Stiletto heels, diapers and sawdust have one thing in common – and it’s not a woman with babies who works in a sawmill.
The common factor is the Detroit-based Arrow Office Supply, which sells more than 60,000 business-related products to nearly 700 wholesale customers in Southeast Michigan. From tape and Post-it dispensers in the shape of stiletto shoes to sawdust, a sweeping compound used to remove vomit from school hallways, the store offers more than standard office supplies.
Marc Crane, head of new business development for the company, wants customers be excited by numerous products, which also include cleaning supplies, beverages, candy, furniture, sit-to-stand desks and plain, old printing paper.
“We try and make the experience as enjoyable as possible for our customers by being extremely personable and just genuinely having a good time with them – sort of showing our passion and hoping it rubs off on our customers as well,” says Crane. “But our customers understand the supplies are the tools that keep their businesses running.”
Arrow Office Supply is owned by Crane’s family, who bought the company in 1979. Bud Crane became the owner and his three sons, Sandy, Michael and Danny, worked for him. Sandy, Marc’s father, and Michael co-own and operate the business, which has a warehouse at 17005 Grand River in Detroit, an office in Southfield, and employs 17 workers.
“They understand the needs of the customer as we do. That’s a level of service we feel that we can’t get anywhere else.” – Adam Blanck, Wallside Windows chief of staff
“It’s also great to know we have 100 percent trust in each other,” says Crane, who describes Arrow as a collective effort between family, consumers and long-time friends. “Seeing what my father and uncles built has given me the motivation to take it to the next level.”
It is that same concept of family the staff extends to customers, which Crane says separates Arrow Office Supply from a big-box store.
Tamara Honeycutt, office manager at Arrow Office Supply, has been with the company for more than 19 years and knew Crane a number of years before being an employee.
“I love the company,” Honeycutt says. “We’re all like family and it’s just a great company to work for. Our customers love dealing with us. I’ve got customers I’ve been talking to for all of those 19 years.”
From the customer service staff and delivery drivers to the sales representatives, Crane says the Arrow Office Supply employees are willing to bend over backwards for their clients just to make them feel appreciated.
Adam Blanck, chief of staff at Wallside Windows, has been a customer since the 1970s and appreciates that kind of professionalism.
“They provide great customer service on demand and, for our business, have any office supply that we need,” Blanck says. “So, in many ways, they make us tick to provide our customers with quality.”
Like Arrow Office Supply, Wallside Windows is family-owned so Blanck says the two companies relate well to each other.
“They understand the needs of the customer as we do,” he says. “That’s a level of service we feel that we can’t get anywhere else.”
At the end of each day, after all the orders are delivered and everyone staff member goes home, Crane says Arrow Office Supply has excelled by helping its clients succeed.
“What I feel like we’ve accomplished is helping other businesses across the community do their job,” Crane says. “And I feel like we’ve really accomplished every day, great relationships with businesses in our company. It’s very important to us that we are helping others do what they do.”
Editor’s note: Locally-owned since 1946, Arrow Office Supply is one of the largest and oldest office supply companies in Michigan.
Arrow Office supply is located at 17005 Grand River Avenue, Detroit 48227.
For additional information, call 313-272-8700 or visit their website: www.aronet.net
To learn more about Bank of America’s many programs and resources for small business owners visit: https://www.bankofamerica.com/smallbusiness/business-financing.go
Lead photo: Michael, Marc and Sandy Crane. All photos courtesy of Arrow Office Supply