Bell Atlantic Presents Office Depot With Supplier Excellence Award

Bell Atlantic Presents Office Depot With Supplier Excellence Award

Company Receives High Marks for Diversity of Suppliers and Customer Service Bell Atlantic Presents Office Depot With Supplier Excellence Award

June 7, 2000


Sharon Beadle, Bell Atlantic,

Eileen Dunn, Office Depot,

NEW YORK - Office Depot, of Delray Beach, Fla., has won the Bell Atlantic Supplier Excellence Award for outstanding customer service.

Office Depot, one of the world's largest sellers of office products, is among five winners selected from 6,500 Bell Atlantic suppliers. Office Depot provides the Bell Atlantic Directory Group with standard office supplies such as pens and paper as well as thousands of dollars worth of special request orders.

Office Depot Regional Sales Director Jim Pollman will accept the award at Office Depot's facility in Billerica, Mass., at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 8. Bell Atlantic's Tom Buzi, Directory Group acting chief finance officer, will present the award. Following the presentation, participants will tour the 170,000-square-foot warehouse from which all Bell Atlantic orders in New England are shipped.

(EDITORS NOTE: Members of the media interested in attending the award celebration and/or warehouse tour should call Sharon Beadle at 212-395-1802.)

"Our suppliers play a vital role in Bell Atlantic's mission to care for our customers and in reaching our business goals," said Buzi. "Office Depot helps us meet our commitment to increase spending with diversified suppliers by actively recruiting them, identifying them on their website and catalog, and by coordinating a trade show with those suppliers for us.

"The Supplier Excellence Awards program enables Bell Atlantic to recognize such companies for their dedication to excellence," Buzi said.

In 1999, 20 percent of supplies Office Depot provided to Bell Atlantic-nearly $250,000 worth-were acquired from minority or women-owned vendors. The goal for this year is 40 percent.

In addition to helping Bell Atlantic open its markets to minority vendors, Office Depot is recognized for quality customer service. The company had an on-time delivery rate of 97 percent and a product-return rate of less than one-tenth of one percent.

"Office Depot is honored to receive the Bell Atlantic Supplier Excellence Award. Bell Atlantic has been a great partner in giving our team the opportunity to present and execute solutions to meet their organization's key strategic initiatives," said Pollman. "We are looking forward to working with the Bell Atlantic team to achieve our goals and objectives for 2000."

Suppliers are judged on key performance attributes-including quality, responsiveness, delivery and customer satisfaction-for the products and services they provide to Bell Atlantic.

The annual Supplier Excellence Awards program enables Bell Atlantic to thank the winners publicly for their hard work and dedication to excellence, which help Bell Atlantic maintain its position as a market leader. In addition, the award encourages other suppliers to raise their level of performance.

The other winners of this year's Bell Atlantic Supplier Excellence Award are:

  • JBA Consulting, Inc., Greensboro, N.C.
  • Premium Electric, Inc., Clifton, N.J.
  • The Resource Connection, Middleton, Mass.
  • Telamon Corp., Indianapolis, Ind.

As of March 25, 2000, Office Depot, Inc., the world's largest seller of office products, operated 836 office supply superstores in the United States and Canada, a U.S. business-to-business delivery network supported by 30 delivery centers, more than 60 sales offices, and seven regional call centers. In addition, the Company owned and operated 26 office supply stores in France and 6 in Japan; had mail order and delivery operations in 14 countries outside of the United States and Canada supported by 17 customer delivery centers and 15 customer call centers. Under joint venture and licensing agreements, the Company had 89 additional stores operating under the Office Depot name in six foreign countries. Office Depot also operates an award-winning U.S. Internet site at www.officedepot.com where customers can access Office Depot's low competitive prices seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and it operates global Web sites at www.vikingop.com, www.viking-direct.co.uk, www.viking.de, and www.vikingdirect.nl. Office
Depot's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index and the Fortune Global 500.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With more than 44 million telephone access lines and more than 20 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.