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Culture Book

Table of Contents

Foreword 5

Innovative Vision


Core Values


Brand Promise


Employee of the Month


Employee of theYear


Supplier of the Year


2015 Theme - Office Personas


2016 Theme - All IN



Foreword Welcome to the 2015 Innovative Culture Book! This culture book is designed to capture the heartbeat of our organization, in the words and actions of our employees. From our core values and brand promise, to the fun events and community activities, it represents who we are and why we go to work each day. At Innovative, our culture can be defined as “intentional”. We designed a culture built upon a Relationships Matter belief system, outlined a vision, established a set of core values and brand promise, and then assembled a team that aligns with that culture. The result; an engaging environment where visitors feel the energy, our employees are empowered to succeed, and our customers receive the best service available. This “intentional” culture has fueled our growth and shows up every day on our quest to help our customers, employees and supplier partners to be more successful. Its about learning and teaching others to grow, both individually and professionally. Its about providing opportunities for our employees to reach out and help the community around us. Its about putting in hard work as a cohesive team and trusting that together we can get it done. Its about taking calculated risks and having our entire team focused on a common goal. Ultimately, its about having fun at work and helping others to succeed. Looking back upon 2015, it was another year of tremendous growth and opportunity for Innovative. Bringing together two large and established businesses was no small feat, but our teams came together as one to get the job done. I’m incredibly proud of the effort, attitude and results achieved through such a large transition. As we look forward to 2016, I encourage you all to continually immerse yourself in the culture of Innovative and everything we stand for. Embrace our vision, our core values, and our brand promise as what truly sets us apart. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone at Innovative and I know the opportunity for personal and professional success is endless if we’re all working together to fulfill our vision. Jennifer Smith CEO



Innovative Vision


Core Values

Own It Keep It Simple Learn. Teach. Grow. Be Honest & Humble Just Communicate Inspire Smiles Be Involved 9

“I’d like to give a #wow to Maria Kessler. She’s been putting in a lot of time this week on getting data ready to load for a new customer. The data came to her in a format that was not able to be easily manipulated, so she’s had to do a lot of manual work. I know she’s stressed out, but always has a smile on her face and keeps on going! She really takes ownership of the projects on her plate and makes sure the work gets done! #ownit” Ann Dahloff IT Department

Customer Care Kathy O’Grady, Casey Yorga, Alyssa Kriz, Nicole Hohmann, Kelly Showman As a team we have all had customers that have had situations that we help them with, we love helping our customers resolve anything that may come up for them. We have had several situations where the customer runs out of something and they need it for rush projects they are doing, so we courier the items same day to make sure our customers meet their deadline. The customer looks great to their boss/clients, which makes them very happy and that makes all of us look great. Our customers come first for us and we do what it takes to make their day better! We live and breath this everyday, our motto is ‘treat them as you would want to be treated and Keep It Simple’. It is our job to make our customer happy and to make sure they have all their office needs taken care of in a fast and efficient way.

Furniture Laura Brunner, Rachel Larsen

Fashionista Bridget Martini Marketing Coordinator

All about the Flagstone desk debacle! We realized that the product was ordered wrong. Moved Heaven and Earth to make the correction and keep the client happy. Got Upper Management and Hon rep involved. When we realized that we needed to do something more a Make it Right went out and that did the trick! The client realized how sincere we were and how hard we were working to fix the problem. No fingers were pointed, Linda and I worked hard to Own It and Make it Right! – Because of this, Linda and I now have a better procedure worked out as to how we check our acknowledgements. It was a series or unfortunate events that actually helped both of us to perform our jobs better going forward.

“#wow to Lesa Page and Raina Wendt for Owning It and identifying a mistake (even if it *was* only over two pennies!!!) and working together to correct them on the *front* end so that I didn’t have to spend 30 mins+ finding them and fixing them on the *back* end when I’m posting the payments!!! I {heart} you two ladies for it!!!” Amy Beasley Accounting


Own It Delivery

Print & Promotional Products

Bryan Stark, Chance Young, Tom Kelly, Mike Falconer

Chad Blaha, Steve Charlton, Mickey Abbett, Deb Garner, Gary Kiecker, Greg Buendiger

An Innovative delivery driver did not load the correct amound of copy paper on his truck and when he got to a customer that needed paper he was out. The customer had an urgent need for the paper so another Innovative driver, who had extra paper on his truck, went out of his way to get the customer the paper they needed so urgently. Both drivers responded to the customer’s need by working as a team. The driver owned his mistake and engaged other team members to get it resolved quickly and to the customer’s satisfaction.

Furniture Hannah Jacobson, Linda Roehl The incorrect number of O-Legs were ordered for our customer, Pioneer Plastics. After apologizing to the customer and explaining that I misunderstood the spedification on what was included in a “package” of O-Legs, Karla and I worked together with Sean and the team at OCI to come up with a temporary solution until the new O-Legs arrived, just in time for Pioneer’s open house. This was also a Learn. Teach. Grow. moment!

Our customer (MNCPA) approved some incorrect artwork. Even though the job was approved something didn’t look right, Rob agreed and contacted the customer. The customer said that the art was definitely wrong. She was very grateful and said thank you for catching the error. The Core Value came into play by not just doing what the work order said. Own it!

#wow Tony Betsinger, Colin Crandall for #ownit today. Our United shipments were delayed today due to weather so they made the decision to go to United to pick up our shipments. Huge move to own the situation and provide everyone relief in the process. Brooks Smith CFO

Furniture Brian Betsinger, Dale Washenberger, Paul Vang Items were missing from a customer’s order. I was able to resolve the issue from beginning to end, with help on contact and order information from order entry and purchasing. We all took a part at Owning It to help with the customer’s experience.


Delivery & Fulfillment


Bruce Engstrom, Tim Fredrick, See Yang, Mike Brisson

Mitch Abbett, Brenda Abbett, Craig Micke, Brandon Simmons, Colby Heston

A driver had a delivery for one of our customers. When he made the delivery the customer realized they had forgotten to order a case of paper and they really needed it. Our driver happened to have an extra case of paper on his truck, so instead of making the customer call in, the driver gave the case of paper to the customer and called Customer Care himself to have the customer billed for the paper.

An issue occurred while working on the Minnesota Wild Magazine for Gameday. In this situation, the printer delivered the magazines incorrectly to the Xcel Center. The magazines should have been boxed but instead they were delivered loose on a pallet. The Wild weren’t happy about this because it made distributing the magazines around the arena very inefficient. The way this situation was remedied was quite simple...within an hour of learning of the issue, Innovative sent two people to the Xcel Center to take the magazines off the pallets and box them by hand. The Wild were very happy with lnnovative’s quick response. By Keeping It Simple it made both Innovative and our customer (Gameday) look good to the Wild.

Delivery #wow Tim Fredrick, Emilie at Advanced Molding had this to say about Tim, “I’m writing this morning to pass on my accolades for Tim Fredrick, our delivery driver. From the time I started at Advanced over 2 months ago, Tim has been nothing but helpful. He always has a smile on his face, and always makes my mornings brighter! I really appreciate his passion for doing a great job. I really just wanted to let you know that we love Tim at Advanced! He is a great addition to your team. Mike Falconer OP Delivery

Germaphobe Steinar Engebretsen Sales Director


Tony Betsinger, Greg Fitterer, John Kay, Mark Marek, Lucho Eckert, Kelly Berry, Ryan Kelley, Tona Martinez Don’t over complicate things when working efficiently, keep a positive attitude and have a good relationship with customers. Customers feel bad that we have to do so much for them, but it is what we do. Going the extra mile to take care of them will make their day better and simpler. It is always good to find out who the contact is at a new account so that we can find out where they want their product. We also try to simplify the customer’s job by passing information on to backup drivers for future reference.

Keep It Simple IT Ann Dahloff, Mark Hoglund, Dallas Williams, CJ Carr, Steve Kusz What we’ve found is that our fellow employees (who happen to be some of our very best customers) sometimes ask the same questions over and over again. We call these FAQ’s - frequently asked questions! To make their lives simpler (hmmm, maybe ours too!), we like to add the answers to these questions to the Playbook (also relating to the Learn.Teach.Grow. core value – extra core value) In order to facilitate this for the users, we’ve made a practice of adding a Playbook shortcut to everyone’s browser to make it easy for them to access. Some of the areas the team has documented (I believe that everyone on the team has participated in adding information to playbook so it’s truly a team effort in keeping things simple): • Accessing your email and managing your Out of Office messages via Outlook Web Access (for those times when you know you’ve done it 100 times before so you don’t want to call IT, but for some reason you can’t remember how to set your out of office ) • How to set up your mobile device to receive Innovative email (iPhones and Androids) • How to access the global address book via mobile • How to view shared calendars in your Outlook • How to check availability of and reserve Conference Room calendars in Outlook (who likes to be kicked out of a room because you didn’t reserve your room properly?) • How to run reports off of the Innovative Portal (our web site), examples being Usage, Trends, Sales Investigator, etc. • Lists of rep numbers, buy groups, and other helpful information that is nice to know sometimes • How to use your mobile device as an internet hotspot (Android and iPhone) • How to use CRM (from logon to business review and everything in between) And…the best thing is, we’re open to adding more information to help even more!! All you have to do is give us a good idea and we’re All In!


