PYMBLE, NSW, February 2016 – Back in 1999 Office National formed by merging three dealer groups: Office Force, Office Network and A.P.T. The motivation of each was clear, together their combined purchasing power would improve, the cost of producing catalogues and managing data would improve due to the economies of scale and become more cost effective. Together, they could create additional marketing initiatives, not otherwise financially viable through their individual Groups.

The logic for consolidating resources remains as solid today, as it did back then. This logic has underpinned discussions between Office Brands and Office Power Australia group in recent months.

The founders and current Directors of Office Power Australia (OPA), Lia Michael, Phillip Michael, Greg Sheehan and Chris Macris, are extremely passionate about the OPA members. Throughout our discussions, they were clearly motivated to enable their members to access to an expanded range of services and marketing options, many of which they realised would be difficult to grow within their existing structure. By combining with Office Brands, OPA members can choose to retain their existing structure, their brand and their way of doing business. Additionally, they may consider options to take on a number of other new services to drive their businesses in totally new ways.

Office Brands has made significant investments in new marketing technology over the last 12 months, including new brand messaging, new Marketing Automation programs, which tailor marketing to each individual customer, applying a personalised “journey”. Office Brands has also expanded its database, with best practice product profiling and “Endless Aisle” capability. In addition, Office Brands will unveil an entirely new website User Experience, developed by one of Australia’s best UX practitioners, at this year’s Expo event, plus an entirely new best practice SEO partner, with more yet to come.

All these initiatives require a significant investment, that for most stores and Groups are simply not affordable. With the ability to work with the Office Power members, as well as our existing strong membership base, Office Brands can potentially spread these costs and make further investment possible, with the vision of best practice digital personalised marketing experience a real option for all our members, in each of our Groups.

The OPA group is a great fit within Office Brands’ existing O-Net group and Office Brands looks forward to ways in which it can maximise opportunities for this combined Group of like-minded stores. There is no doubt that the additional buying power will also assist all Office Brands members improve their purchasing power.

Office Brands will officially start working with the Office Power members from 1 October 2015, however we will certainly be actively contacting each OPA member to ensure they are well informed about the path forward. Importantly, there will be no rushed changes, with everyone able to continue to do business in the same way they currently operate.

We hope that many OPA members take up the opportunity to attend this year’s Office Brands Expo event at Royal Pines Resort in Queensland from 23 to 25 October 2015. We have a range of exciting new initiatives this year, including a unique program developed especially for our sales teams. I am sure this will present a great opportunity for each member to understand the full scope of the Group and the benefits of our strategic direction for the next three years.

Office Brands has had a strong year for membership in all Groups. The addition of the 36 OPA members, will mean we have welcomed a total of 52 new businesses to the Group over the last 12 months, taking our total membership to 192, providing Office Brands with vast coverage and an excellent base from which to continue to invest in the journey of becoming “best in class” in its market segment.

This is a very positive step for Office Brands and we hope that Office Power Australia members are equally excited by the opportunity to work together over the coming months.