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STATIONERY NEWS: The appointment to the select panel is something of a coup for COS, which up until now had only been appointed to NSW and Western Australian government business. Why is it so significant?

DOMINIQUE LYONE: Our appointment demonstrates that an alternative does exist to the majors. In the bigger picture there is a global wave of change and this reflects the resurgence of the independent. It is very significant that an Australian independent has the ability to service a large Federal government account.

SN: How long has it taken COS to work its way onto the Federal panel?

DL: The appointment was  more or less a reward for the conscious effort made four years ago to focus on the whole of government business.

SN: What does the appointment mean for COS
in the long-term?

DL: The appointment of OfficeMax and Corporate Express was expected but our appointment is a major development for us and will make a huge difference to our operation. It’s basically a ‘hunting licence’ under the panel arrangement but the key point is that it is mandatory for major government departments at a senior level to use one of the three companies appointed.

SN: What are the terms of the contract?

DL: The contract, which was announced on 7 March, is for three years with the possibility of two one-year extensions.

SN: How has COS grown since you founded the company in 1976?

DL: COS has grown from a start-up business with entrepreneurial spirit and a vision for the future of office supply procurement in the 1970s into a market leader, supplying 15,000 plus unique products via tailored supply solutions. As Australia’s largest privately-owned office products supplier, COS has grown over the last 35 years to offer a next day delivery service to over 5000 customers across Australia.
We fulfil thousands of individual requests each day from our footprint of distribution centres across Australia’s capital and regional cities. The company remains 100 per cent Australian-owned and operated.

SN: What special services does COS provide above and beyond the normal fare?

DL: As an early adapter of e-commerce-based procurement efficiencies, approximately 15 years ago COS designed and constructed the only web-based cost-control and ordering solution specifically built for the office products industry in Australia; COSnet. COSnet continues to be an industry-leading solution recognised by multiple awards. COS also offers the industry a unique business review service as part of the Total Cost of Acquisition review. The TCA model focuses on ensuring the entire supply chain cost is analysed with proactive recommendation implemented to ensure ongoing value enhancement.