OFDA April 2018 Update

 Association News


IOPFDA Small Business Advocacy Fly-In - Three Weeks Left to Register

National Office Products Alliance (NOPA) and the Office Furniture Dealers Alliance (OFDA) members converge upon the nation's capital to lobby on behalf of the industry's needs each year. The fly-in is a very important activity for IOPFDA members because it places them directly across the table from their legislators and forces the lawmakers to hear the concerns of leading business operators in their districts.

Here's some topics that will be covered:

  • Fighting Amazon: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
    ​Congress recently passed a law; that could potentially allow the federal government to adopt a single Amazon business ecommerce portal for purchases of commercial off the shelf (COTS) products. Make sure your congressmen are informed on this topic and how it could affect Independent Dealers
  • Stronger Antitrust Legislation
    Educate your representatives on the harmful effects of Amazon operating as a retailer and ecommerce platform which is anti-competition and a conflict of interest​
  • New Federal Government Opportunities
    IOPFDA has spent the last 18 months working on a task force with GSA that led to the re-opening of Schedule 75 for office products. This contract has been closed to new offers for 7 years. IOPFDA played a major role in the standardization of part numbers and descriptions as well as guidelines for fair and reasonable pricing
  • Association Health Care
    The new administration has opened the door to allow sole proprietors to join Associated Healthcare Plans. IOPFDA used to provide a Health Care plan for members and we ask our members to support legislation that will fast track the reinstatement of AHP’s and other legislation that helps small businesses
  • Topics of Personal Interest
    Take this opportunity to discuss subjects of interest to you, your business, and your community

Each of these issues costs businesses billions of dollars each year. NOPA and OFDA’s fly-in gives us an opportunity to play a role in shaping business friendly solutions. Join us!

  • Dates: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - Wednesday, May 16, 2018
  • Tuesday, May 15: Industry attendees will receive a legislative update
  • from Paul Miller, IOPFDA Director of Small Business Advocacy 
  • Tuesday, May 15: Attendee Dinner
  • Wednesday, May 16: Capitol Hill visits and Debrief

IOPFDA Small Business Advocacy Fly-In registration and hotel reservations are available on the NOPA website.


IOPFDA Joins "Friend of the Court" Brief in Online Sales Tax Case

On April 17, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a case on sales tax collection that could — long after online commerce has transformed the retail sector in the United States — finally give states the authority to require online retailers to collect sales tax.

For years, state and local governments have watched as sales tax revenues have declined, and local retailers have watched as their online competitors have been allowed to play by a different set of rules. States’ options, however, have been limited by a 1992 Supreme Court decision — and subsequent inaction from Congress — that ruled that states can only require businesses with a physical presence in the state to collect state and local sales taxes.

IOPFDA has joined Advocates for Independent Business and has signed on to the legal brief giving states the authority to require sales tax collection for online purchases.

Click here to read the brief.


Attend EDspaces on Scholarship - November 7-9, 2018 in Tampa, FL

EDspaces serves education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world and to help schools and colleges drive innovation by exposing them to the latest products and services to enhance student learning. The EDspaces Scholarship Program funds registration and hotel accommodations for facility planners, superintendents, purchasing officers, and related staff employed by schools, districts, colleges and universities. 

The EDspaces 2017 Educational Facility Grant Program (renamed in 2018) provided key decision makers from more than 100 universities, community colleges and schools/districts with scholarships to attend EDspaces in Kansas City. Last year's scholarship recipients had bonds and plans for more than $12 billion in renovation and construction projects for 2018 – 2020. 

Click here to learn more about EDSpaces. 

Click here to view the scholarship application; the deadline is May 2, 2018.


We Want You! - Join a Committee

The Independent Dealer Locator, sponsored by OFDA, is the “Where to Buy” solution that drives customers to your company. As a member, your company information is listed in our online database, where anyone can search for information. This search tool is available on the OFDA website 24/7. 

The more information you include in your member profile, the more ways the customer can contact you! Update your member profile today by logging into your account on the OFDA website.


2018 Membership - Renewal period is ending!

Take an active role in OFDA. Are you passionate about advancing a robust, coordinated focus on OFDA’s vision and mission? Do you have a desire to contribute your skills to help OFDA in reaching its strategic goals? OFDA is currently calling for committee members. Previous board or committee experience is not a prerequisite. There are several committees to choose from with varying responsibilities. 

Step up and join the following committees:

  • Advocacy
  • Benchmarking
  • Scholarship

If you are interested in joining a committee, please contact OFDA headquarters.


Member Benefit: Prestige

The organization was founded in 1904 and while the association has adapted to suit the changing industry, the mission to provide independent dealers with the information, tools and knowledge they need to help them to be successful in an evolving business environment has remained the same. For over 110 years, members continue to take pride in being a member of the organization.  As an OFDA member, you get to continue this tradition and can display the "Proud Member of OFDA" logo with pride.  

  • Proud Member of OFDA Logo: Set your company apart from your competition and add the logo to your website, social media and email signature line by selecting this link.
  • OFDA Logo: Download the "OFDA" logo by selecting this link and proudly display it on your website, social media and/or email signature line to show your commitment and involvement with OFDA.
 Industry News

The articles below are highlights from this month’s news. Check out more industry news on the NOPA website.

S.P. Richards and Essendant Merger

On April 12, 2018 S.P. Richards announced their merger with Essendant.  "Together, S.P. Richards and Essendant will form a stronger, more competitive company with greater scale and service capabilities and an enhanced ability to support our customers and strengthen the independent dealer channel." 

Click here to view the letter and Supplier FAQ that S.P. Richards sent out announcing the merger. 

Click here to view the letter that Essendant sent out announcing the merger. 

A message from OFDA President and CEO, Mike Tucker: 

I have been asked by several members to share OFDA’s position on the recent merger announcement by Essendant and S.P. Richards. Based on our very large and diverse membership, it is not possible to provide an answer that all dealers would find agreeable. That said, as the president of the Association, I’m happy to offer my observations based on 35+ years in the industry. 

Prior to the announcement, dealers had the option of using two suppliers for their non-stock requirements; call one first, call the other second. Both companies are struggling financially because of the general decline of the OP category and leakage to internet re-sellers like Amazon. Not to mention the new battleground for market share with Staples, Office Depot and each other. 

The question is, are dealers better off with a single stronger and financially sound wholesale partner or two weaker suppliers who are competing with each other, Staples and Office Depot? Only the dealers can answer that question. 

As our industry continues to evolve OFDA will support the IDC, providing unbiased feedback, education and advocacy to help dealers navigate the sea of change.


Law Trump signed could benefit Amazon, big online retailers

President Trump in recent days has railed against Amazon.com, claiming it is perpetrating “a scam” and its deliveries cost the Postal Service “a fortune.” But with a law he signed late last year, Trump gave Amazon and other online retailers a huge opportunity to expand how much business they can do with the federal government. 

Under the law, federal agencies would soon be able to spend significantly more money on all sorts of commercially available products from an approved list of online retailers — without having to go through cumbersome procurement regulations. 

Click here to view full article.



If your company has news to share with NOPA membership in an upcoming e-newsletter, please email NOPA Association Coordinator, Addie Blevins. Information must be news- or event-based versus sales-related. The alliance reserves the right to print information based on our internal publication standards. Thank you for your membership in the National Office Products Alliance.

National Office Products Alliance

3601 East Joppa Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21234
E: [email protected] | P: 410-931-8100 | W: www.nopanet.org