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FAQ

Supply Chain Diversity Program FAQ's

Office Depot is committed to improving the industrial climate as well as improving the economic growth and development of the communities, in which we live and serve. To this end we have established a dedicated Supply Chain Diversity Team whose ultimate goal is to facilitate the accomplishment of this endeavor. As a company we are increasing our effort to recruit, mentor, train and retain historically underutilized businesses. Office Depot is dedicated to increasing the amount of product and services that we obtain directly from HUBs.

1. What does MWDVE and HUB mean?

  • MWDVE - Minority, Woman, Disabled, or Veteran Enterprise.
  • HUB - Historically Underutilized Businesses include minority-owned, women-owned, disabled-owned, veteran-owned, and small (SBA 8(a), SDB, and HUB Zone) businesses. Please note that for Office Depot to consider a business as a HUB business it must be certified an accepted third-party certifying body. The third-party certifications we accept include: Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Small Business Administration (SBA), and state or national disabled and/or veteran certification.

2. What is the Supply Chain Diversity Program?

  • Office Depot is committed to the economic development of the communities in which we work and live. This commitment is evident in our industry-leading multi-dimensional approach to the development of Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs).
  • Our Supply Chain Diversity Program assists HUBs in building community, business, and customer relationships that inspire organizational growth and empowerment within every aspect of our business.
  • Office Depot is proud to offer the most comprehensive Supply Chain Diversity model of its kind, in order to give HUBs the best opportunities to grow and prosper. We actively seek out promising HUBs to ensure equal opportunity in our supplier selection process.
  • Our program is made up of three dimensions: Vendor Diversity, Supplier Diversity, and Tier One referred to comprehensively as Supply Chain Diversity.

3. What businesses are eligible for certification through Supply Chain Diversity?

  • Office Depot does not certify businesses. We work closely with a few organizations that certify companies as HUBs.
  • Any business that is certified through the NMSDC, WBENC, the state, or SBA as (respectively):
    • MBE businesses - any for profit business regardless of size located in the United States or it's trust territories which has been certified through the NMSDC as being at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a Minority person who is also a US citizen. Minority is defined as Asian Indian, Asian Pacific, African-American, Hispanic and Native American.
    • WBE businesses - any for profit business regardless of size located in the United States or it's trust territories which has been certified through its State as being at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a Woman who is also a US citizen. A woman owned business is one owned by one or more women regardless of ethnic origin that is certified by WBENC.
    • DVE businesses - any for profit business regardless of size located in the United States or it's trust territories which has been certified through its state as being at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a Disabled Veteran, a blind or severely handicapped person who is also a US citizen. A disabled owned business is one owned by one or more disabled persons with a permanent mental or physical impairment. To be considered a DVE business, a business must be certified by a state agency.
    • Small businesses - any for profit business that is defined as a small business by the Small Business Administration. A more specific definition can be found on the SBA's website (www.sba.gov). Depending on the industry the size regulations may differ. To be considered a small business, a business must have the SBA certification.

4. How can I become certified?

  • Please contact the NMSDC, WBENC, or the SBA for the affiliate nearest to you.
    • NMSDC
      1040 Avenue of the Americas, Second Floor, New York, New York 10018
      Tel: 212-944-2430 Fax: 212-719-9611
      Website: www.nmsdcus.org
    • WBENC
      1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20036
      Phone: (202) 872-5515 - Fax: (202) 872-5505
      Website: www.wbenc.org
    • SBA
      409 3rd Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20416
      Phone: (800) U-ASK-SBA 
      Website: www.sba.gov

5. Does Office Depot guarantee contracts for HUBs?

  • Our commitment is to provide opportunities and include HUBs in our procurement process. We cannot guarantee contracts.

6. Is Office Depot considered a Minority or Woman Vendor?

  • No, Office Depot is not a Minority or Woman company. However, we facilitate the procurement process so that our contract customers may receive Tier-two credit based on their choice of product, enabling them to meet their minority spending goals. We also have Tier One opportunities available for customers who are interested.

7. I have heard people mention Tier-one credit and Tier-two credit, what do these terms mean?

  • Tier-one Credit - a credit that companies receive for purchasing directly from a HUB. Office Depot is not a minority- or woman-owned company, so our customers cannot receive this credit for purchasing from us; however, they can receive Tier-two credit.

    Office Depot has implemented a Tier One Program for our contract customers that need to receive Tier-one Credit. Please click here for additional information on our Tier One Program.

