Dealer profile: Charles Scales, president of Greenville Office Supply (GOS)

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This week South Carolina-based Greenville Office Supply acquired the office, safety and beverage supply businesses of Young Office Supply, making it the largest independently owned office supply firm in the state. The company’s president Charles Scales shares the company’s vital statistics as well as his hopes and fears for the business with OPI+.

 

Contact details: 310 E Frontage Road, Greer, South Carolina 29651; Tel: +1 864 233 5346; Email: cscales@gos1.com

 

Products and services: Office products, printing, advertising specialities, furniture, beverage and safety supplies.

 

Territory: We have accounts coast to coast.

 

Number of employees: 80

 

Contact names and positions: Charles Scales, president; Scott Hart, VP; Ted Vereen, director of sales.

 

Company background: The company was founded in 1968. This merger with Young makes us the largest independent office product dealer in South Carolina and adds two more divisions to our business: safety and beverage. Our mission is to continue providing a safe workplace for our employees and to continue servicing our current and future customers with better services and prices.

 

Stockless or stocking dealer: Stocking

 

Dealer group: Right now we are with both (TriMega and is.group) and are doing an evaluation to determine which way to go.

 

Are you diversifying into non-traditional OP product areas? Yes – beverage and safety. These days, it is very important to be able to offer all the services under one roof. With this new addition, no one else has the product offering that we have.

 

Do you feel your relationship with your wholesalers could be improved in any way and if so, how? Yes – we’ve just got a lot bigger, so they will have to belly up to the bar.

 

Do you source any product direct from the manufacturer? If so, what percentage? Yes – about 20 per cent. But we would like to increase this percentage to 60 per cent.

 

What would you say has been your company’s best decision and what has been its worst? Our best decision was to buy Young; the worst was staying in the contract furniture business.

 

How do you cultivate customer relations to ensure you are the first point of call for your customer’s OP needs? We have the best in outside and inside reps – they exceed the customer’s expectations.

 

How do you aim to differentiate yourself from other dealers? Buy them.

 

What do you feel is the secret of your company’s success? Teamwork and the attitude that the customer pays our pay checks.

 

What do you expect to be your greatest challenges over the following year and how do you plan on overcoming them? Merging the two businesses in the short term. In the long term, it will be continuing to attack the perception-playing big boxes.

 

What are your priorities for the coming year? Making sure we do not lose any customers from the transaction.

 

What trends do you expect to most impact the dealer community over the next five years? The lying stories and games of the big boxes.