Wed | Dec 13, 2017

SOS adding online sales platform

Published:Wednesday | July 12, 2017 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson
Deputy General Manager Allan McDaniel giving an overview of Stationery & Office Supplies Limited at an investor briefing of the company’s upcoming IPO at its Beechwood Avenue, Kingston offices on July 10.

Stationery & Office Supplies Limited (SOS) will introduce sales next year following a $7-million technology upgrade.

SOS is also testing its upgraded customer relations management system that its plans to rollout in two months.

The software will link inventory, sales and accounts. So among other things, staff can update customers on the status of orders set for delivery.

Going forward, SOS hopes to use this software as the backbone of its push to online commerce.

"Currently, you can go to our website and see goods, but you cannot order from it," Allan McDaniel, deputy general manager and logistics manager at SOS, told Gleaner Business on Monday following an investor briefing on the company's upcoming initial public offering of shares on the junior stock market.

The company expects large customers to continue using traditional sales channels to place orders, but sees the online portal appealing to individual customers.

"Online is where we need to be going," said McDaniel. "We are trying to attract [individuals] by offering them a way to buy online ... so they see a chair online that they like, pay and get the item delivered to their street and home."

SOS will float 50 million shares from July 19-26, aimed at raising $95 million of equity capital. The IPO is priced at $2, but a quarter of the shares on offer are reserved for staff and family at a discounted price of $1.60.

Listing would provide SOS with increased working capital financing for its operations, while allowing it financial space to enter into other undisclosed categories of business.

The 53-year-old company started operations in 1965 and regularly serves more than 3,180 credit customers on an ongoing basis, the company stated.

The business was initially run by Richard Hing, George Hew and David McDaniel. In 1970, SOS was fully acquired by David McDaniel and his wife, Marjorie McDaniel.

The SOS offer of shares is being brokered by JN Fund Managers Limited.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com