Success Story: Complete Office
Premier Account Management from DDMS Serves as a Key Business Resource
As Operations Manager for the Seattle location of Complete Office, Judy Johnson serves as a key member of the management team for one the country’s top independent dealers.
It’s a challenging position, by any measure. Her responsibilities not only include the company’s warehouse and delivery operations but also customer service, purchasing and two separate installation teams—for office furniture and for coffee supplies and water coolers.
It’s a lot for any one person to handle, particularly in a company with a fierce commitment to customer service excellence and lean, right-first-time execution.
The good news for Johnson and for the entire Complete Office team, though, is that she doesn’t have to face that challenge on her own.
From the first day Complete opened for business back in 2003, it’s been a client of the Premier Account Management service from DDMS and, says Johnson, that relationship has played a vital role in keeping Complete growing and profitable.
“The Premier Account Management service from DDMS provides us with what we pride ourselves on providing our customers—`best-in-class service, the ability to come to the table with solutions to the challenges we face and out-of-the-box thinking to get us to where we need to go,” she says.
Despite all the challenges of the Great Recession and shifts in product demand in the office products market overall, Complete has maintained a healthy growth curve. While headcount at the company is also up, it’s certainly not by 50% and most of the new hires have been in sales and delivery, she reports. Johnson says that pattern is due in no small part to the productivity gains the dealership has enjoyed with the help of DDMS Premier Account Manager Allen Beavers.
“We would not have been able to hold our head count on the operations side the way we have if we had not streamlined some key processes and Allen played a key role in helping us do that,” she says.
“For example, we were spending a ridiculous amount of time manually processing our dispatch manifests. With Allen’s help, we went from somebody literally coming in at 3 a.m. every morning and spending four hours manually entering items into a dispatch system to a process that now takes just 45 minutes. And all that happened because of Allen’s expertise and tenacity!”
Johnson also points to the way Beavers helped automate its day-end routines through custom-written procs as another major contribution to productivity at the dealership.
And then there’s the transition from what was essentially a stockless model to far more of a stocking dealer operation today.
“When I started we had a pretty limited number of items that we were stocking—basically paper and some high-turn ink and toner SKUs,” Johnson recalls. “Over the past three years, we have gone from that kind of operation to stocking about 1,000 items, with the most recent additions coming in the janitorial and breakroom categories. Allen came in, evaluated our existing order flow at the time, and identified what we needed to change. Most importantly, he highlighted some cumbersome, redundant processes we had in place at the time and came up with alternatives for what would otherwise have become problems for us as we expanded.”
For Johnson and her team, it’s not just about having access to a DDMS expert that has been so valuable. It’s access to a DDMS expert who is equally expert on Complete Office and how it operates.
“Every business is unique,” Johnson points out, “and because our Premier Account Manager really understands how we’re set up and how we do things, he has been able to look down the road and understand the impact of a particular change in a way that’s been tremendously beneficial to our business.”
And that process at Complete is an ongoing one. Johnson’s goals for the year ahead include increasing the dealership’s SKU count in the warehouse from 1,000 to 1,500, integrating its furniture division more closely into the DDMS Furniture Module and implementing further streamlining, both in the warehouse and purchasing.
It’s an ambitious, high-stakes agenda and Johnson knows it will bring with it some serious business challenges. But she also knows that Allen Beavers and the rest of the DDMS Premier Account Management team will be there with her every step of the way and working to meet those challenges with innovative solutions custom tailored for Complete Office and its needs.