Customer Care Jeanne Thompson, Shannon Marek, Belinda Giles, Maria Kessler Jean with the State of MN-DEED called to get a large order quantity and no one had gotten back to her. So Ann owned it… The customer wanted to order 100 of the USLK854 briefcase, and would be ordering 100+ more later on in the year. Funny thing, this item was below cost (cost $28.95 ea./sell $28.28 ea), and wasn’t a State restricted item (great!!!) but we did not have enough in stock! Ann and I tried to get better pricing by going directly to Carol at Essendant and through specials (ETA of two weeks) with no luck…then entered Sue! She knew that her husbands company had a vendor for briefcases and surprise! It was Solo (the manufacturer of the exact briefcase the customer wanted). Sue opened an account with Solo and was able to get us a cost of $19.80 and since United was out of stock and we could go direct, we sold them for $31.00 (to cover the freight charge). Collectively, we turned a negative margin into a 30% margin.

“#wow Steve Kusz for all the extra effort required recently to learn the new network structure, install tons of new hardware, set up training workstations, set up extra go-live workstations for Burnsville users to use when they are up in St. Paul, and continue to do dayto-day support of hardware and software for the users. #inspiresmiles #aboveandbeyond #LearnTeachGrow” Ann Dalhoff IT

We didn’t take no for an answer and, as a team, we learned to come up with a solution that worked great for us as well as the customer 

HR & Accounting Kay Edmondson, Ashley Casparis, Robin McMullen, Lynda Angelos, Tammy Lee, Sheryl Smith, Laura Burgess The acquisition of S&T and transitioning to one platform was a Learn.Teach.Grown. situation. Both companies had to collaborate to become one platform by learning each other’s unique processes and procedures and then had to work together to teach one another the best practices. The result, both companies will continue to grow and move forward as one, Innovative Office Solutions.

Furniture Tom Johansen, Laura Nagel, Sarah Parrish Learn from our mistakes so that when mistakes are made they are not repeated.

Intern Kelly Andrew Accounting


A really good customer of ours placed a nice furniture order with specific delivery instructions. The instructions on the order read “deliver between 1:00 and 4:00”. Also hand written on the order were the instructions that read “deliver after 1:00”. Our driver happened to be in the area making other deliveries and made the assumption that if we were to show up early (11:45 am), the customer would be very satisfied. But it did not work out well for us. Even though the dock personnel were very receptive to an early delivery and told our driver “no problem”, the person who made the original delivery time request was not. Our furniture delivery and installation staff met and were all reminded about the importance customer instructions are and the need to be followed. By going over the mistake it brought better attention to the actual problem—don’t assume, read and follow all instructions that appear on the paperwork!

Learn. Teach. Grow. Furniture Abbey Hoisington, Mike Stark, Jack McGrane, Keith Kleinschmidt A customer contacted their rep and said that they were not being informed of direct ship deliveries, and it was becoming too frequent that they were not prepared to unload their product. LEARN: The team lived the core value by addressing the situation right away, and narrowing it down to the root of the issue. TEACH: We talked about ways to prevent this from happening again, and made notes so that all direct ships had a permanent note attached internally stating that the customer must receive a call in advance prior to delivery. GROW: We learned from the experience on the importance of following all customer instructions given, and in the end made the customer happy.

“#wow to three amazing ACs, Lesa Page, DeAnn Player, Maria Kessler. I am very new compared to these fine ladies and they are always helping me with questions as I learn my job. Even though they are super busy, and growl lightly with a smirk, they always find time to help me! Thank you for all you do, ladies! #LearnTeachGrow� Raina Wendt Customer Care


Furniture Tina Utecht, Bob Nelson, Jordan Bell, Denise Chapman, Paul Kleppe, Joe Rustad, Brian Moore Bill Nelson (Burnsville) sent me (Tina Utecht) an order for Shutterfly and I deleted it in error (not sure why that happened). Bill contacted me for order status and I searched and found the order and placed it right away. I let Bill know so he could inform the customer and make sure that they knew this was my error and that I would work with the manufacturer to get the order processed and the product delivered to them as soon as possible. Bill and I were honest with the customer and let them know the situation. I then asked for a “Make It Right” to send to the customer. I feel I was humble by coming forward and admitting my error. We all make mistakes and customers respond to honesty and humility; we are all human.

Team Player Lisa Lindemann Customer Care

“#wow Kristin Huber for diving right in and being so willing to help out in many different areas on your first week here! What doesn’t seem like a lot to you is a huge help to some! Thank you!” DeAnn Player Customer Care


Be Honest & Humble Print Ashley Swanson, Darcee Neudecker, Kristie Dreon, Dave Barbee, Shannon MacDonald, Doug Nuemberg During October a fairly new print account placed an order for 100,000 corporate checks. I was extremely busy and inadvertently overlooked an email concerning this order. It wasn’t until the customer asked how the order was coming along that I realized I hadn’t even written the work order up yet. I had to reach out to the customer and Innovative sales executive and explain that it was me who dropped the ball and I would get the order processed and delivered as fast as I possibly could. This was made more complicated by the fact that we had to use an outside vendor to produce the checks. Luckily I have a good relationship with that vendor and they expedited the order and it was delivered to us in a timely manner. In the interim, I kept in close contact with the customer and gave him regular updates on where we were with the order. He was appreciateive and always thanked me for what I was doing. The checks were completed and delivered within the time frame that I had promised. When he received the checks he reached out to me and thanked me once again for the extra effort I put in to correct my mistake and said the completed project looked wonderful. Bottom line, being honest and humble in this situation made our relationship with this customer a better one.

Customer Care

#honesthumble #wow Pam Sebesta “I was the recipient of a very genuine and moving compliment from Pam. An honest and humble act that took you just a moment to convey yet it filled me with so much pride that it has been 4 days and I still am smiling!”

DeAnn Player, Janda Blue, Rachel Bratager, Lisa Steele, Diane Hanser, Ann Speckman On Nov 25th, the day before Thanksgiving, someone had set up a Will Call and couriered the wrong item to Burger Jones in Burnsville. Around 3:50 I received a call from a gal at Burger Jones. She was very upset because we had sent her the wrong POS register tape and they were almost out. It was a holiday weekend and she needed the right tape immediately. She had no idea what item number she needed and was very flustered. In an effort to calm her down, I apologized numerous times and assured her that I would take care of it. After searching the account history I found one that was similar to the one she had described and I said I would deliver it to her myself. At 4:00 I called Essendant to schedule another Will Call and Carrie said we had just done one for Burger Jones. I explained it was the wrong product and they were in a panic with the holiday weekend and need the right product ASAP. She was able to get the product pulled in 20 minutes, I picked it up and delivered it to the customer by 5:00. We were Honest and Humble in that we admitted we made a mistake and made it right for the customer. 17

Facilities & Technology Solutions Justin Seibenaler, Karen Clabo, Christina Boerigter, Mike Pitzen, Rob Savini, Joe Axmacher, Paul Kaminski Recently the Facilities/Break Room and MIT teams joined forces to form a super group and take on the world! What you are about to read is just one of the ways (and believe me, there have been many) we have taken the core value Just Communicate and used it to turn that world upside down. Our story begins with a national retail chain re-branding and opening up new stores all over the country. This is a massive undertaking for any business, let alone one with locations all over the US. The good folks at Innovative were lucky enough to be tasked with providing a lot of the key materials for these reinventions and we were happy to take on that challenge. Unfortunately, as new stores were opening, the buying process was not operating as smoothly as everyone hoped it would. The buyer had expectations upon ordering that we simply could not fulfill. She was becoming increasingly more frustrated as deliveries were showing up at different times, often with nobody to receive them. We were also becoming frustrated because the demands seemed be getting bigger and tougher to fulfill. Ultimately the buyer came in to have a sit down meeting with a number of individuals from our departments (and some form our awesome CS department as well). She laid out all of her frustrations and expectations. We explained to her what we could do to meet her expectations, and what we simply could not. After some discussion, we devised a plan to meet in the middle. All of the new store “kits” would be staged and shipped complete. I am happy to report that, since this meeting, we have sent out multiple new store kits without issue. The customer has been much happier with our service and our shipping process has become more efficient and streamlined ultimately proving what good communication can accomplish.

Fulfillment Mike Miller, Yeng Thao, Yia Vang, Lia Lee An order came in later in the day for an “emergency” Fedex overnight delivery for AM Retail Group. The critical information that this was to be an overnight delivery was left off of the pick ticket. Shannon realized that the information was not on the order and communicated with Yeng. Yeng then made sure his team knew to change the shipping from standard ground delivery to overnight. Communication was key to ensure the customer got what they requested and when they received the order. The Team responded.

Creative Ben James Marketing Graphics

“#snowsucks! Update on our deliveries today. :) The Chicago truck didn’t make it in and Route 9 (Scott R - Mankato and southern MN) won’t be delivered today. We are in the process of contacting all of the customers that are affected by this. All of the other drivers are out today but may be delayed because of the roads. If they are not going to finish they will contact Customer Care this afternoon so we can contact the customers. #JustCommunicate” Jennifer Rosenzweig CSO


Just Communicate Marketing Vicki Giefer, Ben James, Bridget Martini, Barb Kusilek The Marketing department is continuously tasked in finding creative, effective and relevant methods to communicate with our customer base as well as our internal team. We use multiple social media channels to reach our dual audiences. The information we need to communicate includes promotions, productive solutions, case studies, community involvement and so much more! Some of the channels we use include: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blog posts, Yammer, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Email, Pinterest, and our website.

