry

into the office products world, pundits

have been quick to predict the imminent

demise of independent distribution, just

like their predecessors did when the big

boxes first came on the scene.

Amazon is certainly a challenging competitor,

but even so, there are limits to their

current ascendancy, especially if sales

professionals hit them where it hurts.

For example, as I write this column, I am

browsing on the Amazon website for some

typical office items. At 6:20 pm Eastern

time on August 22, I found the following:

• One ream of Office Depot copy

paper at $27.99 per ream (No, I am

not kidding! It is the first listing and

delivery will be in 3-5 days. There are

only 11 reams left so buy now!!)

• Three reams of Georgia Pacific

Spectrum Paper at $15.99 per case

(Prime 4-5 Day delivery)

• Six reams (400 sheets per ream)

of Hewlett Packard 20lb paper for

$30.76 per case (Prime 4-5 Day

delivery)

Ok, so they aren’t very good at copy paper.

Let’s pick something else. How about

toilet paper?

• 24 Rolls of Quilted Northern (90

Sheets per roll) $23.79 or $24.79 for

Prime 4-5 Day delivery

• 48 Rolls of Angel Soft Bathroom

Tissue $21.49 (Their best deal

at 46 cents per roll but with no

commitment on a delivery date on

the Amazon site)

• 12 Rolls of Cottonelle Big Roll Toilet

Paper at 79 cents per roll or $9.49

with Prime 4-5 Day delivery

These prices are much more competitive,

but let’s keep a couple of things in

mind. First, if your company decides to

feature one or possibly two toilet paper

lines, better costing is probably available.

Also, some of these items either aren’t

on “Prime”—which means a higher minimum

order and separate deliveries or “4-5

days”. Next-day delivery, even for a few

bucks more, begins to look pretty good

when your office is running out of toilet

paper!

How about binder clips and paper clips?

At 7:10 pm Eastern on August 22 I opened

up the “office products” portion of paperclips/

binder clips on the Amazon site.

Here is what I found:

Standard boxes of items like Acco Binder

Clips or Paper Clips are not easy to order.

The buyer must first search through

various mixed offerings, but with enough

effort they can be ordered. For example:

• 1bx Large Binder Clips 72100 are

$3.48 per dozen.

• 6bx Medium Binder Clips 72050 are

$11.02. There was no option to buy

just 1 dozen, at least not without

significant searching and a very high

price.

• 10bx of Small Non-Skid Paperclips

are $4.04 per pack. (I know, no one

actually wants non-skid paperclips

but they came up closest to the top

in search.)

These were notable examples on the

first page, but there are 84 more pages

of such items if you want to search more

thoroughly. And yes, even staples like

SWI35108’s average about $2.50 per box.

Can you compete? I think so!

Oh, and one other thing: There is a confusing

little phrase on the bottom of each

small product listing: “FREE shipping on

eligible orders.” Huh? I wonder what that

means? Could it be that there are minimums

to receive free shipping?

It turns out both Amazon and Amazon

Business have a minimum order number

on some items—but seemingly not on

others— $25-$49 to receive Prime shipping.

It’s all a bit confusing, as are a number

of other things about their site.

Tom Buxton

 

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Sales Tips that work in any Industry

Friday, June 24th, 2016

The Six-Shooter’s Sales Strategy

Of course, no sharpshooter hits the bull’s-eye every time. But everyone can become a better marksman, and just six steps stand between you and a potential pocketful of new sales:

1. Get excited! If you’re like me, it’s nearly impossible to not get amped up for a sales call. And for the prospect, it could be one of the most fun and interesting parts of his or her day. So don’t kill the mood: Break out a smile, and let your energy show.

2. Create a foolproof game plan. After consulting with dozens of companies that struggle to train salespeople, I realized they had something in common: an unscripted sales process. So as soon as I started building LinkedSelling’s sales team, I began writing a script. That script, with a few tweaks, has delivered big results.

Craft a living, breathing sales document that team members can read from, word-for-word. They’ll find their own style—and that’s great—but give them a starting point, complete with room for questions, banter and interjections.

3. Find common ground. People generally like people who they can relate to. In fact, my company signed a high-dollar client because he’d befriended my office manager. They didn’t talk business, but instead discussed life outside the office, and it was this connection that sealed the deal.

So craft your sales script to create points of rapport. Try adding some non-business questions like “Where are you from?” and “What are your weekend plans?” that can help cultivate connections.

