Moray and Highlands office supply businesses merge to serve … – RossShire Journal

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If you work in an office, you will be aware that there are some vital necessities that you need in order to operate efficiently. Desks, seats and printers are a few of the main must-haves in any office environment.
But where do you go to get all these items? Well, there is a powerhouse provider in the Highlands and Moray that can fulfil all your needs.
James Dow Office Supplies and Moray Office Supplies have merged, so that they can continue to be leading providers in the region.
Headed up by Andrew Still and Alan Elder the duo have decided that collaboration is much more effective than competition in their niche sector.
We had the chance to speak to Andrew on day two of the merger, where he explained more about why they made the decision to partner: “Alan approached me in November last year, and our conversations just progressed from there. This month we made the move, and now we are working together.
“It gives us security, and a joint and shared vision. We are local competitors to one another, so that brings that to an end, and we’ll both be fighting the same battle.”
After a few tricky couple of years for both companies due to the pandemic and offices shutting shop, the partnership is a positive step forward.
Andrew said: “It is a good news story for all involved after a rather large period of uncertainty for the trade.
“We both negotiated the pandemic in our own way and came out the other side.”
Despite the tough time for the companies during Covid, they both saw benefits as people were more considerate about where they were purchasing their goods from.
“During the pandemic people thought more about shopping local for a lot of things, such as butchers, vegetables and other food items”, Andrew said thoughtfully.
“We found that we actually had a lot of new enquiries from people who said that they wanted to support us and keep local businesses trading. That was great to both see and hear.”
This future is looking promising, and this dynamic and creative move is building on the strong foundations of the past. James Dow itself has been running for nearly 150 years, after being started in 1874.
Andrew credits the success and length of the business on the loyalty of the customers in the Highlands and Moray. He said: “I think people in the region are fiercely loyal to Highland and Moray businesses.
“The customers are what have kept our businesses trading and it is thanks to them that we are both here today.
Both will keep their same names, and they are retaining all 14 staff between them. One of the benefits of joining together is that they are going to be able to streamline their processes, and work in tangent with one another.
Andrew said: “Where I see this collaboration working to our advantage is that we both have our own vans on the road and we will be able to streamline deliveries.
“Anything that the Moray office takes through its accounts and needs delivered to Inverness can be done by us, and vice versa.
“It will make us more efficient in terms of our deliveries to our customers.”
Not only will the partnership be more efficient for customers, but it also allows Andrew and Alan to be able to focus on different aspects of the business so that they can operate more productively.
Andrew said: “I think for the both of us, the beauty of the merger is that we can each focus on different elements of the company, rather than trying to do everything ourselves.
“The day-to-day running of both companies will come down to me, and the alignment of both will be in Alan’s hands.
“He will take a detailed look at where both companies are buying from, our prices to customers, and make sure that they are aligned across the two.
“He will continue to take a look at what our online competitors are doing and make sure we are doing everything at the best price.
“Alan’s role is to fulfil some of the tasks that always get put on the back burner.
Providing office supplies is not the only element to the business either, as they can also provide space planning for customers.
With a background in architecture, Andrew has been able to utilise his skills at the office supply company.
From large open plan offices to an office in your home, Andrew and his team can make sure that it is laid out in the most efficient and streamlined way possible.
Explaining more, Andrew said: “If someone is looking for office furniture or if we are tendering for a contract I will offer to go and do a measured survey of the space at the very outset.
“We find it really useful as it gives people a visual of what they want, and helps us demonstrate how we will maximise the office space they have.
“I recently went to a customer who thought they were going to need to move offices to fit everyone in.
“I was able to comfortably demonstrate that they wouldn’t need to, and that they could actually get more people in than they had.
“Offices quite often grow organically, and looking at it from a fresh perspective can cast a new light on it. We have found that over the last 11 years it has been helpful for winning office furniture contracts.
“If there are building works involved I can also get involved in giving contractors sizes for the location of desks, so they can put services in exactly the right place.”
Andrew’s favourite thing about working in his trade comes down to one thing. The customers.
“I am a people person, and I really appreciate when people choose to shop with us, as a lot of what we offer can be bought in other places.
“You need to take an interest in them, and make sure you continue to value them, and always remember the little things so they know you care.”
James Dow Office Supplies:
T: 01463 233417
E: sales@jamesdow.co.uk
W: www.jamesdow.co.uk
Moray Office Supplies:
T: 01343 549869
W: www.morayofficesupplies.co.uk


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