Delivery Colin Crandall, Al Rutherford, JR Deobald, Rob Blue, Tim Moody, Scott Rollings, Todd Swanson

Customer Care & Purchasing Dana Cruz, Joleen Davis, Lisa Lindemann, Raina Wendt, Sue Wentzel With the merge of warehouses came many new things for our customers. New item numbers, different products, price changes—both up & down, new team members, and even the loss of team members. For one select part of the state it was especially tough. For the most part, these customers really only talked to one customer service team member for over 10+ years. Most of them didn’t know any of their part numbers. Their customer care represetative would be given very generic lists, and even while doing our best with customer history, many wrong products were received and many Make-It-Right’s were done. It was definitely a confusing time and challenging learning curve for all involved. The customer care team member that was new to this special group, Dana, began calling the customers herself to confirm what they truly wanted. This gave her the awesome opportunity to start building a relationship with them. They learned to trust her and knew they could Just Communicate any issues they may have with her.

Upon arriving at a delivery we noticed that a customer had a whole pallet of a competitor’s paper. The driver kindly asked why they were not using our paper. After a simple conversation with the customer. The driver communicated to the customer service team about the situation hoping that we may be able to get their paper business. The customer service team then communicated the information to the sales person to follow up on. The next time the driver went to the customer (about a week later) they were using our paper as part of the Insider Club. We were able to clearly and effectively communicate with the customer and follow up through three different departments: Delivery ----> Customer Service ----> Sales. Ultimately it led to a happier customer and increased business for Innovative, all because of asking a few simple questions and communicating the results.

When she returned from maternity leave the customers were very welcoming and happy to have her back.




Bob Galetka, Monivone Lamkhamphoui, Jason McMahon, Jake Merrick, Scott Felton, Todd Schmidt

Renee Holland, Kris Winum, Gordy Peltier, Melissa Hoiberg

Our customer, Partner’s Title, needed to print postcards, but had a lack of knowledge of paper stock selections. Our Print Specialist worked with our production team to pull various stocks from our inventory, labeled the samples and put them together in a presentation booklet. The Print Specialist reviewed the samples with the customer and came up with a solution. The customer was pleasantly surprised at seeing the sample book that Innovative had put together for them to keep and use for future reference. The customer was both happy and more knowledgeable.

The Core Value Wizard is smiling because we believe in the Innovative family and what we do. Sometimes things don’t go as planned but we’ve got each others backs. When the Core Value Wizard solves the problem with a positive attitude it not only inspires smiles on the recipient’s end, but everyone around him. The sales rep couldn’t be reached by the customer so she called Innovative and I helped on behalf of the rep. She needed an urgent chair order and was in a panic. I placed the order and immediately sent her a copy of the order to let her know it was taken care of. I gave the information to our warehouse because we had to ship the chairs out of state. (They were our container chairs.) Our warehouse team shipped them right away and the chairs arrived a few days later! The customer sent two very nice emails showing her gratitude. People tend to smile when they are relieved! “Hi Renee, Thanks for your quick response. It enabled me to give the info to my receiving department; get the chair delivered to the maintenance area for assembly quicker! Thank you again for your excellent customer support. I truly enjoy doing business with all of you at Innovative; it’s a pleasure working with you. Have a tremendous day! Roberta Clark | Administrative Assistant Donaldson Company, Inc.” “Hi Renee… Thanks for getting these ordered so quickly for me. I really appreciate this! All looks good… I appreciate your excellence in customer service as always. Have a tremendous day! Roberta Clark | Administrative Assistant Donaldson Company, Inc.”

Prankster Tony Betsinger Driver Supervisor “#wow Kay Edmondson you are the best ! You are such a joy to have here at Innovative. Thank you for always INSPIRING SMILES. Our breakroom is always so clean and now seeing you taking time to clean a nasty popcorn machine! WOW!!!” Lisa Lindemann Customer Care Representative


Inspire Smiles Furniture Allyson Holtz, Brian Howell, Dave Furey, Mick Kurvers Our customer has construction going on in their building until early December and they asked if we could request the order to be shipped after a certain date because they didn’t want to have to worry about the furniture being lost or damaged while the construction was finishing. We worked with the vendors to make sure they knew not to ship the certain PO’s going to that customer until the specific date and to make sure they made notes so it wouldn’t be shipped early by accident and this made the customer happy and smile.

“#wow Greg Fitterer for delivering St. Paul Music Academy’s order by 11am today for a project that they are working on this afternoon!! You Inspired Smiles in district 625 :)” Casey Yorga Customer Care Representative

Delivery Accounting, HR & Administration Amy Beasley, Rick Copeland, Becky Goetz, Mike Madsen, Linda Pearson, Jenny Lee, Stephanie Robinson, Diane Van Skike In November, a customer had called in to pay an invoice on a credit card and requested a receipt be emailed to her. While reciting her email address the first part of it was “S-H-O-E” and then said, “ ‘Shoe’ like what you wear on your face. Oh! I mean, like you wear on your feet!” Because INspiring Smiles is one of our Core Values, and never one to pass up a good opportunity for a laugh, Amy sent the following email with her receipt: Amy: “You’re welcome! You have a great day too! And try wearing your shoes on your feet instead of your face...they feel much more comfortable on the feet!” Customer responded: “Except my shoes make such a beautiful looking hat!”

Paul Keller, Ron Dixon, Mark Carlson, Mark Purvis, Dale Arnsdorff During a delivery in Maplewood, our customer was very pleased to find out that our drivers would carry copy paper up the stairs for them and put it wherever they wished. They were very pleased by this because their previous supplier would not perform this service for them. This alleviated the need for the customer to haul the very heavy paper and other supplies themselves.

“#jokeoftheday #inspire smiles Q: Why do fish live in salt water? A: Because pepper makes them sneeze!” DeAnn Player Customer Care Representative


6,750 Workout Minutes per Person 285.3 Pounds Lost during New Year, New Rear 35 Secret Santas Zero 300 Games of Bowling Five Hot Dogs Consumed in Two Minutes

Be Involved Care Committee Events Attitude of Gratitude

Jenga Tournament


Maintain Don’t Gain

Beer Exchange

March Madness Brackets



Chili Cookoff

New Year, New Rear

Cinco de Mayo


Cookie Contest

Red Friday

Financial Wellbeing Seminar

Secret Santa

Flu Shots

Spring Cleaning

Get in Gear Race

Stocking Decorating Contest

Halloween Costume Contest

Walking Challenge - Walk to Nashille

100 Best Companies to Work For!

Hot Dog Eating Contest

Customer Events

Innovative Fun

Wild Suites

Workouts (fun?)

Twins Roof Deck

Christmas in July


Beer Fridays

Twins First Pitch

Catalog Kick Off Catalog Photo Shoot Yammer Potlucks



Community Involvement 2015 Minnesota Vikings Field Goals for Charity • Team Up for Kids Minnesota Twins Double Plays for Charity • Portico Healthnet • CaringBridge Minnesota Wild Charity of the Month • Disabled Hockey • American Cancer Society • Prism • Blair’s Tree of Hope • Urban Roots • American Heart Association • Girl Scouts of Minnesota & Wisconsin • Pawsivity Service Dogs St. Paul Saints Toilet Paper Drive • Second Harvest Heartland Minnesota United FC • United Soccer Camps Minnesota Swarm - 1/2K Race

Care Committee • Memorial Blood Center • American Red Cross • 360 Communities • Salvation Army - Kettle Bell • Lions Club - Toy Drive 25


InSports Beneficiaries 2015 Salvation Army Basketball Jerseys Saint Paul Saints Scholarships & Sports Equipment Drive Concordia College InSports Day Minnesota United FC InSports Day Austen Lazcano-Stai Lacrosse Scholarship Eastview High School Scholarship Zach Kraft Scholarship In the Game Award - Minnesota Vikings

Number of Kids Impacted

3,679 27

Brand Promise

Mark Hoglund

Al Rutherford


“Expect response is a very important part of the customer experience. A customer can expect us to respond in a timely fashion to their issues, whether it be delivery, billing questions, or anything. In this day of instant communication, any type of wait can be frustrating. A customer feels much more comfortable and at ease when we respond and resolve their questions as quickly as possible.”



“Letting customers know when there is a shortage, damaged product or any other problems. Calling this in to cs so customer doesn’t have to. And letting them know it was taken care of .”

“I believe that the statement means the customer should expect a response that is meaningful to them and their needs. They should expect more than just a written or verbal communication.  They should expect action that confirms their needs were considered, understood, and ultimately met!”

Andrew Leddick

Dale Arnsdorff


“To me, responsiveness begins in each of us with the desire to be indispensable. Our sense of urgency, our interest in learning and solving problems for others and the feeling of importance we get when we help someone when no one else could are all part of what drives us.”

Bruce Engstrom Delivery

“It means to do whatever it takes to satisfy customers.”

Coffee Fanatic Justin Siebenaler Facililty Account Coordinator

Colby Heston Print

“Expect response to me means immediately responding to the customers’ orders or questions via email or phone call and if there are no questions, completing the order by or before the due date/time.”


Amy Beasley


“That I should get an answer or action as soon as possible.”

Abbey Hoisington Design

“Expect Response means that we are making a promise to our customer that we will be there for them. They can rely on us to be prompt. The customer should feel that they are being taken care of, without the feeling of waiting in line or put second.”

Alyssa Kriz Account Coordinator

“What response means to me in regards to the customer experience and getting back to the customer on the same day within no more than 30 minutes (depending on if research needs to be done). I feel the customers need to hear from us right away so they can feel the high level of customer service we strive to provide!”

