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Keeney’s News

June is National Safety Month, so it’s a great time to inventory the safety supplies you currently have, ensure you are compliant with safety codes and order everything you need to have on hand in case of emergency. No matter the size of your company or the type of work you do, ensuring your employees are safe should be your first priority. Here are a few items every office should have:

First Aid Kit
First aid kits are regarded as essential features in any office as they are an important first line of defense that can provide immediate help in most medical emergencies. A typical kit may consist of items like bandage, gauze, ointment, or antiseptic. Depending on your line of work, you can always customize what is in your kit.

Shop First Aid Kits

Biohazard Kit
A biohazard kit is equipped with materials required to dispose of waste that is considered to be dangerous or contagious. As there are different kinds of biohazardous waste, there are different types of biohazard kits.

Shop Biohazard Supplies

Fire Extinguisher
Clear out small, manageable fires with fire extinguishers. There should be an extinguisher on every office floor and it should be visible and easily accessible. Make sure your employees know where the fire extinguisher is and that they understand how to use a fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency.

Shop Fire Extinguishers and Signage

In addition to stocking your safety supplies, make your office a safe environment by keeping it clean and clear, ensuring your staff has proper training on the equipment they are using and providing workers with ergonomic work stations. At the end of the day, the better prepared you are, the safer your business will be. For assistance selecting the right safety supplies for your office, contact your designated sales rep or our customer service team at info@keeneys.com.

Every business lays claim to offering superb customer service. Small office supply businesses that have survived the Costco wave, the Office Depot/Staples wave and now the Amazon wave can probably lay claim to actually providing a high level of service – but the words themselves are empty now, so let’s talk about what it really means to the customer to do business with a truly “customer-centric” provider.

Several years ago, Amazon.com started coming up at the top of the list on surveys regarding customer service. This shocked us because there is no human touch with Amazon, and we are all about providing a level of care and understanding that can only come from human contact and conversation. But Amazon was so consistent in its delivery schedule, so advanced in its webstore, and so brilliant at getting favorable press – they actually redefined the customer’s definition of “customer service.” This rocked our world. We made sure our web store was great, we made sure our customers could track their deliveries, and we kept our level of service through personal contact as high as we could.

Today, several major news outlets broke a story that Amazon has an unstated policy that a customer who returns too high a percentage of their purchases (anecdotally, it seems to be around 10%) – or returns purchases for atypical reasons – can get banned from Amazon, even if they own outstanding credits, gift cards, etc.

We take customer returns seriously, too – and a 10% credit rate is high. But our interpretation of what a high return rate means is very different, and the difference is key to understanding what real customer service can mean to a consumer. Amazon sees a high rate of returns, and they think “abuse and fraud,” so they ban the customer. We see a high rate of return (honestly, not very often – but it happens) and we think “we could do better for this customer.” We meet with them, we understand why the items were returned, and we figure out how to help that customer buy the right item the first time. Returns are expensive for us but they are also expensive for the customer – we’d rather solve the problem with the customer than solve the problem by rejecting the customer.

So when we talk about extraordinary customer service, it comes from a deep place of commitment. We walk that talk. Demand that your supplier is focused on your bottom line, not just their own.

Butch T. Cougar trying out the Safco Balance Board

Several years ago, the office furniture industry declared that “sitting is the new smoking.” As we learn more about the human body at work, and as more studies have come out, it has become clear that the key to a healthier workstation is that it promotes movement – not simply standing, but changing from sitting to standing several times throughout the day. Moving around the space, taking breaks, going ta different part of the office (or going outside) or scheduling walking meetings all help to fight the unhealthy, sedentary work day that those studies said would contribute to our early deaths.

Desks that adjust to allow workers to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day are tremendously helpful in combatting health problems from back pain to obesity, high blood pressure, fatigue and diabetes. Taking it to a whole new level, some companies have combined fitness equipment with workstations, resulting in mixed reviews. The treadmill desk was a pretty short lived sensation; while it definitely promoted movement at work, it also was found to decrease accuracy and increase the chance of workplace injury.

To create the best possible work environment, we are always looking for furniture that promotes movement and promotes postural variation throughout the day. We are selling more sit/stand desks than ever along with an increasing number of perching stools that allow a third posture at a desk, one that promotes a healthy back position but also relieves pressure on the worker’s knees.

We offer anti-fatigue mats to ease the stress of standing for more than an hour at a time.

Recently, we have begun offering the Safco Balance Board, a standing desk accessory that combines the benefits of a ball chair (you have to engage core muscles to stay upright and working on a balance board) with the benefits of an anti-fatigue mat (the balance board is made of a firm but springy plastic that is much easier on the joints than a hard concrete or wooden floor). The balance board is fun, too – it looks like a big skateboard.

