I know it doesn’t matter now, but I think the fiasco of a final conversion with Coastwide Laboratories was a key component too, maybe a bigger piece than anyone is willing to admit. Staples conversion team tried to make the final conversion seamless, but in the end it wasn’t.
The conversion involved moving customers accounts from one ordering platform to a totally different one. Old account numbers needed to be converted to totally new ones plus they needed to learn how to order supplies on a new system and use new part numbers with little to no training prior to doing it.
Tell me, how would you feel if on a Friday you placed your order like usual with no problems, but when Monday came and you tried to log on you can’t, instead a message pops up that says you need to call the number on the screen to set up your account? During the call you find out all of your shopping lists you’ve used for years are gone and previous history unavailable.
You might be patient and give them a chance to help you, but you really can’t afford to give them that much time because janitorial supplies and services aren’t something you can go without very long. In the end, you get so frustrated the decision is made to start ordering from a different vendor. For some customers, they didn’t even give Staples a chance to get it right.
Some of the Coastwide account numbers weren’t going to get converted properly and it was discovered about three weeks before the final conversion was going to take place. Larger customers had bill to and ship to account numbers, but only bill to’s were sent to Staples for conversion. By not including ship to accounts and information, the physical addresses where deliveries would to be made didn’t get sent for conversion. This happened in 2016.
This was posted by , had to bump it up because this is so rarely discusses, but it is truly one of the main reasons we lost a huge number of our customers. It's not Amazon that did us in, it was the ineptitude of our own management teams.