Expect Response Bob Galetka

Casey Yorga

Darcee Neudecker

“Providing quick and accurate response builds trust, so customers do not hesitate to contact us. If something goes wrong on a project, our ‘Expect Response’ brand promise lets customers know we are going to take immediate action to make it right!”

“Expect response to me means getting back to the customer as soon as possible. To make sure that the customer’s request is taken care of in a timely fashion to be sure that the response time doesn’t exceed more than 24 hours. When you respond quickly to the customers’ needs then everybody is happy.”

“Respond to customers questions or requests in a timely manner. It is something we are required to do to make the customer experience better. For the customer to ‘expect’ it means that to me it is ‘necessary’.”


Diane Van Skike Administration

“Always think of the customer as yourself….if you don’t want to wait to hear back from someone…. the customer doesn’t want to wait either. Time is precious for everyone.”

Dave Furey Install

“It means if the customer has a question or a need we must respond to it promptly.”

“#wow Keith Kleinschmidt for coming to the rescue with your drill and install knowlege at Lifeworks on Tuesday. Huge thank you for helping me get their technology room ready for Wednesdays computer classes. #expectresponse #expectrelief” Karla Gunderson Sales

Customer Care

Dale Washenberger Install

“For a posititve customer experience we as Innovative employees need to work together for a timely solution to their need for product, service & questions.”

Becky Goetz Accounting

“For my role I help our internal customers, or sales reps. This means getting back to them ASAP with customer credits, adjustments, invoice copies, questions on furniture billing, etc. They are usually on the road and need an answer now to communicate back to the client.  Anything I can do to make their job easier.”

Craig Micke Print

“To me, expect response means making the customer feel like they’re always at the top of my priority list. They know that they can count on me for answers and solutions in a timely manner.”


Colin Crandall Delivery

“Means we do everything we can to make sure the customer is taken care of.”

Bob Hamilton Pricing

“In order to achieve a pleasant customer experience, for me, response means that when replying to an internal customer our message must be timely and complete with consideration of the content of the message and the demeanor of delivery. Additionally, in order to insure a thorough response, we need to be sure to listen to the request and ask the appropriate questions.”

Doug Nuernberg Print

“A timely, genuine and accurate answer to a question or inquiry posed by a customer. At Innovative a lot can be said about the experience of that interchange with the customer.”


Gary Kiecker

Jeanne Thompson

John Pitzen

“Expect Response means the customer gets an accurate, professional and acceptable response in a timely manner to any situation.”

“I believe a customer should expect us to respond to any of their needs in a timely and professional manner.”

Mark Purvis

“It means to get back to the customer in a timely fashion, not with just an answer, but with the correct answer! If the answer is taking longer than expected, it is imperative to tell the customer exactly what is going on and that you are working to get them the correct answer.”

“Respond to customers needs that make them happy.”

Jeff Krier

“I need to keep building my one-on-one relationships with the customers as this is earning their trust in me and also the company I represent.”



Greg Fitterer Delivery

“I believe our quick response to our customers has been a key factor in retention. If I can’t answer a question for a customer, I’ll make sure I refer them to someone who can or take care of it myself. I know they don’t get that kind of service with all of their vendors.”

Hannah Jacobsen Design

“Expect response in regards to the customer experience means maintaining projects to ensure a fast turnaround-always being “in” for them.”

Customer Care


“Responding to the customers needs as soon as possible. Such as complaints, concerns or any questions they might have. Also making deliveries in a timely manner.”


John Kay Delivery

Laura Nagel Design

Maria Kessler Account Coordinator

“It means that when the customer contacts me to change a ship to address, add a billing code, run a usage report or find a product, that I respond back to them in a timely manor even if I don’t have an immediate answer for them. Reassure them that you are working on their inquiry or request. Never make the customer feel like they have to follow up. ”

“#wow Kelly Berry - He tried to deliver a first order to a new customer and they were closed. The customer responded to my email to say they were open and could he still deliver today. Kelly arrived at 1:20 and they were closed again. Kelly was willing to stay until the customer could get back to the office or he could leave the product at the front door. The customer authorized him to leave the product at the front door. Thank you Kelly! #expectresponse! #innovativedriversarethebest!” Ann Speckman Customer Care


“I think expect response means that you respond to the client right away letting them know you are working on their request whether it’s responding to their email or voice mail.”

Lucho Eckert Delivery

“When customers order their product we respond asap. If for any reason their product doesn’t show up we figure it out and fix it, no exception. The customer is our main priority keep them happy and everything is all good. Go T-wolves.”

Joy Hagberg Facilities

“The customer should be smiling by the end of our conversation/email. For me, this would mean that I have provided the customer with satisfying results.”

Expect Response Kelly Berry

Ashley Casparis

Mike Miller

“If the customer has a problem, I need to take care of the problem as soon as possible. Such as contacting customer service.”

“Taking the time to properly understand the customers needs, taking the time to properly research an answer for them, and then taking the time to provide them with a correct and clear response. By taking the time we show our customers that we value their needs and are able to provide them with a response that is timely, clear, and accurate.”

“Expect Response means to me getting back to a customer (internal or external) in a very timely fashion even if you don’t have an answer, just to let them know you have heard them and you take their issue seriously. Expect Response means following through completely to a satisfactory conclusion and leaving them feeling good about you and your company.”


Justin Siebenaler Facilities

“Expect response means the customer should never have to worry about receiving and answer, or any other type of help, in a timely fashion. This will help make our customer’s workplace more productive.”

Mark Marek Delivery

“The importance of ‘Expect Response’ in regards to costumer service is optimal. Customers deserve nothing but the quickest, most reliable, and effective service in the market.”


JR Deobald Delivery

“Expect response means taking care of a customer issue/need as swiftly as possible. If a customer runs out of paper, I try to get there ASAP. If a customer had something that was screwed up on a previous order, I try to work them into my delivery schedule as early as possible. I also try to accommodate special requests when it is feasible.”

Mike Falconer

Mike Stark

“Whatever the customer needs, they expect a response. If you can’t figure out the answer, it is important to get a response to the customer from whomever can answer the question. If they ask for you to do something, do your best to find the right solution.”

“It’s our responsibility to: A. Answer the questions if you know the answer. B. Get the customer’s name, company, phone #, email, if you don’t know. C. Find the person or persons who have the correct answer, and contact the customer! (Immediately)”



Mickey Abbett Print

“It means getting the job done on time, making sure that it is correct and it matches what the customer wants. If they want a job done right away it means coming in a little earlier or staying a little later or both to make sure the job gets done.”

Mitch Abbett Print

“Caring about the success of a project as much as the customer does.”


Renee Holland Furniture

“It means providing a response in a timely matter, answering all questions/inquires, and doing so as accurately as possible.” 33

Monivone Lamkhamphoui Print

“Responding to the customer’s needs in a timely manner so we can get what they need for their daily work functions.”

Nicole Anthony Customer Care

“If a customer calls, emails, or leaves a voice mail we should react to it. Responding to a customer is very important so they know what is going on. We must respond. It makes their experience much more pleasant.”

Paul Keller

Shannon MacDonald

See Yang

“Expect response means to me, doing what needs to be done to ensure a job/mailing goes out on time. Such as, working late/early, making sure equipment is set up, or taking phone calls to talk others through setting up the folder or imprinter. ”

“To me it means being able to answer any questions the customer has or being able to direct them to the right person who has those answers so that they can make a decision of purchasing products or services.”

Ron Dixon




“Expect Response to me means that customers already have a full range of concerns, deadlines, and worries as far as their own time management. The Innovative order should not be another thing on their list to think about. Response from Innovative should be rapid and accurate.”


“I should respond immediately, to the best of my ability, to get the question or situation with the customer or other employees of IOS handled in a timely matter.”

Steve Charlton Print

“It is our top priority to ensure the client is well taken care of.”

Rachel Bratager Customer Care

“Expect Response means that any of our customers can come to us, with any questions, concerns, orders, or anything else and they can expect to have their issues addressed quickly, accurately and with a positive attitude.” 34


Rob Utoft “I take care of the order, message, question etc. as soon as I receive it. If I can’t get to it right away, I will let the customer know that I am aware of the situation and will resolve it as soon as I can.  I believe in responding to emails and messages as soon as I get them so the customer knows they have been received.  This if for both external and internal customers.”

Ryan Kelley

Stephanie Robinson

“As delivery drivers we need to stay in communications with customers to better the business experience and promote word of mouth growth. Basically helping  them and are staff with problem if their are problem with orders, to resolve issues.”

“Expect response means that a customer can always expect that when they are working with Innovative that their needs will be taken care of in a timely manner. We strive to have this be one of the first things that come to mind when they think about Innovative.”



“#wow Michael Falconer, Yia Vang. Customer called at 4:00 and said she did not receive their 6 cartons of paper today with her delivery. She had ordered them yesterday so she would have them today and she needs them delivered by 5:00. They are a Title company and need it for their closings. Mike called Yia and within 15 minutes he was on the road to deliver her paper. #expectresponse #expectrelief” Ann Speckman Customer Care

Expect Response Tim Moody

Tona Martinez

Vicki Giefer

“Expect response to me means you should be there when the customers have questions or concerns. Make sure when they do you follow up with CS or whomever it concerns to make sure we make it right for the customer. Going above and beyond for the customer is the way to be.”

“It means to provide exceptional and personal service in a timely and responsible manner. Our collective response to a customer’s needs, questions, or issues are to be addressed immediately and efficiently, while keeping lines of communication open and constant .”