We continue to monitor the innovation in the office furniture world because we care about the health and well being of every employee working with every one of our customers. Please let us know if we can help you make your office a healthier, friendlier environment.

Tracking your company’s supply inventory can be tedious and time consuming work, but it’s vital to running a business. Since managing the supply room is not typically not anyone’s sole responsibility, it is often forgotten or little thought is put into ordering the supplies. By hiring a professional to manage this task, the desired inventory levels are preserved, the supplies are put away in the correct places and over time you will be able to see an accurate spend on day-to-day supplies. Utilizing outside help also frees up time for your staff and allows them to focus on the tasks they were hired to do.

Benefits of Professional Inventory Management:

Inventory Levels

Running out of essential supplies like paper can halt the work in your office so making sure inventory levels are maintained is very important. Ordering too much of a specific product is also a problem as it isn’t an efficient use of funds and takes up valuable storage space. With professional inventory management, the supplies you are low on are ordered each week so the supply room is always stocked with the necessary items.

Clean and Organized

Hiring a professional to maintain your inventory will help to keep your supply room neat and ordered. Since the same person is putting away your orders each week, items will go in the same place so everything is easy to find. Empty boxes are removed so you can see what’s available at a glance and supplies are stored in organized bins and shelves.

Accurate Budget

When supplies are maintained at a consistent level, it is easier monitor how much of a particular item you use each month and budget for supplies accordingly. With business reviews of your inventory management, you can evaluate if the quantity standards you set are accurate and adjust quantities of each product kept on hand.

 

If your company needs assistance maintaining consistent levels of office products, your supply room is a mess or you would like to define a clear budget for your office supplies, visit our website to see how Keeney’s can help!

There are many economic reasons for shopping local; creating jobs in your town, keeping money in the community, better for the environment. But how do you personally benefit from choosing a local business over a big box store?

Personalized Service

Doing business with a nearby company likely means that you personally know the owner or at least a few members of the team. When you have a relationship with a business, the people helping you are more knowledgeable about your needs and are better able to assist you. A local business is also more likely to bring items into stock that you frequently purchase for a more convenient experience.

Reliable Deliveries

Ever order something online that NEEDS to arrive by a certain date and then doesn’t? Why is your order being delayed by the storm on the East Coast when you live in Washington? Buying local means that your order is coming from somewhere nearby so it is more likely to arrive on-time and in good condidtion. Local delivery drivers that frequent your business or home also know where packages should to go and who needs to sign for them.

Better Customer Service

If you’ve ever dealt with a large corporation, you know getting help can be a nightmare. You’ll call a 1-800 number, only to be transferred several times and put on hold. Even when you speak to a customer service representative, that person is so far removed from the decision-making process, there’s little concern that the company will lose you as a customer. When you shop local, the business owner is usually directly connected to every employee in the store. That leads to a personal approach that often means any problem you have is taken seriously.

Small businesses are also hiring for quality, not quantity so the team you work with is knowledgeable about the products and services they are selling. With a local business, you are also likely to be assisted by the same people, so you’re greeted with a friendly face (or voice!)

Having a booth at a tradeshow is a both an investment of your time and money so you want to get the most out of the event. To prepare, consider how your information will be displayed, what items you will hand out and what information you want to relay to attendees visiting your exhibit. Here are a few tips to ensure a successful tradeshow:

Setup Attention Grabbing Displays

To help your booth stand out, add colorful tablecloths and tabletop décor. Large scale signs with your name and logo draw attendees in and help those who are looking for your booth to locate it quickly. Video monitors displaying your products and services can also help get attention and double as a useful sales tool once attendees are engaged.

Bring Giveaways & Sales Materials

Have plenty of giveaways at you booth! Stock up on pens, notepads, drinkware and other fun logoed handouts to help your visitors remember your company.   Offering drinks or snacks will also send people your way. (Bonus if the packaging contains your company information!) Check out our promo store to get ideas for branded items: http://promoplace.com/keeneysofficesupply

Creating a drawing for a prize brings people to your booth and helps to get follow-up contact information. Make sure you also bring lots of business cards and company brochures so attendees can get in touch with you after the show.

Staff your Booth with a Knowledgeable Team

Having a team on-site that knows your product or services well is essential to a having a successful tradeshow experience. It helps in creating more engaging conversation with potential customers and shows that your company has expertise in your field. Be ready to demo any products you are showcasing and bring handouts for attendees that are interested in learning more.