4. Be a student. Sales is about education, but it can’t be one-directional. So build questions into your script to learn a client’s business: Ask about their team, values, business model and customers. It’s a simple truth: To understand somebody’s situation, you need to ask.

My team learned this the hard way. Sales slumped in 2015, and I realized nearly everyone was pitching too early. But after consulting our sales script, I knew the mistake was my own: I’d included icebreaker questions, but hadn’t given my team business-oriented questions to ask. After revising the script, we saw sales jump 15 percent nearly overnight.

5. Sell your “why.” In a recent TED Talk, leadership expert Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” Now, I’m sure people buy because of the product, too, but Sinek is right that people tend to buy logically and emotionally.

So in every sales call, try tying your business to something bigger. What’s your big goal, beyond selling products? Sales is an endeavor of the mind, but it’s also tied to the heart.

6. Do the math for them. ROI is—or should be—a part of any sales discussion, so quantify your product’s benefits in dollars and cents. A few years ago, we began conducting ROI calculations during sales webinars and consultations, which really helped our product “click” with the logical side of prospects’ brains. The focus on tangible ROI, in my opinion, is a big reason my company’s business has tripled each of the last three years.

In the end, sales isn’t rocket science; it’s just people having a conversation about a product’s costs and benefits. So if your goal is more conversions, stop “winging it” on sales calls. With a script in hand and data at your fingertips, your team should soon be shooting down its toughest sales targets.

Josh Turner

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Where Are Small Business Issues on the Campaign Trail?

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

You don’t need me to tell you that our current
presidential campaign is unlike any that we’ve
seen in recent years. But it might be worth
pointing out that so far, at least, small business
issues and concerns have hardly been front and
center.
That’s not a good thing, as a recent survey
of independent small business owners and
operators by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
makes all too clear.
You’ll find a more detailed report on the survey
findings in our Industry News section but the
bottom line is that independent businesses could
be doing a whole lot better if they didn’t have to
contend with federal, state and local government
policies that hold them back or put them at a
disadvantage against their larger competitors.
Correct me if I’m wrong but I haven’t been
hearing any of the current candidates talking
much about the need for increased small
business support.
The survey identifies a number of areas where
help is needed. For example, independent
businesses too often end up being turned down
for the bank loans they need to grow. They face
unfair competition from online resellers who,
unlike them, are exempt from collecting sales tax
from their customers.
They also see their own tax dollars being used
to support sweetheart tax breaks for their larger
competitors, even though there’s a fair amount
of evidence to show big box development
actually hurts local economies rather than
helping them any.
Do you know what positions your candidates
have on these issues and others like them? It
might be a good idea to find time over the next
few months to ask them and make sure they
have answers that make sense.
by Simon De Groot

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eco-tips for 2016

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

• Here are just a few tips for the office:

o Keep documents stored on computers instead of paper.
o Set printers to print on both sides of paper
o Distribute documents to coworkers as PDF files via e-mail instead of printing and handing out hard copies.
o Add a tag line to your e-mail signature that encourages recipients to think before printing e-mail messages.

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5th annual Houston Independent Dealers’ Halloween party at the Children’s Assessment Center!

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Announcing our 5th annual Houston Independent Dealers’ Halloween party at the Children’s Assessment Center!  Can we count on you?

 

We invite you, your colleagues, and your customers to join us by:

 

1)     Collecting costumes, treats, and trick or treat bags/buckets.

                  

2)    Inviting your customers to participate by collecting the items above.  Let them know how awesome and charitable you are.

 

3)   Attending the party where we’ll help the children select their perfect costume, then trick or treat throughout the CAC.

 

We hope you can join us for the party on Wednesday, October 28Trick-or-treating is from 2:00 until 4:00.  Stay as little or as long as you like.  Those who have attended before can’t wait to do this again.  You will forever be touched.

 

A fact sheet/invitation is attached for you to share with your colleagues and customers.  Please let me know how you plan to participate.  Thanks for making smiles J

 

This just in:  The kids at the CAC are so excited about this; they have already started decorating the playroom!

 

And this is what they are saying…..

Jason/6 yrs. – Can’t wait to pick a super hero costume and eat candy!

 

Trystan/9 yrs. – He is eager to play a lot of games with other kids!

 

Beatrice/7 ½ yrs. – She is excited to become a princess for a day!

 

Valencia/10 yrs. – She loves the scary decorations and costumes!