“When creating marketing materials, it is most important to provide relevant information to illicit a response from a customer to either purchase or engage. It is our goal to provide so much more than a great product, it is important to show an amazing set of solutions to make their office more productive.”

Tina Utecht

Tony Betsinger

“To me ‘Expect Response’ is returning a phone call to a customer on a timely basis. This means if you are working on a solution for them and you don’t have that solution yet, you call them and let them know you are working on it and that you will call them back soon with an answer.”

“Expect response to me means helping both the customer but also the sales rep. I have taken calls at 10 pm from a sales rep trying to make sure something is going to happen the next day. I also will receive a call from the customer and help them as well. As long as you give an answer that will work, that’s the response they are all looking for.”



Todd Swanson Delivery

“Expect response means that the customer should have our people respond to them quickly and efficiently. They should not have to wait hours to get any request answered. This is what should separate our company, from the competition.”

Brandon Simmons Print

“Expect response to me means that we respond to the customer in a timely manner and to do a follow up to make sure things were satisfactory.”



Dallas Williams IT

“Expect response means acknowledging a customer in a timeframe that the severity of the request demands.”

Scott Rollings Delivery

“if someone has a problem or question regarding a order we need to act as soon as possible with the correct information as we know it!”


Rob Blue Delivery

“Expect Response to me means that we will do what we need to do to get the customer what they need as quickly as we can,and they can count on our services.”

“#wow Tina Utecht & Paul Kleppe - I had a customer that needed a replacement key for her file cabinet. Turns out it is a Steelcase cabinet which we do not sell. They gave me the name of a local locksmith that can make the key with just the code! She was thrilled. Thank you both!! #expectresponse” DeAnn Player Customer Care


Beer & Wine Exchange


Jenny (St. Paul Champ) vs. Ashley (Burnsville Champ) and the winner is?? (Stay Tuned!)

Jenga Tournament 37

Allyson Holtz

Ann Dalhoff

Chad Blaha

“They can order everything through us and make their lives more simple therefore reducing the amount of people they have to place orders with.”

“Expect Reduction consists of keeping track of difficulties and roadblocks that internal and external customers encounter, and upgrading our systems and reporting continually to reduce these difficulties.”

“Expect Reduction eliminates any problems or confusion when communicating information to the customer. Relying information between suppliers and clients falls upon our responsibility to make their experience simple and correct.”

Brian Howell

Keith Kleinschmidt

“Making the process as easy for them as possible to reduce chaos. When a customer calls for pricing or product information, give them complete information so they can make an informed decision when purchasing furniture.”

“Typically to me ‘Expect Reduction’ means that when dealing with Innovative the customer can expect creativeness, hard work and a fair price... reducing stress, frustration, and anxiety over a furniture project.”

Deb Garner

Ann Speckman

“We will reduce your stress and handle everything for you in a timely manner from start to finish. We will help you save time and money! We know our customers!!”

“When I think of Reduction I think of keeping things simple. What can I do to help the customer to keep things as easy and as simple as possible or what will be the most direct way to help the customer to help reduce any issues they may be having. Anything I can do to help the customer so they come away with a positive experience.”



Christina Boerigter Technology Solutions

“Expect Reduction means working together to define the most efficient and effective best practices so we can have the quickest and most error-free processes possible.”


Promotional Products

Techie Dallas Williams IT

Laura Brunner Furniture

“In our furniture world, I think it is very important to evaluate the customer’s existing furniture and make recommendations as to whether existing product could be re-used into their new space to save money. Even if the entire project is new, sometimes the existing can be worked into it.  This saves the customer money and our environment.”




Customer Care

Rick Copeland Accounting

“The customer should expect that we operate in a manner where customer concerns/costs/carbons are reduced by means of an exceptional customer service team, a streamlined delivery system, and a simple ordering process.”

Expect Reduction Greg Buendiger

Joleen Davis

Jordan Bell

“Using Innovative as a print on demand solution for their copying needs. Cuts down on waste and reduces the need for storage space at their location. They also don’t have to worry about their materials becoming obsolete, just contact us and we will produce what they need.”

“To me, Expect Reduction means to reduce the thoughts they have to put into all of their office needs. WE’LL TAKE CARE OF IT!”

“To me, reduction is all about simplifying the experience for the customer. The more steps we can cut out in-between the customer ordering and receiving their products, the better it is not only for them but also the environment.”


Raina Wendt Account Coordinator

“Reducing the time for a customer so they can do their job instead of spending more time communicating. It is important to get customers questions answered right away and correctly, getting their order done the right way the first time. This reduces customer’s time and our employees (customer care and delivery) time, packaging waste, and delivery waste (fuel), which then can reduce the cost going up on products for our customers.”

Account Coordinator

Ken Ledeboer Sales

“The customer should experience Innovative’s help in making them as efficient as possible. Innovative gives our customers the “best value” possible. We partner with our customers to reduce their deliveries of our supplies to their location and work with them to maximize the efficiencies of our deliveries.”

Laurie Shirk Pricing

“Expect Reductions means helping the customer consolidate and reduce waste in their office and in their environment.”

Mike Brisson

Steve Kusz

“Reduce the time and effort our customers spend ordering, receiving product, and in contacting us with any questions or concerns.”

“Reducing any stress, difficulties, or problems in placing an order either online or via customer service. Getting the order correctly so there does not have to be any additional time spent on the order after it is placed.”




Belinda Giles Purchasing

“Take the time to do things correctly and follow through so additional time and energy don’t need to be added/wasted.”

“#wow Tom Traetow. Yesterday I got an email from a customer that a couple items wouldn’t come up in search (they did work in quick order). He thought it had something to do with an update that had occurred overnight the night before. He checked today and they work in search. Thank you Tom for owning it and closing the loop!! #expectresponse #expectreduction #expectrelief” DeAnn Player Customer Care


Dave Barbee

Robin McMullen

“To me, Expect Reduction means reducing the chaos that could result from inadequate artwork. When customers provide artwork that either cannot be printed, or would print poorly, I will try to find quick solutions before going back to the customer to ask them for better artwork.”

“I think that customers should expect reduction in terms of stress and time. We can help reduce stress by having a single supplier for everything that you need for the workplace.  We help reduce time to search out and shop around at a ton of different vendors.  Having everything available in one place is the best case scenario!!”


Jenny Lee HR

“Expect Reduction should always mean we are all doing our best in all areas reduce cost and carbon at all times. Customers should have the faith in us that we are always looking out for the most efficient way to meet their needs.  This will also wind up with less chaos in the end.”


Mike Madsen Accounting

“Expect Reduction in costs and chaos and a very rewarding experience in a transaction with Innovative.”

Scott Felton Print

“It means you can count on me to be confident in hitting customer deadlines. (reduce customer service anxiety) Producing projects as efficiently as possible. (reduce chaos)  Order paper with as much efficiency as possible (reduce costs).”

Brian Betsinger Furniture

“To me, this means reducing the chaos of furniture by taking on problems that come up with any order and making sure that they get resolved.”

Expect Reduction Sue Wentzel

Tom Johansen

Kathy O’Grady

“The ultimate goal is to find a better way to support the needs of both the customer and IOS. Purchasing reduces the cost to the customer and the company; reduces the carbon as the customer need not to find other sources; and, reduces the chaos as one department can search, price, and order the item in one swift movement.”

“Reduction in surprises. Customers should know what to expect!”

“Faegre is a perfect example of how we can reduce chaos for our customers. They were relieved to have 10 orders delivered ahead of schedule, and thanks to our AOPD partner, several emails, phone calls, and delivery confirmations, we helped drastically reduce the amount of work required to set up a new office in Los Angeles.”


Yeng Thao Warehouse

“Reducing what can be overwhelming for them when they order. Understanding what the customer is looking for so this will reduce chaos, and stress.”

Paul Kleppe Furniture

“Expect Innovative Office Solutions to provide the customer with an answer to their problem that will provide the most reasonably priced product or service – scheduled to meet their time parameters, and allows them to let Innovative to shoulder the responsibility to solve their problem.”


Bryan Stark Delivery

“Expect reduction means being proactive to eliminate any needless steps in the process from ordering until delivery. From making sure the address on the label is correct, to the quantity of the items are accurate. This can prevent wasted time and energy and also ensure the customer gets the right product as fast and efficient as possible thus saving time and money.”

Account Coordinator

Rob Savini Facilities

“Assisting and reducing the time it takes a customer to perform a task. Helping them in all areas of their business as a single source thus creating a reduction in time = cost savings.”

Kris Winum Furniture

“Things are expected to happen faster now than ever before. If we’re doing a good job, we are reducing time—something that a customer can’t get back once it’s gone.”

Dana Cruz Customer Care

“It means making the most of the customers time and money. We strive to make it a great experience for the customer, not only in service, but in offering better ways to save on product as well.”

