Staples Case Analysis

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1. How would you characterize the office supplies industry in 1985? What was the approach of large distributors and wholesalers to the small business segment? Why? Who served large accounts? (10) The office supplies industry in 1985 is highly fragmented and the market scope is broad. On the manufacturer level, there are various groups of companies that provide different categories of office supplies. On the wholesaler level, wholesalers, who are mostly large in size while few smaller ones exist, are the main distributors to big business clients and small retailers who buy in bulks either through direct channel or a network of dealers. Dealers, who vary in size, also sell directly to businesses while some dealers have retail presence. On…show more content…
Moreover, there will be trained staffs to service customers who need advice or assistance. Therefore, consumers are able to self-serve when shopping for office supplies and seek for advices when required. In order to make this concept real, Staples has to build competitive advantage through finding the right management team who are experienced in this area, looking for the right location to open their stores in order to be close to the target customers, deciding on how many staffs needed in a store to be effective, establishing a distribution channel where suppliers will cooperate according to their operations, choosing the selection of the product required and the amount inventory to keep, managing costs and be efficient all the time, and communicating their value to the target customers. A key organizational capability that Staples realizes instantly is to have an information system that can help them to manage the process better in place, which greatly contributes to increase Staples' efficiency. Such system is able to help Staples to get the right merchandise mix in order to be profitable through monitoring customers' needs, and attain low cost structure by making sure that the inventories turnover accordingly. In sum, Staples is successful in building most of its intangible and tangible asset and develop organizational capability

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