Staples Office Centre

This changing operation at Staples Office Centre doesn’t stand on its own. The major American office supply provider Staples, which already took over the chain ten years ago, now also took over Corporate Express (the former Buhrmann). Therefore, the formulas of Staples Advantage (Corporate Express) and Staples Office Centre will gradually merge organisation wise. Staples Advantage (Corporate Express) continues to be supplier of the business segment from hundred employees, Staples Office Centre is originally focused more on the small and medium-sized enterprises. It goes well with the ‘supermarket in office supplies’, but what goes well can always go better, knows training manager Rob de Waal. The choice for Moovs was quickly made. “If you look at the terms of reference and you start looking for an agency, then there are only three or four able to handle an assignment of this size. From those four, the approach of Moovs appealed to us the most. Moovs surprises by looking further ahead than my actual question, like for instance the advice to ask the region managers to follow Best Year Yet®. From the start they had a broader approach. Moovs has a very professional organisation.”

‘Think as a retailer’

There are more agencies who provide trainings, but training a retail organisation is something different knows Rob de Waal. “Moovs is able to think ahead with us, they understood the atmosphere of our company. If you start to train retailers, you must also think like one. What a retailer thinks of today, he wants to apply tomorrow.” Staples Office Centre is presented with the challenge to grow from a pure self-service wholesaler to that supermarket in office supplies. “That is why service didn’t play that much of a role before in the organisation. That wasn’t necessary, because the client wasn’t waiting for a salesman. He was used to take what he needed himself. But if you want to excel as a supermarket, you have to work on that service.”

Combining theory en practice

Work to be done – or better: the 47 stores – for Moovs. The training went further than just the work floor: all layers of the organisation were involved. Salesmen were, after analysis, found to be focused on their tasks only, much less client-focused. There was also a lack of efficacy of the procurement-process. The filming of sales-employees during sales-interviews provided unexpected – and positive – evaluations: “I never knew that I did it like that!” Rob de Waal: “Moovs succeeded, after a number of more-day sessions, to bring the theory and the practice closer together. You see that employees are often very skeptical about an approach like that, but everyone did notice the use of the training.” As a spin-off of the training, now the region managers of Staples Office Centre have started with Best Year Yet.