“A Big #wow to Greg Buendiger, Mitch Abbett & Mickey Abbett for turning & burning all SMTA materials going to CA this weekend. And #wow to Chad Blaha for suggesting using Radiant rather than UPS for the CA shipment. Customer saved about $1000.00 on shipping costs for that suggestion.” Julie Owen: “Great teamwork!!! With an added benefit of Expect Reduction!!” Rob Utoft Print Customer Care



Winning Team:

13 Bar Blues Steinar Engebretsen, Colin Crandall, Mike Brisson, Vicki Giefer, Mary Wencl

19 Teams 62,096,710 Total Steps 32,374 Total Miles

Walk to Nashville & Nash Bash 43


Best Group Costume Dr. Palmer & the Lions (Accounting)

Funniest Costume Keith the Pimp (Keith Kleinschmidt)

Scariest Costume Dracula Sue (Sue Wentzel)

Honorable Mention:


Wizard of Oz Breaking Bad SuperWench Human Whoopie Cushion 45

CJ Carr

Barb Kusilek

Ben James

“Things don’t always go as planned or a user may need training or assistance on how to do a certain transaction with their computer. On the IT side, we offer “relief” for our users by showing them how to prevent computer issues or by training them how to do certain transactions so that they are self-sufficient going forward.”

“Making sure that we understand our customers’ needs and find the best solutions for them will translate to relief. When our customers feel relief they also feel important and both of these feelings will cause them to continue our business partnership.”

“Expect Relief is synonymous with ahhhhhh. Knowing that they will be taken care of through the entire process. Innovative does a great job of fulfilling orders, notifying the customer to back orders or alternatives and delivering the product or service. In addition, if there are any issues the customer can always expect relief knowing that we will make it right bringing them peace of mind.”



Ashley Swanson Print

“Expect Relief in regards to customer experience means we get things done right and on time. In print, all orders are custom and usually required on a tight turn around.  We always do everything we can to exceed customer expectations by getting them what they want, when they want it.”

Dana Cruz

Diane Hanser

Gordy Peltier

“By developing a bond with the customer they should expect that if they have an emergency issue come up and need something right away, they can just call and get it. They should know before they pick up the phone that Innovative Office Solutions can and will solve their problems.”

“By keeping our people in the loop with the changes in the way we do things and the product lines it keeps us more in touch with the client to answer their questions in a timely manner.”


DeAnn Player Account Coordinator

Health Nut Stephanie Robinson HR 46


“To me this means gather as much information as I can for a request to help the customer in the first call or at least have enough details to work with another person or department to get the answer the customer needs.”

Customer Care

“We know how busy our customers are and how valuable their time is, so we make sure things are taken care of for them with minimal interruptions in their day.”


“#wow Mitch Abbett and Brenda Abbett for getting TEN rush furniture proposals printed and bound for a 7:30AM pickup!! Talk about Expect Relief!! Whew!!” Ashley Swanson Print Customer Care

Expect Relief Bob Nelsen

Brenda Cartier

Bridget Martini

“Things should be right the first time. What a relief when that happens.”

“Expect Relief: This is my favorite part of the Brand Promise, and it’s almost a done deal when we Respond completely, consistently, and correctly and Reduce cost, carbon, and chaos. It means everyone’s been in communication and knows what to do and to expect! In regards to the customer experience, that means: That was easy.”

“A. Develop affective communication tools to ease the customer experience: Start by communicating and educating our internal team then reaching out to our customer base. B. Provide cohesive information on numerous marketing channels to reduce confusion. C. Develop surveys to collect feedback of the customer experience and strategically orchestrate plans to alleviate concerns, complaints and confusion for the customer.”


Jack McGrane Install

“Being prepared and on time for the project will result in no confusion, complaints or concern for the customer.”


Jake Merrick

Jason McMahon

“Expect Relief means that customers don’t need to worry about a project once it is in our hands. They can rest assured that it will be taken care of promptly and correctly; in the odd chance that there is a mistake they know that we will fix it in a timely manner.”

“I think the relief that our customers know they are in good hands with our ability to go above and beyond is a major factor why we are the best!”


Janda Blue Purchasing

“When you can get everything they need in one phone call or e-mail. This way the customer is happy and you can concentrate on another customer.”

Denise Chapman Design

“Communicating effectively and responding to the client questions and concerns in a timely manner.”


Karen Clabo Technology Solutions

“Expect Relief means that we will take care of our customers concerns, complaints or any confusion they may have so they don’t have to worry about it. Give us your problems and we will own it and resolve them for you.”

Kris Winum Furniture

“To me, this is relief from decisions that hold up the show. Let us coach you, and you’ll love the result.”


Kristie Dreon Promo

“Expect Relief fully describes our interaction with customers. They are completely relying on us to respond, communicate and deliver successfully. Providing them assistance throughout with a rewarding outcome brings returning business and happy customers!”

Lesa Page

Account Coordinator “Keep it simple. Less is more, the customer is busy and I am here to make sure their buying experience is a smooth process.  I will take care of issues they are having in a timely, efficient manner and make things right.  Happy Customer = Happy Job”


Lia Lee

Lisa Steele

Melissa Hoiberg

“Expecting relief for the customer is by having an easy way of ordering. Having someone there to help or assist them, having someone there to to quickly answer questions and knowing what the customer’s needs are.”

“WE take ALL the worries away from our customers. We take what they say to heart, we find solutions to any problems, we fix them and ALWAYS stay on top of things no matter what the cost is and what the issue is.”

“The client can expect relief through our ability to present concepts and ideas for their projects. We use tools to relay our solutions in a way the client can see the workplace project come to life. ”

Linda Roehl

Mark Carlson



“We offer our customers easy ordering and exceptional customer service. Our customers do not have to worry about their order and delivery process as Innovative makes the entire process efficient and stress free in regards to the entire experience.”

Tom Traetow Pricing

“Our customers should expect relief when dealing with us. We need to make it easy for the customer to reach us, solve their problem promptly and lower their stress level.”

Joy Hagberg Facilities

“For me, Expect Relief means, since we addressed their issue the first time, they will not have any concerns, complaints or confusion. The only reason they may contact us is to say, ‘thank you’.”


Account Coordinator


“Relief means helping customers with questions i.e.(web site delivery specs, etc. Also quickly addressing problems they may have.”


Lisa Lindemann Customer Care

“Being able to find the answer, get back to the customer with information that will help them… keeping the customer in the loop, letting them know you are still working on a research, a ‘situation’, letting people know you did not forget about them! ”

Mike Pitzen Facilities

“Expect Relief means less stress for the customers. We are here to help in any way and can provide help quickly so that our customers won’t miss a beat during their work day.”

Paul Kleppe Furniture

“The problem will be addressed, the best solution found and communicated to the customer – all within the best time frame available.”

Max Smith Sales

“Expect Relief, to me means being upfront with the customer right away. I have learned that if a problem arises and you let the customer know right away rather than waiting the problem out because you don’t want to think there is a problem the customer will feel more informed and less confused. ”

“#wow Pearlee Coty. Thanks for your white glove care of my customers, yesterday you were called amazing, to which I completely agree, then on top of the other rush quick turn around projects you are in the midst of you took another one on! yikes!! thanks for the quick response, it was a real Reduction of stress for the client...oh what a Relief it is. LOL!” Heather Nemer Sales

Expect Relief Sarah Parrish

Shannon Marek

Todd Schmidt

Customer Care

Print Production

“I think that Expect Relief means that we help the customer feel relieved that they can come to one place for all of their office needs.”

“To me, it means that we as a team are there for the customer 100% to provide relief with any concerns, confusion or problems. We work together, not alone to help the customer so they may have the best experience possible. If customers knew more of what we do to help them they would just be blown away.”

“If a customer knows they can come to us with all their questions, then their concerns will be minimized. For example if a current customer needs print for the first time, our customer service can steer them in our department’s direction.”


Tammy Lee Accounting

“The customer should feel confident that we will take care of them no matter what. They should expect honestly and see passion in us helping them in a professional, timely manner without feeling stress if something does arise.”

Yia Vang Warehouse

“I think that if we resolve customer issues and problems quickly this will keep them happy.”

“#wow Steve Kusz for updating my computer and installing new furniture specifying software. I left my PC with Steve in the mid afternoon and he stuck around until 7:30 PM completing the task so he could get it back to me last night! Great Response by Steve and Relief for me.” Bill AG Nelson Sales

Tom Kelly Delivery

“For a customer to expect relief we need to make sure that if there is an issue we resolve it as fast as possible.”

Rachel Larsen Design

“By having an entire team working together to make sure a project runs smoothly all the way from the design concept to Installation.”

Sheryl Smith Accounting

“Expect Relief means to me to try and help customers understand any confusion they have on their account or what ever it is they are confused about and help them understand.”

Tim Frederick Delivery

“Expect relief means when there is an issue with something, get it fixed and resolved as fast as possible.”



Christmas in July




Jeanne Thompson

Belinda Giles

Tina Utecht

#wow Jeanne Thompson. Thank you for taking care of a new customer and making sure he received his courier on time and even checking that the 15 chairs (not stocked at United) were delivered from Maplewood to Chanhassen in 3 hours. He asked me to thank you. Amazing!

#wow @Belinda Giles “I just wanted to have you notate that Belinda Giles provided unexpected customer care and it was more than I anticipated. There was an item in order that was not available until March. My past experience with Staples would be that I wouldn’t find out until the order arrived. HOWEVER, Belinda immediately notified me AND gave me options to replace the backorder item.”

#wow Tina Utecht. I didn’t know what to do without her, thank you for stepping up and e-mailing me as late as 7pm to place a first order for what could be a HUGE opportunity. You rock!!

January Employee of the Month Burnsville

#wow Jeanne Thompson. “Thanks everyone – You guys are the BEST!” Another message from a customer Jeanne helped with a late afternoon courier that arrived an hour after the customer called. This is the second message I have received about Jeanne and I also want to thank her for being there every time I call at 5 p.m. #wow Jeanne Thompson for Owning It! Even though it wasn’t yours to own in the first place. A customer contacted us yesterday regarding a damaged file cabinet. She had not received her RMA so she contacted us again via Live Chat today. I sent an email out to find the person who spoke to the customer yesterday and Jeanne replied back, “I did not, but I will take care of this right away :)” Thanks, Jeanne!


