The Milton Report


If you’ve seen “Office Space” then you are familiar with Milton. His unnatural affection for his prized stapler was the inspiration for this recurring post here at Connectivity. The Milton Report will come out periodically and is specifically designed to communicate useful product and industry information. If you are a current Staples Advantage customer, these posts are designed as a service to you! Not familiar with Staples Advantage? Not yet a customer? I’d appreciate the opportunity to meet you and learn more about your business and company.

In this post I sat down with Milton and did a little Q and A about how Staples Advantage measures quality and performance standards. Here is just some of what he had to say. (And by “sitting down with Milton” I mean pulling the information out of the database. Just so we’re clear.)

Here we go:

C:  So Milton…how does Staples Advantage measure quality and performance standards?

M:  Staples North American Delivery has a documented quality system consistent with applicable ISO 9000 standards. To ensure the highest levels of performance, service and quality across our organization, Staples has invested in creating a Continuous Improvement culture that strives for process excellence. We are continually auditing and improving our operating standards and service programs to bring you the best.

C:  Fair enough. Tell me about “The Perfect Order”.

M:  When it comes to getting what you asked for, we’re dedicated to just one outcome: delivering your order complete, correct, undamaged and on time. We call this “The Perfect Order” and it forms the basis of how we measure quality and service throughout our fulfillment and delivery operations. 

By combining sophisticated tracking with relentless attention to detail, we’ve made it our mission to achieve a perfect order 100% of the time. Our highly automated fulfillment centers help ensure order accuracy, and we receive automated business and customer notification when quality process exceptions occur. As a result of process efficiencies and new technology, we’ve steadily increased our Perfect Order rate year after year, which means our customers are experiencing the highest service levels ever

C:  Explain “fill rate” and how Staples Advantage differs from the industry on this measurement.

M:  This measures the percent of complete orders we ship from our fulfillment centers (orders that can be fulfilled entirely from stock we have on hand, without the need to backorder). Some companies measure fill rate by percent of units fulfilled per order, but we hold ourselves to stricter standards counting any order as 0% filled if it’s missing even one item. By maintaining a high fill rate, we ensure that you’ll get the products you order, when you want them, without having to substitute or wait for them to arrive at our warehouses first. Our current year-to-date fill rate is 97.7% (versus 97.2% last year).

C:   Thanks for having us out to the beach house. Last question. Explain the “One and Done” approach to customer service quality.

M:  You want your customer service questions resolved on the spot, the first time, without having to call back or be transferred to someone else. To deliver that experience, Staples has built a “One and Done” customer service culture. Our goal is to create an experience where customers receive satisfaction with a single contact at least 95% of the time.

 “One and Done” is how we measure our customer service performance and the standard by which we train our Customer Service Representatives (CSR). We conduct regular audits to assess our customer service teams’ performance and identify process improvements to make the experience even easier.

C:  Wow. Thanks. That was easy.

M:  Nobody ever makes THAT joke.

Back to your regularly scheduled day…already in progress. Thanks for playing along…


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