Office360 has gone through a few makeovers since it opened as Atlas Office Supply in the 1960s. In 1998, the company was sold to Boise Cascade. The three former Atlas owners—Scott, Steve and Lenny Nahmias—stayed on with Boise for a few years. By 2004, they had all left Boise and opened NowRecords, a document management company, which they sold in 2012. However, before this, in 2008, they decided to get back into office supplies and bought The Office Mart in Fishers, Indiana. In 2010, the company’s name was changed to Office360.
Today, the company enjoys annual sales of an estimated $80 million, selling primarily to the healthcare, legal, state government and nonprofit and commercial markets throughout Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and parts of Michigan, along with some national accounts.
Office360’s principals know the main reasons for the company’s success.
“We are unique in that we do our own IT, including writing all our code for the front and back of our website, rather than relying on a third party,” says Steve. “This allows us to customize our site and do special things for our customers with a fast turnaround time.”
Scott adds: “If we had to send the customizations to a third party, it could take three months and cost a fortune. Having IT staff allows us to implement special programs quickly and is much less expensive.”
Another “secret” that has propelled Office360 to success is the excellent reputation Atlas enjoyed. “When people heard we were getting back into the industry, we were able to bring back many of our senior management, former employees and even some of our competition who wanted to work with us,” Steve explains. “So we have a knowledgeable team.”
On this front, both principals feel strongly about employing specialists. “In my opinion, having specialists on staff is essential to growth,” Steve elaborates. “We don’t expect our sales reps to be experts in breakroom, furniture, janitorial supplies, promotions and office products. Our reps’ job is to get in the door, then bring the specialists with them.”
Scott agrees: “Our sales reps sell Office360; their job is to get us in the door and build relationships.”
The brothers also believe “buy local” has helped. “The Midwest is very open to buying local,” says Scott. “And we are in a sweet spot between a mom-and-pop company and the big box stores. We have the sophistication of a big company to handle tech needs, but we offer clients a local customer service experience.”
According to Steve, the company’s community work is a further point of distinction: “Community plays a big role in our success. When people buy from us through our Partners in Giving program, the rebates go to nonprofit organizations.”
And the company’s marketing function has done much to promote awareness of these advantages among actual and potential customers. “Marketing is incredibly important, especially in today’s society,” emphasizes Scott; while Adeline agrees: “In today’s competitive market, businesses need to keep their brands out there in front of current customers and prospects.”
According to Adeline, Office360 is active on social media, posting on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram two to three times a week. “It’s important to have your brand recognized on social media,” she explains. “If someone is looking for your company and doesn’t find you on social media, it’s a red flag, especially when you are marketing to millennials.”
“Success also requires a good company culture,” she continues. “We have a relaxed, professional culture. People are happy doing their work; many coworkers have formed close personal relationships. A lot of companies have a hierarchy that makes it hard for employees to feel involved. The owners here are transparent; they have an open door, which helps communication. There’s no red tape—it’s not necessary.”
Company name: Office360
Headquarters: Indianapolis, Indiana
Top management: Scott, Steve and Lenny Nahmias, principals; Adeline Border, marketing manager
Annual sales: $80 million
First-call wholesaler: Essendant
Number of employees: 150
Online ordering: 94%