Significant savings expected as Staples takes over as U-M’s new strategic supplier for office supplies

After an in-depth evaluation process, Procurement Services awarded U-M’s strategic supplier contract for office supplies to Staples, effective November 1, 2020. A cross-functional team composed of representatives from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses as well as Michigan Medicine and the Office of Campus Sustainability selected Staples, with a special focus on pricing and customer service. A webinar on the new Staples contract is scheduled later this month.  

Based on previous spending trends at U-M, the new contract with Staples could save the university approximately $2 million each year. The new arrangement with Staples replaced a contract that U-M had with Office Depot.

To make the transition to Staples as easy as possible for units, Procurement Services has developed a webpage that includes a variety of helpful information about the new contract, including:

  • Staples and Procurement Services contact information
  • An FAQ document
  • A conversion table to assist customers in locating the new Staples SKU numbers for some of the most commonly purchased items
  • A job aid to assist customers in navigating the online catalog 

“The university’s new contract with Staples offers the U-M community a variety of very tangible benefits, including discounts on the entire Staples catalog and even deeper discounts on over 1,200 commonly purchased items,” said Melissa Sambiagio, senior procurement agent. “Staples also offered an expanded list of green products, which will go a long way in supporting U-M’s sustainability initiative.

Under the new arrangement with Staples—and as part of an ongoing effort by Procurement Services to provide increased customer service and maximum savings through a variety of strategic suppliers—purchases of the following equipment and supplies are now being handled by specific teams within Procurement Services: 

“By using U-M’s strategic suppliers and working with the teams in Procurement Services that have direct category experience and expertise, our customers can take advantage of consolidated pricing and receive an increased level of customer service,” Sambiagio said. 

Delivery personnel from Staples have been completing walk-throughs of buildings and docks to ensure that the delivery needs of each unit are met. “We encourage customers across the university to be patient as Staples learns delivery points and deals with access challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ian Pepper, contract administrator. “If you do have an urgent or unresolved issue related to Staples, please contact Procurement Services for assistance.” 

Attend a webinar on the new Staples contract!

At the webinar, you'll learn more about Staples, get an overview of the new catalog features, hear some cost-saving tips, and meet the dedicated U-M Staples Team. You can also ask a question in advance of the webinar by completing this form.

Here are the details for the webinar:

  • November 17, 2020 
  • 1:30 to 2:30 pm  

Zoom Info:

If calling in via phone:  
  • Meeting ID: 922 2934 1854
  • One tap mobile:
    • +13126266799,,92229341854# US (Chicago)
    • +13462487799,,92229341854# US (Houston)

We look forward to seeing you!