Search This Blog

2/5/12

Review of Staples Advantage Service

Introduction


Staples Advantage (formerly Stapleslink.com) is a business to business office supply company that offers just about anything you can imagine for work. It differs from Staples.com and Staples stores in that it is driven for the corporate customer and not the consumer.


For the record, I buy from Staples Advantage for my company. We are a significant customer in that we purchase thousands of dollars per month worth of office supplies. Who knows? Maybe smaller accounts get worse service? I'll at least give you my experience:


Delivery


Delivery comes every day on a Staples truck. It is very reliable. Stock items show up within one day, two at the most. I work in a major metropolitan area so maybe our proximity to their warehouses are better than those is more remote areas. Delivery is important. Make sure you determine delivery costs if any (mine is free) and delivery times before signing your company up.


The Website


The Web site is very easy to use. I 'manage' the website internally here at work. You can make yourself the sole buyer for the account or, for more decentralized buying, you can set up multiple users. You can also control their spending limits, what department (accounting codes) they have rights to and you can cancel their buying privileges.


The site offers various reports that you can run to analyze your spend and your users. Check with Staples Link before signing up to see what reports will be available to you. While I like the idea of running reports, I don't run them very often. I think they come out with a little too much information and it never seems quite organized the way I want it. That said, I could probably remedy this through their technical support. I just haven't tried.


Technical Support and Customer Service


Both IT support on the site and customer service is very responsive though I rarely call. Most of the work I do is directly on their site. When I do make a call the issue is resolved 99% of the time during that same phone call.


Sales Representative


I'm not sure if all business advantage or national accounts qualify for a salesperson that gives your account personal attention. I've had decent success with our sales rep. Sometimes response time is slow (within a few days) but the sales rep is on the road a lot and travel and face to face meetings elsewhere may delay response time.
If you a person who needs most information on an urgent level, make this clear up front. Overall, I don't push the issue though. If I'm desperate I pester until I get an answer. If it can wait, I'll wait the few days or so.


Product Selection


Product selection is huge and I rarely find anything that is not in stock. Stationary, electronics, coffee, water,furniture, janitorial, very diverse product line.


Prices


Very competitive. I did another article on why Stapleslink.com prices are sometimes worse than Staples.com and Staple stores. That said, my prices are good. My volume, as mentioned above, is there as well so perhaps I'm able to leverage product costs easier than smaller accounts. Then again, larger accounts might have better pricing that me :-)

You are more than welcome to negotiate with your sale rep. I am able to run a usage report on all the goods I buy from Staples (I often just ask our account representative to do this for me). Then I bring the rep in and we see if we can improve price on the top selling items.

Typically, we'll put the negotiated, top selling item price 'under contact'. 'Under Contract' is noted next to contract items on the website. This helps steer other buyers on your account toward the lowest negotiated cost items.


Invoicing


Invoicing and accounting documentation comes through very timely. Data is very detailed and well organized.


To Sum Up


Overall I like the StaplesLink / Staples Advantage experience. Good company.


To Be Fair


To be fair, I have not used other competition such as Office Max, etc. They might be really great and I'd highly suggest bringing in as much competition as possible before committing to an on line office supply service.


More Great Posts On TurtleDog's Blog

How to Allow Another User to Delete Users on StaplesAdvantage.com

How to Give Someone a New Approver on StaplesAdvantage

9 comments:

  1. Aided me a lot, just what I was looking for

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow this is the very good article looking nice & attractive. I LOVE TO READ YOUR ARTICLES. It is very informative for those users who want to know about .

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just like to say that I appreciate this post. I learned a lot from it which has contains a lot of very important ideas. I hope I can read more post from this author. Thanks a lot for sharing your brilliant ideas. Thanks for this one and your site as a whole. I just loved it. It’s always a pleasant surprise when the post is useful. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  4. i love to read article and blogs regarding online courses. Thanks for sharing it dear. i love to read it.

    Marketing Degrees

    ReplyDelete
  5. now that i got a job of office manage this may actually come in handy. I wonder if there is another organization like that , that is closer to my office

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well, Staples Advantage might work for you and maybe better for larger companies but, having had them come in and give us our Price Proposal, I was not happy to see they compared apples to oranges on a lot of the items we currently buy with items of either a generic brand or completely different items when they indeed do offer the exact same items. Very misleading if you don't watch and look over everything with a fine tooth comb. Very disappointed.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great point Anonymous but keep in mind you can find these same issues on any complex, heavily itemized request for quote. The fine tooth comb is important to use on any contract. I agree though, the bid should be apples to apples. Check unit of measure too

    ReplyDelete
  8. My company absolutely loved Staples Advantage, the fact that we got some items at a discounted price made us choose them. Unfortunately our invoices never matched up, with them being about 2 dollars off every time (sales tax). We tried to resolve this by talking to our representative, but nothing was fixed. So now we will continue to use our Staples account, but we hope that we could go back to using Staples Advantage.

    ReplyDelete
  9. definitely not worth the $300.00 membership fee

    ReplyDelete