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Office Products Depot Forms Australia Alliance

Office Products Depot Forms Strategic Alliance With Major Australian Stationery Player

New Zealand’s office equipment leader, Office Products Depot, has formed an alliance with Australia’s second largest business-to-business stationery provider, Office National Australia.

The combined turnover of the newly aligned companies exceeds A$700 million per annum, creating the largest business of its kind in Australasia.

Office Products Depot chief executive, Rob MacGregor, says the alliance is the first of its kind for the stationery industry in this part of the world.

“Office National has 150 members across Australia while here, we have close to 40. The alliance strengthens both parties’ purchasing power which is good for customers and dealers,” he says. “It also offers us greater agility in terms of adding services to the Australian market, the ability to grow Office Products Depot offshore and access to Office National’s business experience including marketing, web and IT systems.”

MacGregor says Office Products Depot had been investigating opportunities in Australia for sometime. “We have been looking at ways to develop our brand in Australia – either directly or indirectly. We chose the indirect option because of the inherent difficulties of managing a stand-alone business from New Zealand and the way the market is organised requires a focused approach that varies from the management and marketing tactics in New Zealand. Establishing an alliance gives us greater flexibility in a hugely diverse market and gives customers and dealers wider choice.”

The Office Products Depot brand will operate under the Office National umbrella throughout Australia. The new group Office Products Depot Australia, already has 12 independent dealers signed up and aims to have 30 by early 2005.

MacGregor is confident the alliance will be a success, as the two companies share similar values and vision. “Our philosophies, and the way we go to market, are almost identical,” he says. “Both groups place tremendous emphasis on the value they provide their customers and are focused on growing equity in the brands for their respective shareholders. We are strategically positioning ourselves for the future and focused on innovation and competing globally. This alliance is a natural way for both parties to achieve their goals.”

Both Office Products Depot and Office National Australia are members of BPGI – the world’s largest group of independent office products dealers with end user sales of US$12 billion. They have also both been in business for around 10 years.

MacGregor says the focus now is on trans-Tasman tender opportunities, new business supply solutions for global and regional customers and strengthening Office Products Depots’ Australian dealer numbers.

“There is a lot of commonality among customers on both sides of the Tasman and our long term goal is to continue to further position ourselves as an all-round office products supplier both at a local, national and international level and continue exploring options to strategically align with other independent dealer groups in Australasia”.

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