February Employee of the Month Burnsville

#wow #feedback “Once again, thank you for the absolutely Wonderful people you hire to handle your customer service issues! (Belinda Giles ) They are all fantastic, caring people. This printer is a “one and only” for our courthouse and the toner lasts a good amount of time (4 – 5 months) but, when I replace, I re-order so I always have one on hand. This (storage time) is what caused our over the 90 day credit/return policy requirement but, your people understand this and know how to make a bad situation a good situation! Thank you, for all you do as a company, to make the lives of your customers easier. This deed does NOT go un-noticed.” Beth Soller, Washington County Court Administration

February Employee of the Month St. Paul

#wow Tina Utecht & Paul Kleppe - I had a customer that needed a replacement key for her file cabinet. Turns out it is a Steelcase cabinet which we do not sell. They gave me the name of a local lock smith that can make the key with just the code! She was thrilled. Thank you both!! #expectresponse #wow Tina Utecht for navigating the process (or sidestepping the process) and getting some folding chairs ready for me at SP Richards Will Call this morning so I could show them to a client before noon today!! They much preferred the other selections of stack chairs from our show floor so I returned the folding chairs to SP this afternoon and Tina coordinated the RGA, etc so I could keep on moving. Great job providing Response and Relief!!!

Employee of the Month Diane Hanser

Abbey Hoisington

#wow Diane Hanser. “Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the excellent service I received from Diane Hanser on the attached issue. Her responses were prompt and very easy to understand. She resolved my issue completely and is an example of how customer service should work.”

#wow Abbey Lefto (Hoisington) for sitting patiently with me walking through credit memo process...again. You are a saint.

March Employee of the Month - St. Paul

A big #wow goes out to Diane Hanser. She singlehandedly worked through all of the St Paul in pick orders, open orders, open drop ship orders, open PO’s and any other report that showed open St Paul orders....whew! She did a wonderful job and that trickled down to the workload on Saturday which, because of her hard work, meant that we had all of the supply orders rekeyed into the new system by noon. Woot Woot! Thanks for all of your hard work. :)

April Employee of the Month - St. Paul

#wow Abbey Lefto and Paul Kleppe. I was thinking about your response and just owning it, and how it made mine and my client experiences special. I noted on Facebook how much I appreciate you all, then a family member of an Innovative employee noted how she hoped I was talking about Becky Goetz. Wow, it’s not just how much we appreciate people, their families are making sacrifices, includes you Brian Howell, #WOW to you all, it’s the only way we can make our careers happen, #youallrock #adore.

Mark Hoglund

Ann Dalhoff

#wow Mark Hoglund. Mark successfully tightened up a security gap on our website that a customer in the banking industry had reported to us recently. The customer responded with “I would like to thank you and your team for fixing this, and taking security seriously, you are one of only a few to address issues like this. Thank you Mark for living up to #expectresponse!!

#wow Thanks to Ann Dalhoff for her work over the weekend in completing the update on MBS Dev and performing thorough testing and troubleshooting to ensure that business could continue as normal on Monday morning.

March Employee of the Month - Burnsville

#wow Mark Hoglund. You are always there when something goes haywire. You are always calm, cool and collected and fix the issues quickly. I appreciate your help when it comes to the phone system too. We have to make sure the phone calls get answered. :) Thank you for everything that you do.

April Employee of the Month - Burnsville

#wow goes to Ann Dalhoff. What an amazing person. The time and detail that she puts into everything that she does is incredible. She has/ had so much to do to prepare for this huge conversion and she always kept her cool and had a smile on her face. She had so many questions tossed at her and she would listen to each and every one and make sure it was answered. Ann, thank you for making this conversion go as smoothly as possible.


Laurie Shirk

Dana Cruz

#wow Laurie Shirk for all your help the past week with a couple of my accounts. You are always very quick in your response and a pleasure to work with! Mahalo!

#wow Dana Cruz. Thank you for the fantastic job keeping up with all my requests and taking such great care of my customers. November 30th seems like an eternity for not having you around! Enjoy your time with your new little guy!

May Employee of the Month - St. Paul

#wow Laurie Shirk & Mike Landers - you both have been so helpful and quick in getting me the pricing information with little notice for the defend bids I’ve had!! Thank you! #wow to Laurie Shirk for taking time out of her day to help with breaking down inventory, overstock and all locations.

#wow “Hi, good morning. This past week I had the pleasure to work with Dana Cruz. She was very easy to work with and handled my issue promptly. Its nice to have Customer service like that, she did a great job. Thanks” Scott Huckell, State of MN

#wow Laurie Shirk and Lisa Steele - Thanks ladies for working so hard on the Evereve lists/pricing. I appreciate it!

#wow to Dana Cruz. Dana is truly a gift! If you have ever worked with Dana, you already know how helpful she is. She also has a calming effect to her. She’s awesome, and If you don’t get to work with her, I’m sorry for you. :)

Brian Betsinger

Rick Copeland

#wow Tony Betsinger - Thank you so much for getting those skids of toner picked up from City of Minneapolis! I put in this request 1 hour ago and it was picked up within an hour!! Now that is what I call RESPONSE!

#wow to [@Abbey Lefto] and [@Rick Copeland] for getting an order entered and down payment invoice created in record speed! I know my client and the design firm appreciates getting this quickly given a tight deadline!

#wow Tony Betsinger and Colin Crandall for dumpster diving today. I left some important papers on my floor and I thought the cleaners threw them away. Tony nad Colin had cleaned the warehouse, so the dumpster was full and the raccoons beat them to opening the trash bags. They both drove in to find my papers! I am ashamed and very sorry that I finally found them on my back credenza under some other paperwork. Who could ask for better co-workers! Thank you Tony and Colin.

#wow [@Rick Copeland] for helping with all of the proforma invoice requests! Thank you for the quick turnaround and relief to all parties involved!

May Employee of the Month - Burnsville


June Employee of the Month - Burnsville

June Employee of the Month - St. Paul

#wow [@Rick Copeland] - Thank you so much for being my white knight! Rick offered to drive to Burnsville to help enter vendor invoices into the system. He finished a huge stack of paperwork and even took some back to complete. Way to hit all three, Response, Relief and Reduction!

Chance Young

Lesa Page

#wow “Just letting you know that [@Chance Young] is TERRIFIC. Love the “Hello” card he brought with my order.” Lorraine Kloss, City of New Hope

#wow to Lesa Page and Raina Wendt for Owning It and identifying a mistake (even if it *was* only over two pennies!!!) and working together to correct them on the *front* end so that I didn’t have to spend 30 mins+ finding them and fixing them on the *back* end when I’m posting the payments!!! I {heart} you two ladies for it!!!

July Employee of the Month - St. Paul

#wow Chance Young from Chuck&Don’s in Maple Grove! Chance picked up some receipt paper that was ordered wrong & was so helpful to them. When asked if he would just take a roll to the office with him so that they’d get the right product, he measured it, and made sure they knew he’d take care of it for them. When I called to confirm what I was going to send, they were overjoyed & asked me to make sure I said something nice about him. GO Chance Young!!!! WAY TO BE ‘IN’!!! :)

August Employee of the Month - Burnsville

#wow to Lesa Page. She helped my customer yesterday on live chat. They took the survey after the call, giving her all 5’s and said, “Lesa went above and beyond offering proactively to reach out to my sales rep for the best pricing. Wonderful. Thank you Lesa” Way to go Lesa!

#wow Chance Young, our newer Rte 9 driver. Lori from Home Buyers Market called in to say how much she loves her new delivery driver.

#wow “ Good Morning, All I am able to say is [@Lesa Page] is flip-in AMAZING, more company’s should have reps like Lesa. I am unable to put into words how wonderful and amazing Lesa is. Your company should be proud that you have Lesa.”

Becky Goetz

Crystal Brink

#wow x 100 to Accounting’s fearless leader, [@Becky Goetz]! In the face of a never-ending “to-do list,” her ever-positive attitude and relentless work ethic remain an inspiration for everyone in her team. My vote for employee of the year! Core values incarnate!

#wow to Crystal Brink for sending a small gift basket to one of her customers that needed it for a silent auction for an event entitled “Children’s Cancer Fund” they gift basket raised $450.00 at the event!! Nice work Pistol..

#wow goes out to [@Becky Goetz] . She has had so much going on with her team and with the conversion and she has been putting in numerous hours to try to stay caught up. Becky, thank you for all of your hard work and great attitude. You are awesome and it rubs off on everyone around you. Thank you!!

#wow “I couldn’t ask for a better customer rep than Crystal Brink. My boss and I enjoy her tremendously. You have a question, she has the answer. I exclusively use your company for our office needs. Other vendors do not measure up to your company. I am hounded everyday too by them. Keep up the great work.” Sharon Johnson

July Employee of the Month - Burnsville

August Employee of the Month - St. Paul


Joleen Davis

Maria Kessler

#wow for [@Joleen Davis] and [@Karen Clabo] on helping me with a toner order for Coldspring. Because of them, I was able to save the customer a large portion of money and we made the sales rep $ as well - everyone wins! Thanks again for that ladies - your expertise, cooperation and patience is appreciated more than you know!

