Buying group, office supplies distribution
Primary markets: Quebec, Ontario
President: Robert de Montigny
Buying group passes on savings
Robert de Montigny, president of Novexco, an office products buying group, is in the midst of an industry facing conflicting trends. A strong Canadian dollar is keeping import costs low. However pricing pressures from clients and tough competition, are forcing distributors to constantly innovate.
Novexco, which operates under the BuroPlus banner, pools the purchasing power of its more than 70 members (many of which are retailers). This enables the group to wring better discounts and conditions out of suppliers of pens, paper clips, photocopy paper, furniture and other office products, which they can then pass on to customers “It’s a tough industry,” says de Montigny. “However our network enables members to compete toe-to-toe with companies of national and international scale.”
De Montigny credits Novexco’s constant innovations as key to its success. Last year the group opened a highly-automated 138,000 square foot, Laval distribution center. The building’s 32-foot high ceilings enable staff to pile skids six-high, in a facility that stocks close to 15,000 SKUs, which are distributed to members, major commercial accounts (such as Desjardins, ADM and Grant Thornton) and some independents. “We sell almost anything consumed in an office environment,” says de Montigny. “However the increasing number of small and home offices has broadened the definition of an “office,” and has thus increased our customer base.”
Novexco is constantly moving to boost efficiency even further. Recent moves include acquisition of the Club Express banner (in 2009), an increase in its commercial sales team from 10 to 25 members and implementation of updated IT systems. Planned initiatives include seeking out new acquisitions and further penetration into the Ontario and Maritimes markets.
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