Member Spotlight: iOffice #1299
ISG and ISSA/IOPFDA help iOffice save in Business & Family
(Owners Marianne & Joe Neil Henderson)
As an Independent Suppliers Group member since 2016, iOffice had been looking for an affordable way to offer the employees of their small business in Decatur, Texas, both affordable and quality health insurance.
"A huge challenge with owning a small business is that although there are amazing programs available to us, we are often too focused on running the business, rather than considering the benefits being offered by these programs," iOffice owner Marianne Henderson said.
Providing their staff with health insurance was a question that the Henderson’s had been searching for an answer to since iOffice opened its doors in 2004. However, it wasn't until the answer to a completely different question presented itself did the solution for providing healthcare insurance to her employees come to light.
"While attending the CORE LIVE Essendant event in 2019, I visited the ISSA/IOPFDA tradeshow booth and learned about their scholarship program for members," Henderson said. "For the last two years our daughter has received scholarships through their program, and it has been a tremendous help. While I was attending Industry Week '21, I stopped by the ISSA/IOPFDA program booth to thank them for all the help they had given to my daughter. That's where I learned about their healthcare coverage opportunities."
Thanks to Marianne's conversation with an ISSA/IOPFDA representative at ISG's Industry Week '21 tradeshow, all of the opportunities to provide quality insurance coverage to their employees were made readily available through their Group HealthCare Coverage opportunities.
"Had I not attended the Industry Week '21 tradeshow, I'm not sure I would have ever known about the program," Marianne said. "Attending events like Industry Week and learning about the different partners ISG works with allows businesses like ours to look beyond daily operations and more at the added benefits being part of a group like this can offer."
During her conversations, Marianne learned about all of the different benefits and opportunities she could finally offer to her employees at iOffice. From telemedicine programs, dental and vision insurance, to how her employees could qualify for great rates without worrying about preexisting conditions or high deductibles.
Not only was the opportunity made possible because of ISG's partnership with ISSA/IOPFDA and their availability at Industry Week, but it was also an incredibly smooth onboarding process.
"As a small business, we do not have a dedicated HR Manager," Henderson said. “Working with ISSA/IOPFDA and their association representatives, through Bullock & Associates, made the whole process and transition so seamless. Allowing us to offer the much-needed insurance our employees deserve while continuing to allow us to focus on running our company. "
This is just one of the many ways ISG and our industry partners work to provide the best opportunities and benefits to all of our members.
“In a time where retaining employees has been more challenging than ever, adding this healthcare program has been a huge achievement for our business,” Henderson said. “I would encourage all ISG members, big and small, to take advantage of all the benefits and opportunities being part of this group has to offer.”
Member Spotlight: Longhorn Office Products #781
ISG Industry Partner, ISSA, helps streamline LHOP’s Business Operations
Longhorn Office Products has been an ISG member for 15 years and has enjoyed the benefits that come with an ISG membership.
“We’ve received many benefits that go above and beyond just the pricing and rebates,” said the CEO of Longhorn Office Products, Marcia Winkler. “Our ISG membership provides valuable webinars and even tradeshows, that offer training and networking opportunities.”
Another valuable asset that comes with being a member of Independent Suppliers Group is access to all of our great industry partners. Longhorn Office Products has teamed up with ISSA/IOPFDA for the last two years to offer their employees affordable and reliable healthcare insurance.
“We have always been fortunate enough to provide healthcare to our wonderful employees,” Marcia said. “It was a simple choice to switch over to ISSA two years ago. They have better premiums and much lower deductibles than most traditional plans.”
In addition to cost savings, Longhorn Office Products’ switch over to their partnership with ISSA/IOPFDA saved them valuable time that they used to streamline other areas of their business. Not only that, but it also allowed employees who couldn’t afford the previous healthcare plans to gain access to the vital healthcare insurance that they need.
“The whole process is so seamless and really takes the stress out of getting this important benefit set up for our employees,” Marcia said. “It’s less expensive and much less time-consuming than brokers I have used for our health insurance in the past. The lower pricing allows us to offer healthcare to our lower compensated, and younger team members who had previously opted out because the prices were too high.”