#wow Maria Kessler]. “Maria is going above and beyond. She’s the best! Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate her and the service she give me and the other employees at ORT. Thank you!” Becky Grogan-Rosenwald, Facilities Coordinator

September Employee of the Month - St. Paul

#wow “Joleen Davis did a wonderful job looking for an item that we didn’t get to order because the employee had another plan. Thanks to her. In fact, your entire staff has been most helpful to me as I learn how to work as an Admin Asst at this company over the past year. Lots of labels!”

October Employee of the Month - Burnsville

#wow “Please extend my utmost appreciation for Maria Kessler!! She is outstanding and always goes out of her way to assist. She is much appreciated.” Vicky Collins, Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. #wow Maria Kessler. Maria was asked to add store numbers on all of the ship to’s for Wilson’s Leather. She got it done immediately which will save me a TON of work! Thanks Maria!!

#wow Joleen & Lesa for your help with crazy orders. Mis-ships, unit of measure issues etc couldn’t do this without you ladies!!!!!


Greg Buendiger

Bryan Stark

September Employee of the Month - Burnsville

October Employee of the Month - St. Paul

#wow Greg Buendiger for pulling off a rush binder order last minute on Friday - the customer was more than pleased and couldn’t believe you had it done in time for her to pick up on Friday!! ROCK STAR!!!

#wow Bryan Stark. A customer was completely out of paper and he brought them their 2 cases they desperately needed, thanks for everything you do!

#wow Greg Buendiger for catching the missing cover on the CPA DSF manual. I just assumed it would be a blank cover but Greg questioned it and was correct to do so.

#wow Bryan Stark for going the extra mile to make a customer happy even though it made your job more difficult. Thank you!

#wow Greg Buendiger for Responding Correctly, Reducing Cost and Relieving Concern in managing the Digital Black and White workload during the high volume months of October and November. Greg’s commitment to success for customers, co-workers and Innovative is evidence of his high standard of professionalism-even during high-stress situations.

#wow Bryan Stark, our customer Midwest Dairy shared that you were the best, always happy to go above and beyond- Thanks Brian we appreciate it!!

Mike Falconer

Chad Blaha

Steve Kusz

#wow to Michael Falconer]for going above and beyond for a customer in Cambridge, they are in desperate need of toner today and he is going to save the day and safe us $116.00 in courier fees! Kudos!!

#wow to Chad Blaha for always being willing to help we with any work issues I have and for letting me vent my frustrations when things aren’t going the way I would like. Your patience and willingness to make my work life better is really appreciated.

#wow to Steve Kusz for going above and beyond getting everyone set up in their new stations and battling the temperamental WiFi.

November Employee of the Month St. Paul

#wow to Ron Dixon and Michael Falconer for running an order out to the customer ASAP. The driver had tried to deliver this morning but the office was closed and his route was done and gone for the rest of the day. The customer needs their order for an event this evening. Ron finished his route and is running the order over to the customer right now. Thank you for taking such great care of our customers, Ron and Michael! #wow to Michael Falconer, St. Paul warehouse shorthanded today, the second time in a week he jumped in to help us get the AM Retail orders filled and processed. Thanks Michael... #wow - Michael Falconer for taking time out of his busy morning to set up the tables in the training room for the 401K meetings today! You’re awesome!!

November Employee of the Month Burnsville

#wow to Chad Blaha for providing relief to Jill Stillman of Northern Tool, “I received the invoice today for March’s mailing. It is so great to have a company that has an easy process for these. I was really getting a headache dealing with OfficeMax. (lost invoices, lack of responses) Appreciate your timeliness!” #wow Chad Blaha for stepping in and drudging up 3 years worth of mailing files for a customer (in only a few hours) - not easy!! You are appreciated!! #wow Chad Blaha and Robin McMullen for putting together a really informative SprINt to Excellence- Color Seminar this morning! I think I can speak for all of Print and Promo that it was really informative and nice refresher to go over :) #chadshouldbeateacher

November Employee of the Month St. Paul

#wow Steve Kusz. Steve fixed the big TV in Conference Room. We thought it was a lost cause and he made it work!!! Thanks for your persistence and INnovation. #wow Steve Kusz ! You are so quick to help with our computer issues and even with a little smile and some humor even though we are constantly bugging you. Thank you so much!!! #wow Steve Kusz for updating my computer and installing new furniture specifying software. I left my PC with Steve in the mid afternoon and he stuck around until 7:30 PM completing the task so he could get it back to me last night! Great Response by Steve and Relief for me. #wow Steve Kusz, you spent the time necessary to figure out why my computer was so s-l-o-w and made it work! Thank you!!!


Ashley Casparis

December Employee of the Month - Burnsville #wow to Ashley Casparis for being a daily “behind the scenes” detective and problem solver! Operation “Return the Minuscule Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Transmitter” was a success thanks to her help (of course CJ Carr and [@Mark Hoglund] played valuable supporting roles in the operation as well)! ;-) #wow - Thank you Ashley Casparis for spending a lot of time to help clean up a big issue. I appreciate your willingness to do whatever you could to help. #wow Ashley Casparis. Thank you for being such an awesome bill collector. My percentage has never been this low and the customers are very impressed with your follow up and attitude.

Gordy Peltier

December Employee of the Month - St. Paul #wow Gordy Peltier. I just received a call from a customer who was amazed at our service and wanted to thank Gordy for making it happen. Brian ordered furniture from Arkansas Monday afternoon and it came in yesterday afternoon and Gordy assembled it and it was shuttled to Burnsville and is now installed at the customers office. He is very impressed with Innovative and wanted to let us know. Thank you for the incredible response. #wow to Gordy Peltier for saving American Foods Group hundreds of dollars on the installation of three large signs! Customer Judy Thein commented, “The signs were installed today and overlay yesterday. They look great!”


Employee of the Year

#wow “I’ve been working with Jeanne Thompson on a couple of things, and her service has always been excellent. She is very pleasant to work with and I appreciate I get a live person who knows the merchandise well every time I have to call her.” Anne Munson, Pohlad Companies

#wow Jeanne Thompson is amazing! She was on the phone with a customer for two hours yesterday working with a State customer who could only purchase items that are made in the USA. She patiently worked through item descriptions to find the items and then pulled the up on Essendants website to see if they were made in the USA. Jeanne hung up with the customer at 6:30 last night. Thank you for doing everything that you can to make it the best experience possible for the customers!

What does Jeanne like most about working at Innovative? I absolutely love working with my dedicated Customer Care team! It feels like we are a big family working together!

Facts About Jeanne: • Employed by Innovative for 8 years • Office Persona:


• Favorite TV Show:

Walking Dead

• Favorite Restaurant:


• Favorite Office Essential: Pen & Notebook • Number of #WOWs:

Too Many to Count

Jeanne Thompson Customer Care Representative

#wow “I would like to take the opportunity to applaud Jeanne Thompson on exceptional customer service skills. I have dealt with her on a couple of occasions and I am very pleased with her willingness to help and ability to go above and beyond what’s expected. My first call to your center, I had no clue what I was doing trying to get a customized stamper ordered and so she walked me thru the process. I told her what I needed and she made it happen instantly. Now I am doing a return, which I probably should have just called but a little spoiled I just sent her an email. She has taken care of my needs without hesitation and for that she is a rock star! We as customers love to point out the mistakes but we never take the time to applaud those who do great work so when it does happen I am more than happy to give those a pat on the back. Thanks Jeanne, your efforts are not unnoticed, it’s a just great judge of your character. Keep up the great work!!!” Putheavy Nop, Opportunity Partners 61


Supplier of the Year

Congratulations to Essendant on being voted as Innovative’s Supplier of the Year for 2015!

“Carol was an integral part of helping me keep the brother toner business at one of my large accounts. With Carol’s leadership, she was able to create a program where return labels where in each box of toner making it easier for the customer to return spent cartridges. With new buyers at this customer, we secured the relationship and proved to them we deserve to remain their supplier of choice. Couldn’t achieve my success without Carol’s wisdom and willingness to think outside of the box.” John Townsend, Account Executive

#wow Essendant Your packers do an excellent job. This was a minor issue. To have only 6 thin mouse pads missing in all of the ordering I have done lately shows exceptional service. Jean Myers, RESOURCE, Inc.

“It’s not even close.” Brooks Smith, CFO


“I’m bilingual, I speak in geek and code.”

Intern “I came all the way from Canada to make coffee for you.”

Health Nut “Working out is a habit; eathing healthy is a lifestyle.”

“My mom always told me laughter is the best medicine.”

“Hitting the road to spread the Innovative Story.”

“My desk is so clean you could eat off of it.”

“I could give up shopping but I’m not a quitter.”




Road Warrior

“Coffee is how I get my daily water intake”

“The beret keeps my creativity cooking.”

Coffee Fanatic



Team Player “Staying positive is a winning mindset.”

2015 Theme - Office Personas Peronalized Productivity Comes to Life What makes us different, makes us great. We had fun with our theme in 2015, it was all about Personalized Productivity. Customizing office solutions to increase productivity for our customers was at the forefront. We selected 10 office personas and created a highly unscientific online quiz to determine your office persona! We found that the Coffee Fanatic had the highest result for our quiz takers.




Surveys Taken









Health Nuts


Team Players


Road Warriors

Coffee Fanatics







2015 Kickoff



Catalog Cover Photo Shoot


Thanks for Being


2016 Theme


Profile for Innovative Office Solutions

Culture Book 2015  

Culture Book 2015