HOUGHTON - From paper clips and toner cartridges to janitorial and breakroom supplies, Office Express U.P. of Houghton has all the products you need to outfit your workplace.
"We've got a catalog that has about 25,000 items in it," owner Jack Ham said, adding that his business isn't a "walk-in store" where customers drop in and shop. "Customers can either call, email or fax us and we'll research what they need, compare prices for them, place the order and deliver."
Delivery is free for customers in Hancock, Houghton, Chassell and Calumet. For customers outside the area, Office Express can do a UPS drop ship.
Christine Cavis, the office supply salesperson for Office Express U.P. of Houghton, conducts online research on a number of products for a customer.
"There's a minimal charge for that, but it's a lot less than what it would be for them to drive into town," Jack said. "I do quite a bit of business in Baraga and I've got some customers in Copper Harbor."
To receive a catalog, customers can call Office Express (487-9752) or they can visit biggestbook.com to view the office supplies online.
"Everything that's on that Web site is in our catalog," Jack said. "Say for example someone is looking for a toner for their Canon copier but they don't know what toner they need. They can go to that Web site, put in Canon copier and it will show all the supplies. So, they can do their own research if they want or they can call Christine and have her do it."
Christine Cavis is the business's office supply salesperson and she is highly knowledgeable about the products customers will find in the catalog.
"Sometimes customers don't understand or know exactly what they need," Jack said. "All they need to do is call Christine and she can do all the research for them, find out the parts and pieces and go from there."
While a large portion of Jack's customer base is commercial, he said anyone can call for supplies.
Office Express doesn't keep a large inventory of items in stock. Instead, Jack said they place orders as they come in and usually the items arrive within a day or two.
For customers who go though a particular item more frequently, Office Express will keep that item in stock for their convenience.
"Let's say they have a toner they go through three times a month but they don't want to store the toners at their business," Jack said. "We'll order enough of them and keep it in stock so it's always ready for them."
In addition to office supplies, Office Express specializes in office furniture and Jack said he offers free design and layout advice for customers.
"For a new office, or for someone who is looking to update their old furniture, all they have to do is call me and I will go to their office, take measurements and provide them with a top down and a 3-D drawing of how the furniture would fit in their office," he said. "That way they know everything is going to fit the way they want."
Jack, who has been selling office furniture locally for the past 15 years, said there's a misconception that in order to find less expensive furniture, customers shop at big chain stores.
"We offer the same prices and we have very professional looking furniture for those who want to spend more," he said. "We have furniture for everything from restaurants to offices. We've got lounge furniture, desks, about a thousand different types of chairs, auditorium seating, health care furniture ... things that people wouldn't believe are available out there."
For customers with physical limitations, Office Express has specialized products for them as well.
Jack said what sets Office Express apart from other office supply stores, is the personal service his customers receive day in and day out.
"It's the willingness to go above and beyond and help the customer," he said. "We come out to their business, help make decisions as to what would work best for their situation and we customize. We can get customized furniture to fit their needs."
On top of that, delivery is free.
"On our office supply end, there are no-hassle returns," he added.
Jack takes pride in selling quality products. In fact, it's that aspect of business that he feels has led to his success.
"I don't like having to go back and fix stuff," he said. "And, customers don't like products that break."
Office Express U.P. is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and weekends by appointment. For more information, or to place an order, call 487-9752; fax 487-9781; or email Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jack at email@example.com.
Office Express is in the process of updating its Web site officeexpressup.com.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Office Express U.P. of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.