The opportunity provided to Marcia and the employees of Longhorn Office Products is just one of the many benefits that being an ISG member offers. From the convenience, cost savings, and the ability to provide great benefits to the company's dedicated employees, Marcia would recommend that all ISG members take advantage of this great ISG industry partner.
“I would absolutely recommend that anyone who is looking to start providing or looking for a better alternative to their current health insurance plan, make the switch to ISSA,” said Marcia. “Working with ISSA has proven to be faster, easier, and less expensive. If you don’t have a lot of experience, they also do a great job of walking you through the steps and make the entire process much easier to understand.”
ISG Member Spotlight: Snap Office Supplies #1293
ISG Programs Provide Catalyst to Snap Office Supplies’ Success
Looking for a spark to ignite a sustained long-term period of success, Snap Office Supplies, located in Richmond, Virginia, decided to look into what a membership with Independent Suppliers Group could do for them.
Since making the call back in 2016, Snap Office Supplies has used its ISG membership as the catalyst to newfound success that they hadn’t seen before.
“Without a doubt, our membership with ISG has played a key factor in the success of our business,” said Andy Todd, Snap Office Supplies, Vice President of Sales. “The resources available, and the access to ISG staff, have given our team the ability to expand our offerings and increase our knowledge and expertise to our clients. We now can compete in markets where we had limited vendors and accelerate our growth.”
Other than opening doors to new markets, creating connections between new businesses and vendors, an ISG membership also comes with access to valuable programs. With programs for marketing, furniture, and Jan/San to name a few, these tools give ISG members everything they need to design their own path to success.
“Without access to these programs, I don’t know where we’d be today,” Andy Todd said. “The EPIC and furniture programs have provided huge opportunities for us. On the furniture side of things, having access to a wide variety of manufacturers has been tremendous.
Between the programs and access to new areas of business, there are obvious benefits to becoming an ISG member. However, for businesses like Snap Office Supplies, there are other benefits that can provide real value and that are only realized once you start to utilize your membership and discover the effects it can have on the other areas of your company.
“I’m a big believer in the phrase, “you only get out what you put into it,” Andy Todd said. “Sure, you can join ISG for the benefits, but if you aren’t willing to share your experiences, you’re doing yourself and others a disservice. If you’re considering becoming a member, ask for a few references, and make a few calls. That’s what we did, and it’s been a great decision.”
ISG Member Spotlight: JB Office #1312
JB Office Creates Deeper Vendor Relations with ISG’s INTEC Program
As CEO and President of JB Office in Chatsworth, California, Julian De Salay is constantly looking to break into new areas of business and extend the reach of his organization. However, it can be a difficult task for a company of any size to find a way to foster the necessary vendor relationships in a deeper and more meaningful way.
That’s why in 2014 Julian became an ISG member to take advantage of the INTEC program.
INTEC is a group of non-competing members focused on selling contracted toner. The group shares best practices and spends time regularly to help identify opportunities for improvement and a roadmap to implement these new ideas and initiatives. INTEC also works closely with the biggest and most relevant suppliers in the print industry and have deep relationships at all levels of these organizations, enabling us to help our members navigate these companies to achieve the success they are seeking. INTEC members also find financial benefits through our preferred programs and custom pricing with each of these suppliers.
“I recommend that all ISG members looking at focusing on the non-traditional OP business take advantage of the INTEC program,” Julian De Salay said. It really helps you build a strong program. I also think if you already have a strong Imaging Business/MPS, it can enhance your business to another level. Plus, quite honestly, it’s like adding very knowledgeable teammates to your company to help push you harder to find the success you are looking for.”
Aside from the financial benefits and the ability to expand into new markets, the INTEC program was also able to help JB Office with their original goal of making deeper and more meaningful vendor relationships.
“The INTEC program has really made our dealership better and stronger,” De Salay said. “I’m not sure if vendor relationships are something you can necessarily perfect or solve. However, being part of a group with a program like INTEC that has a team always coming up with new ways to help its members will always put you on the right track to be successful.”
The INTEC program at its core is about making members and their organizations more resilient and competitive. That’s why, after learning about all the different programs and benefits the ISG had to offer, the decision for Julian and JB Office to become a member was an easy one.
“We were really looking to become part of something bigger than ourselves,” De Salay said. “We were looking for something that could help us get access to programs we wouldn’t normally qualify for on our own. I really look at it as another fraternity that I belong to, especially with the help and support from the ISG staff and my fellow members.”