OFS First Office Boost Ottoman

In today’s world, it’s important to have an office space that functions according to your business’s needs and enhances the performance of those who work within its walls. This is why the design of your office is so important and why trends are constantly changing and adapting to the demands of businesses. It directly impacts our ability to work and be at our most productive, attentive, and creative every day that we step foot in our workplace. Office furniture trends to look for in 2018 include cozy lounge areas, collaborative spaces, colorful accents and a focus on wellness.

Hints of Comfort from Home

Global River Series

With wireless technology, it is not possible to move around during the workday and for employees to work in more comfortable spaces. Having a dedicated lounge area allows for a casual meeting environment and makes work more enjoyable.

Flexible Layouts

AIS Aloft Workstations

Flexibility is a growing trend as traditional office spaces, planned in advance with permanent layouts, are giving way to the needs of an ever-changing work landscape. Many new products are designed to be mixed, stacked and moved around, offering options for a dynamic and collaborative workplace.

Standing Workspaces

ergoCentric height adjustable bases

Standing at your during the workday is becoming increasingly popular due to the health benefits. Studies have shown that standing at your desk increases productivity and minimizes health risks like diabetes, obesity, heart disease and back pain.

Bright and Colorful

ergoCentric airCentric

Adding color to an office changes the mood of a space and makes it more inviting. In addition, companies are able to use their logo colors to tie the brand image into their office space. The 2018 Pantone Color of the Year is Ultra Violet, so keep an eye out for extra pops of purple in Huskies territory.

January is always filled with News Year’s resolutions. Your goals for the year are likely to include making healthier choices, trying new things or improving your financial situation.  But what about your workplace goals? Making a few small changes at work can help to increase your productivity, decrease your stress and make you more valuable at your company. Implement a few of the changes below to become a happier, better employee in 2018.

Take regular breaks

It sounds counterintuitive, but taking scheduled breaks can actually help improve concentration. Some research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance; while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance. If possible, build in set times during the week for taking a walk or going to the gym. Getting your blood pumping could be just what’s needed to clear your head and get your focus back.

Set self-imposed deadlines

While we usually think of a stress as a bad thing, a manageable level of self-imposed stress can actually be helpful in terms of giving us focus and helping us meet our goals. For open-ended tasks or projects, try giving yourself a deadline, and then stick to it. You may be surprised to discover just how focused and productive you can be when you’re watching the clock.

Quit multitasking

While we tend to think of the ability to multitask as an important skill for increasing efficiency, the opposite may in fact be true. Psychologists have found attempting to do several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity. Instead, make a habit of committing to a single task before moving on to your next project.

Turn off notifications

No one can be expected to resist the allure of an email, voicemail, or text notification. During work hours, turn off your notifications, and instead build in time to check email and messages. Allowing incoming phone calls and emails to dictate how you spend your day will mean you do a great job of putting out fires but that may be all you get accomplished.

Give yourself something nice to look at

It may sound unlikely, but some research shows outfitting an office with aesthetically pleasing elements can increase productivity by up to 15 percent.  Decorate your office space with pictures, candles, flowers, or anything else that puts a smile on your face.

Whiteboard

On a weekly basis, I am forwarded emails from supervisors and management with glowing compliments about the Keeney’s team. After using some of the customer feedback for a recent proposal, we decided these praises should be shared with the entire staff, as a reminder of the great work everyone does each day. As I began copying each email to the large glass board in the breakroom, I noticed a common theme. Although we offer competitive pricing, a wide variety of products and free delivery, none of the comments were about that. Over and over, the level of personal touch, friendly interactions and attentive service were highlighted.

“I really appreciate you going the extra mile for us! Again, your stellar customer service is most appreciated.”

“Your install team was just great…professional and courteous through the whole process. They did an awesome job.”

“The Keeney’s team really cannot be beat – The pinnacle of customer service!”

“Just when I think I’ve met all of the wonderful people at Keeney’s you surprise me with another one!”

At the end of the day, Keeney’s and other small, local businesses offer something that the big box stores and online retailers can’t compete with: a personal touch. When customers have questions, they talk to the same three, knowledgeable customer service reps that know customers’ children’s names and upcoming vacation plans. Each time a customer places an order, they have the comfort of knowing that the same delivery driver who knows exactly where they like their supplies placed will be there with a big smile on their face and a friendly greeting. When a new office is being setup, the customer knows the experienced install team will be on time and will ensure everything is perfect before they leave. Customers want to buy personal and I believe that have been a contributing factor to Keeney’s customer retention for 70 years and counting.

Lindsey Thompson, Marketing Specialist

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