SWOT Analysis of United Stationers

United stationers are a leading North American brand for stationeries. It is a wholesale distributer of business products and stationary. It has a large products portfolio including office furniture, business stationary, janitorial and break room supplies and many industrial products. The company also offers range of value added training and marketing programs, which helps to increase the business. United stationers were incorporated in 1922 and with number of acquisitions; it is now a large multi-billion company with turnover of 5 billion in 2011.United is headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, the US.The company’s major customers include Staples, United Stationers Supply, Lagasse, and ORS Nasco resellers.

United Stationers Strengths

United stationers have a proven brand name in its sector. It also enjoys a competitive advantage due to its brand. The large portfolio of products comprising of 100,000 items makes it a revenue machine through various sources. United also provides a number of private brands on competitive prices with reputation of quality and value. United stationers deals with side range of customers more than 2500, which are resellers presented in different geographical locations and markets. Its distribution network is also a core strength, which ships 90% of its customers overnight in US and some major cities of Mexico. Training and marketing programs like e-commerce & business solutions, end customer research etc also plays an important role for its brand image and revenue generation.

United Stationers Weaknesses

The company is not coming up with technological driven products as its competitors. Technology plays key factor for advancement.  United stationers failed to diversify unrelated and thus, its portfolio in spite having a large number of product all are related. In 2006 company sold its Canadian division and its assets. United stationers focuses on its core manufacturing, despite having a large demand of seasonal markets and demands. Large costs are associated with warehouses and other with other inventory controls.

United Stationers Opportunities

Stationery and office products are a large industry and there are many emerging opportunities every day. Recent acquisition of a technological company added a numerous opportunities regarding technological driven products. It has also a number of opportunities in services sector where already they are providing trainings. Due to large number of resellers associated as a customer with organization, it can move more globally and can cater a much larger market outside North America.  United stationers can also enter into a retail market, and can enjoy benefits due to its brand name. A proper inventory control system or more tailored ERP can be implemented to manage costs.

United Stationers Threats

There is a very valid threat of shrinking revenue, as businesses will grow more electronic. E-products will take lace of traditional stationary and paper products. There are also threats for sustainability regulators to cut the use of paper and wood, which are key materials for stationery industry. Increasing inflation and global recession are also becoming threat for this company. There also a pressure to maintain recycling products which could be environmental friendly.

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