If you would like to find out more information on how JB Office utilized the INTEC program to help their business, Julian De Salay can be reached by calling 818-578-4576 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
ISG Member Spotlight: Liberty Office Products #1294
ISG’s Annual Meeting Sparks Growth for Liberty Office Products
Through the programs, services, and educational opportunities that ISG offers to our members, we aim to provide your business with the tools and resources to become a more successful organization.
When Sam Young of Liberty Office Products joined ISG back in 2015, that is exactly what they received by attending the annual meetings that are available to all ISG members.
“Attending the annual meetings was initially just a way to get to know the group better,” Sam Young, Liberty Office Products President, and C.P.E. said. “As we started to identify new areas of business that we wanted to break into, these meetings became more about learning new tactics and strategies for what we wanted to accomplish.”
What Sam was looking for help in, was learning how to effectively market and sell to K-12 public schools. At the time, before attending his first annual meeting as an ISG member, Sam noted that selling to K-12 public schools only accounted for around 5% of Liberty Office Products' business. However, this market area has since grown to account for 55% of their sales thanks to what he learned at a previous ISG annual meeting.
“Beyond all of the statistics and strategies, I was really looking for insight from people who have been successful in this particular area of business,” Sam Young said. “When I attended the seminar, “How to Sell to the Public Sector” at the ISG annual meeting, the presenter made a statement that really changed everything for me and our business”. He said, “Most public sector buyers buy on relationships. Since then, we started focusing on building relationships and we were off to the races,” Sam said.
Whether it be a statement made by a speaker or a piece of information presented during a seminar, all ISG members who attend the ISG annual meeting can learn or take away something from these presentations that will have a direct and positive effect on the performance of their organizations.
“I could usually rely on one or two things to take away from the annual meetings that would really have a direct impact on the day-to-day operations of my business”, Sam said. “Now that these meetings include a tradeshow, new programs, and networking with dealers and vendors, the stakes are much bigger.”
If you would like more information about Liberty Office Products or their experience at past annual meetings, Sam Young can be reached by calling 713-789-3282 or by email at email@example.com
ISG Member Spotlight: 1Source #1305
ISG Staff Helps Secure New Business Opportunity for 1Source
When Greg McLeod, CEO, and President of 1Source, reached out to ISG Facility Supply Director, Frank Hoard, he did so in hopes of finding a supplier that could help his business break into the food service items category and provide 1Source with an additional source of revenue.
1Source was looking to provide a potential new client with “clamshells” for takeout orders at their restaurants, marina, golf course, and gaming operations. To make this venture into a new product category realistic, attainable, and profitable, 1Source would require a consistent and reliable supplier for this truly niche item.
“When we reached out to Frank, the relationship ISG had with Naturezway was really in its infancy,” Greg McLeod said. “Frank worked diligently on our behalf to introduce us to the Naturezway leadership team and was fully engaged until the deal was consummated. Since the initial introduction, we’ve developed a very good working relationship with the Naturezway team.”
After 1Source and ISG’s most recently added supplier, Naturezway, were able to strike a deal to provide 1Source with the items they needed, Greg worked closely with ISG CFO, Jeff Matthews, and ISG Credit Manager, Barbara Kraus, to review their projected sales and ensure that 1Source could financially accommodate taking on this new business opportunity.
“We really could not have secured this new business without the help of all the amazing staff at ISG,” McLeod said. “I believe that working with ISG is critically important for both short and long-term success, especially given the still chaotic and unpredictable nature of the market. ISG has been a steadfast, responsive partner who is helping us grow our business in both new and traditional product categories. I wouldn’t go to battle without them.”
Because the ISG staff was able to connect and help 1Source secure a partnership with a reliable supplier like Naturezway, 1Source now has the necessary tools to expand its reach in this new area of business. That expanded reach has led to an immediate return in additional revenue for the organization and has given them the potential to acquire more potential clients in the near future.
“The high-quality products and superior support from Naturezway put us in the right strategic position to secure more than $200,000 a year in additional sales,” McLeod said. Our ability to credibly source and deliver their products has helped us build our credibility in this product category. Now we are currently pursuing several additional, strategic opportunities with Naturezway and other potential customers and prospects.” “I feel we are now in an ideal position to capture new business in the months ahead,” McLeod said.
