Office Depot joins group to support small business suppliers

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Office Depot has joined Supplier Connection, a group of 15 large businesses committed to driving small business growth by simplifying access to their global supply chains.

Supplier Connection streamlines the application process for small businesses seeking to become suppliers to the group. Through the web-based portal, small businesses have the opportunity to present their goods and services to many large enterprises with the goal of winning contracts, expanding business and creating jobs. In addition to its one-stop registration capabilities, the website enables small suppliers to learn from, collaborate with, and sell to each other so that they can become more competitive and successful in a bid with a large company.

“As an integral part of our diverse supply chain, it’s very important for Office Depot to help small businesses succeed,” said Brent Beabout, SVP supply chain for Office Depot. “By joining Supplier Connection, we are providing an easy way for small businesses to tell us about their products and services, so that they can potentially grow their business and ours.”

Office Depot already has several small businesses in its supply chain, including women-owned Neutral Posture, a company that manufactures, markets and distributes ergonomic chairs for computer users and other office employees; and Arbill, a distributor of personal protective equipment, supplies and apparel. The Company also hosts match-making sessions throughout the year to help promote the connection of small businesses to large companies.

The Supplier Connection program is maintained by IBM through a grant of more than $10 million from the IBM International Foundation. The program is free for both small and large businesses.

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