OfficeMax Services Center Provides Support For Business Owners
By Anna Rose Welch, associate editor
OfficeMax Services Centers work to save small business owners up to 4 billion hours of administrative work
On October 8th, OfficeMax announced the launch of its new Services Center. Each Services Center, located throughout stores nationwide, will work to provide small to midsize business owners with all the administrative and business support they need to continue growing, including web design and maintenance, tech support, printing and document management, marketing materials, and credit card and payroll processing. OfficeMax has compiled a portfolio of national service providers, including North American Bancard, ADP, PAYCHEX, GoDaddy, and Carbonite Online Backup, to ensure the new Services Center provides valuable service to all clients.
According to Kim Feil, OfficeMax executive vice president and chief marketing and strategy officer, “Business owners spend a lot of time conducting support work that, while critical, takes them away from working with their customers and growing their business. They want to refocus their time building their businesses, and they want reliable partners who will address their specific needs.” OfficeMax wants to be the partner that gets these business owners back to business.
In fact, according to statistics from the OfficeMax Small Business Efficiency Index cited in the original press release, the nation’s 23 million small business owners lose more than 4 billion hours each year managing business and administrative tasks. For 41 percent of business owners surveyed, these tasks divert energy and passion away from building a business. Other findings from the survey reveal that a large number of small business owners have concerns about the quality of current backroom support service vendors. More than half of the owners surveyed (54 percent) feel that their current service vendors do not understand their business and specific needs, while 44 percent are concerned about some of their vendors’ availability and reliability. The survey also emphasized businesses’ concerns about remaining up to date with technology. Roughly 40 percent of small business owners question the ability of their current vendors to stay on top of technology trends.
In order to address some of the issues facing business owners today, Michael Lewis, OfficeMax executive vice president and president of retail, states that the new Services Center will, “connect [customers] with the best solutions and services packages to streamline their support functions and, in turn, free up time to focus on business growth.”
This new Services Center could also help increase profits for OfficeMax. Lower sales and costs related to a proposed $1.2 billion merger with Office Depot recently resulted in lower Q2 results. While the company faces closing 25-30 stores (up from the proposed 15-20) because of increasing online sales and customer cutbacks on office supplies, an August Businessweek article cites CEO Ravi Saligram, who assures that OfficeMax, “remains committed to restoring sales growth by evolving our business model to focus more on services (and) innovating new products and categories.”