If you would like more information about 1Source or their experience working with the ISG team, please reach out to Greg McLeod by calling 612-868-1743 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
ISG Member Spotlight: OfficePro Inc. #119
ISG’s Direct Buy & Rebate Programs Help OfficePro Continue to Grow
When Jamin Arn and OfficePro decided to join ISG they did so in search of a group that would be able to provide them with the resources and programs that would help facilitate the growth in business that they needed in order to be successful.
The two programs that OfficePro has utilized the most, in order to obtain that success, have been ISG’s direct buy and rebates programs. These tools have given OfficePro the ability to purchases the products they need for the best price possible and have added vital profitability to the organization as a whole.
“You know, when I first started OfficePro we didn’t really stock much inventory,” Arn said. “However, with the ability ISG gives us to buy direct from suppliers, our stocking has increased every year. In turn this has added greatly to our overall bottom line.”
OfficePro’s use of the ISG Direct Buy program has expedited their growth into the successful office products distributor that they are today. They also profited greatly from ISG’s rebate program, which goes hand-in-hand with buying directly from suppliers.
“The profitability we’ve gained from the rebate program has really aided in accelerating our growth as an organization,” Arn said. “Considering our growth and acquisitions, it’s really imperative not to have cash flow issues. That’s exactly what the rebate program has done for us. Having these extra funds through the ISG rebate program has been a real catalyst in our continued growth and success.”
Through their hard work and dedication, along with the implementation of these ISG programs, OfficePro has blossomed from their humble beginnings in a small Janesville, Wisconsin garage, into the largest family-owned office supply distributor in all of Wisconsin. A reality that Jamin Arn believes is possible for anyone that takes advantage of their ISG membership.
“While every dealer is unique, I suggest being open-minded and take a look at what ISG has to offer,” Arn said. “You could be leaving a lot of money on the table and not capitalizing on potential money, buying power, and skus that you may not have access to on your own.”
If you would like more information about OfficePro Inc., or their experience with ISG’s Direct Buy and Rebates Programs, please reach out to Jamin Arn by calling 608-531-6001 or emailing him at email@example.com
ISG Member Spotlight: #1024 Stationers Inc.
ISG Membership Provides Immediate Results for Stationers Inc.
Despite being a member of Independent Suppliers Group for less than a year, Stationers Inc. has seen an immediate return on their membership by taking advantage of the various programs available to all ISG members.
“The opportunity to be part of the largest office products buying group was a no brainer for us,” said Stationers Inc. President, Justin Carpenter. “It has allowed us to achieve better cost of goods savings, utilize the enhanced rebates program, and has given us access to suppliers across a wide spectrum of products and verticals.”
Since joining ISG, Stationers Inc. has used the ISG Direct Bill process and Rebates Program to help them analyze and become more strategic with their purchasing habits.
“It’s really been a game changer for us,” said Justin. “By having the ability to analyze our current sales numbers and how we purchase, we’ve been able to be much more strategic with our purchasing decisions. It’s also been great to have a lucrative back-end rebates program. It allows us to be more aggressive in pricing bid opportunities, which helps us win regularly against big box competitors.”
Stationers Inc. has also started to see more success in business categories that have proved troublesome in the past. With areas like the Janitorial and Sanitation space requiring specific and at times hard to find items, the amount and diversity of ISG suppliers has provided an added boost to Stationers’ overall success as an organization.
“While the programs that we’ve been able to use have been great, what we really needed was access to more suppliers,” Justin said. “ISG’s vast amount of suppliers, particularly those outside the core office product vertical, has given us more options to achieve the best possible cost and quality.”
Because of their diligent use of the programs, savings, and supplier options available to Stationers, Justin believes that they have made the most of their membership with ISG and have put themselves in a position to continue to thrive as an organization.
“Our ISG membership has added some pretty obvious benefits,” Justin said. “However, I think the credibility it has given us within the industry has been a huge factor in our success.”
If you would like more information about Stationers Inc., or their experience as one of the newer members of Independent Suppliers Group, please reach out to Justin Carpenter by calling 681-203-3351 or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org