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Office Supply Firms Suing N.J. Over Staples Contract

According to NJ.com, New Jersey members of the National Office Product Alliance (NOPA) are suing the state over their decision to shift office supply contracts from the hands of individual vendors to one company, Staples:

The state’s office supplies contract, worth about $10 million, shifted from 17 individual contracts to Mass.-based Staples Advantage on Sept. 1.

The move will save the state about $2.25 million and could also generate savings for municipalities, counties and school boards that choose to purchase office supplies through the state contract, according to the state Department of Treasury.

But New Jersey members of the National Office Product Alliance are seeking to put the new contract on hold, claiming the decision to go with Staples was based on an unfair analysis of product costs that favored the larger company.

This is another in a line of moves that seem out of character for government purchasers. All the evidence points to the single-source contract as being a recipe for disaster, and this has nothing to do with my distaste for big-box retailers. When one company is in charge of all your office supplies, it leads to a lack of competitive pricing and the potential for abuse, as seen in the numerous Office Depot state-contract lawsuits.

I’m also always in favor of sticking with little guy, but that’s neither here nor there. Single-source contracting is bad news, plain and simple.

Article: Rejuvenate Your Workspace with Office Supply Favorites

My best friends in the whole wide world over at Lifehacker once again made my life easier by compiling an awesomely helpful list of amazing office supply tweaks and hacks.

Check the full article for a list of time-and-space saving ideas for making your home or honest-to-goodness office more bearable.

They range from using specialty cable-management products to no-nonsense suggestions like dry erase solutions and label makers, and even includes lunchtime tips and ways to save energy.

Big Box News: OfficeMax Recalls Chairs After Injuries

The Sun Sentinel is one of many news organizations to report that OfficeMax has been forced to issue a recall for Chinese-made Task Chairs sold between 2003 and 2008, due to over 35 reports of premature breakage and over 15 injuries.

Consumers are advised to stop using the chairs immediately and contact their local OfficeMax for further instructions.

In a shocking twist for this blog, I’m not going to blame OfficeMax for anything. The CEO of OfficeMax isn’t doing personal factory tours of their Chinese chair-making plants, and no one could have seen this coming.

They’re cooperating with investigations and are offering refunds or discounts to those affected by the recall. I’m not going to use this to take a jab at the “big guys”, I just want everyone to know what’s up so no one else gets hurt.

And of course, if you find yourself in need of a chair that DOESN’T fall apart on you, I have a few recommendations.  And wouldn’t you know it? I know just where to get them.