 

Victor/5 yrs. – Victor wants to eat lots and lots and lots of nerds/candy!

 

 

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Enter to Win an iPAD!!!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Check out the “Monthly Specials Flyer” on our homepage for details on how to enter to win an iPad! It’s all part of our 65th anniversary celebration.

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iNDUSTRY NEWS

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC) last month announced that Office
Depot has agreed to pay a $3.4 million
civil penalty to settle agency charges that
it knowingly failed to report, as required by
federal law, defects and an unreasonable
risk of serious injury involving
two of its office chair lines,
the Quantum and the Gibson.
The seatbacks of both
models failed, resulting in
multiple back and other injuries,
the CPSC said.
The agency said Office Depot received dozens
of reports of seatback failures and related
injuries involving both the Quantum
chairs and the Gibson chairs.
Office Depot never reported
the Quantum chair
hazard to CPSC, and
reported the Gibson
chair hazard only after
receiving a request from staff, the agency said.
By the time the Quantum chair and the Gibson
chair were recalled, Office Depot had received 33 and
153 reports, respectively, of seatback detachment
from the chairs, and 14 and 25 reports, respectively,
of injuries, some requiring medical attention.
Office Depot sold about 150,000 Quantum chairs
nationwide between May 2006 and August 2009 for
about $350 each and about 1.4 million Gibson chairs
nationwide between 2003 and 2012 for about $40
each.
“When a company has received information about
nearly 200 incident reports and more than 35 injuries
yet fails to report to CPSC as required by law,
as Office Depot did, there must be accountability,”
commented CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye.
“Office Depot failed to report serious incidents to
CPSC immediately, as the law clearly requires. More
importantly, Office Depot failed to take responsibility
and care for the safety of their customers …It is
my hope that with an internal compliance program
in place, in addition to the penalty, Office Depot will
closely adhere to CPSC’s vital product safety reporting
laws and demonstrate that they genuinely put
consumer safety first and foremost.”
This is hardly the first time Office Depot has had problems
with the CPSC related to the quality and reliability
of its seating products.
Problems with the Gibson chair first surfaced as early
as 2006, according to the Safety Research & Strategies
product safety research organization.
Last year, Office Depot issued a recall of the Gibson
chairs due to a fall hazard. That recall covered
some 1.4 million units and according to the CPSC,
the mounting plate weld on the chair could break and
separate the seat from the base of the chair, posing a
fall hazard to consumers.
In 2012, Office Depot announced a recall for its Biella
Leather Desk Chair at the request of the Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC), because, the
Commission said, the chairs posed a fall hazard to
consumers. The Bellia recall affected 307,000 units.
Also in 2012, Office Depot recalled its Realspace
Soho Prestigio High-Back Leather Chair because the
product posed fall and injury hazards to consumers
due to the risk of the seat plate breaking.
That chair was another Office Depot exclusive and
prior to the recall, about 8,400 of them had been sold
in Office Depot stores and online.

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Article from the Pearland Journal

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

We got a shout out from a local newspaper about our 65th Anniversary!

By Stacey Glaesmann

City Office Supply, located at 4202 Telephone Rd., is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year.

The family-owned and operated dealership has been under the third-generation leadership of brother and sister Michael McCain of Pearland and Colleen Gingrich of Clear Lake since January 2014, when their mother, Laura Phipps-McCain Tant, retired.

City Office Supply was established in 1950 by Tant’s parents, Reese and Betty Phipps, using some of their savings and the proceeds from the sale of a litter of purebred boxer puppies. Talk about creative financing!

Tant started with the company in 1973 and became president in 1976 following the death of her father.

Over her four decades with the company, Tant overcame many changes and challenges in the industry, guiding City Office Supply to become one of the most experienced and well-respected, women-owned office product companies in the region.

The dealership is still located on the original site on Telephone Rd., where it has taken a strong leadership position in the area’s “Shop Local” campaigns.

The dealership still is a very active supporter of numerous local chambers of commerce, including Pearland and Pasadena, as well as community organizations, donating generously to charities such as local food banks and homeless shelters, while always supporting Little League teams and various schools, churches and other non-profits requesting assistance.

According to Gingrich, things have been challenging and the competition is tough. However, increased social media and online presence, purchasing strength from national buying groups combined with an expanded product mix has helped keep sales moving in the right direction.

Congratulations to City Office Supply on 65 years of family-owned, locally supported business!

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