  • Tier-two Credit - a credit that companies receive for purchasing HUB products or services indirectly through a supplier. By purchasing products or services of HUBs through Office Depot, our customers receive Tier-two credit. The products that meet this credit's requirement are managed by the Vendor Diversity Team. Please click here for additional information on the Vendor Diversity Process.

8. How does the Supply Chain Diversity Team ensure that HUBs are included in the supplier selection process?

  • We have developed an internal process to identify, attract, and retain historically underutilized businesses as suppliers.
  • We attend trade fairs, seminars, and business card exchanges sponsored by National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the Small Business Administration (SBA), and other affiliated councils to identify and establish contact with minority businesses.

9. How does a HUBs start a business relationship with Office Depot?

  • Supply Chain Diversity currently has three dimensions within its scope: Supplier Diversity, Vendor Diversity, and Tier One.
  • There are two types of suppliers: those with products and services for resale (Vendor Diversity) and those with products and services for internal use (Supplier Diversity).

Vendor Diversity

  • Vendors with products or services they want to resell through Office Depot.

Supplier Diversity

  • All suppliers must be registered with Diversity Information Resources.

Tier One

  • The goal of the Office Depot Tier One Program is to develop a nationally-scoped network of viable, independently-owned HUBs. Please click here for additional information.

Click Here for additional information on registering with Office Depot's Supply Chain Diversity program. We have established one point of contact for all HUBs:supplychaindiversity@officedepot.com

10. Who can I talk to about my ideas/concepts, patents, products, solutions, etc. that can help Office Depot achieve its goals and objectives?

Office Depot frequently receives requests from individuals not employed by our company who wish for us to review information that they believe would be valuable for use in some phase of Office Depot's business. Our experience has shown us that the best way to review this type of proposal while avoiding any potential misunderstandings is for Office Depot to only review information that is publicly disclosed in the form of a filed utility patent application or issued utility patent. Therefore, Office Depot will not accept for review any of the following documents:

  • Unpatented ideas or information (including documents filed through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Document Disclosure program);
  • Unfiled patent applications;
  • Design patents, including design patent applications;
  • Provisional patent applications;
  • Copyrights, including copyrighted materials, applications to register copyrights, and copyright registrations;
  • Trademarks, including trademark registrations;
  • Promotional materials; and
  • Any type of explanatory materials, including studies, reports, newspaper articles or photographs. If you submit any of these eight categories of information to us, we will not review it. Instead, we will return it to you unreviewed.

11. Does Office Depot require preferred suppliers to utilize specific HUBs?

  • We are in the process of including HUB requirements in our RFP processes throughout the company. However, we do not dictate which companies our preferred suppliers utilize as HUB strategic partners.

12. How many HUB items does Office Depot carry in its current catalog? How can the items be identified?

  • The current edition of BSD Contract and Commercial catalogs contain over 700 HUB items.
  • The items can be identified by the blue HUB logo, which is printed after the name of each HUB item.
  • HUBs are also denoted with the HUB logo in the Product and Manufacturers Index in the back of each catalog.

13. How effective has the Corporate Supply Chain Diversity Program been since its inception?

Office Depot Industry Success Measurements:

Visit Awards and Organizational Involvement Section of website by clicking here.

14. What organizations are we involved in that deal specifically with Supply Chain Diversity and what is our role?

Visit the Awards and Organization section by clicking here.

15. What publications do we use to recruit HUBs and market our Supply Chain Diversity Program?

  • Minority Business Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Women's Enterprise Magazine
  • Veteran's Business Journal
  • DiversityPlus Magazine
  • Hispanic Network Magazine
  • Minority Business News USA Magazine
  • Minorities and Women In Business Magazine
  • Office Depot Corporate Website
  • Office Depot Catalogs

16. Who are the members of our Supply Chain Diversity Team and how can I contact them?

  • Director, Supply Chain Diversity - Robert McCormes-Ballou
  • Sr. Manager, Supply Chain Diversity (Tier One) - Frantz Tiffeau
  • Manager, Supply Chain Diversity (Vendor Diversity/Tier Two) - Shari Francis
  • Assistant Merchant, Supply Chain Diversity (Proprietary Vendors) - Anne Marie Richards
  • Supplier Diversity Coordinator - Cynthia Walker
  • Contact them via email at supplierdiversity@officedepot.com

17. If I need more information on Supplier Diversity at Office Depot, whom can I contact?