Innovative Office Solutions Buys S&T Office Products
Burnsville-based Innovative Office Solutions LLC added another chapter to its long-running narrative of growth when it acquired St. Paul-based S&T Office Products Inc.
Terms of the deal, first announced on Feb. 18, were not disclosed. The combined company will be run under the Innovative Office Solutions brand and it said the merger creates the largest independent office supplier in the Upper Midwest.
“This acquisition will combine the two strongest independent providers in the marketplace and will enable us to provide even more services and solutions to our customers, and new opportunities for our employees and supplier partners,” CEO Jennifer Smith said in a statement.
Smith, a 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, founded Innovative Office Solutions in 2001 and has presided over the company’s growth into a $50 million-plus company. That hasn’t gone unnoticed: the company has appeared on the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing privately held companies list for seven years, including the last six. The Women Presidents’ Organization has also recognized Innovative Office Solutions for four straight years on its list of 50 fastest growing women-owned/led companies. Twin Cities Business recently looked at how the Minnesota Cup is working to build a network for female entrepreneurs.
S&T’s 110 employees will stay with the new company. Prior to the merger, Innovative Office Solutions’ headcount was around 125. The deal also marks the transition into retirement for S&T CEO Frank Tschida, who founded the company in 1971.
“As I planned my retirement, I only considered selling to a market leader that would keep a focus on being a local provider to our customers and providing growth opportunities to our employees. Innovative Office Solutions was the logical choice. We were incredibly aware of the company’s growth history and visionary leadership with Jennifer Smith,” Tschida said in a statement.
Smith built Innovative Office Solutions on a “stockless” model in which she works with wholesalers rather than having a warehouse. The company also added furniture, janitorial supplies and break-room services to offset declines in traditional office supplies brought on by computers. The acquisition of S&T figures to further boost the company’s contract furniture offerings that had been a focus of the firm.