Viking Office Supply offers office supplies, office furniture and top-notch customer service
The Viking Office Supply team includes (back, L to R)) Ted Lorentz, Steve Gullickson, Collin Nelson, Roxann Maloney, T.J. Martin, Chris Behrens, Cory Gullickson; (front, L to R) Mel Faber, Jessica Scott, Deanna Johnson, Eric Johnson, Dawn Thorstad, Sharon Wagner. Not pictured: Curt Krueger and Toni Tebben. Photo by Jim Palmer.
Viking Office Supply (VOS) is in the business of helping businesses, and they are constantly looking for new and better ways to help businesses thrive with a wide variety of products and services.
“We have a full line of office supplies and office equipment,” said Eric Johnson, who co-owns VOS with his wife, Deanna. “Our office equipment includes Konica Minolta copiers, cash registers, calculators, time clocks and more. Plus we have factory-trained service technicians to keep your machines running at their best to prevent down time and maintain efficiency.”
VOS also has a wide selection of office furniture, and they can accommodate any size office, big or small.
“From the initial design to assembly and installation, we assure your office furniture meets your needs, space and budget,” said Deanna.
Jessica Scott prints a banner on the new wide-format printer. Photo by Jim Palmer
“Our newest service is wide-format printing,” said Eric. “We can design and print banners, signs and posters for your event or promotions. We have been seeing lots of smiles lately from projects we’ve printed on our wide-format printer, including photo collages and signs for graduation parties, reunion banners, and so much more.”
The VOS tagline is “We Make Business Happen,” which pretty much sums it up. And it all starts with customer service.
“We feel we do that by making our customer’s jobs easier by offering the products, machines, and furniture they need to help them do the best job,” said Deanna. “We deliver their orders to them, which is not only more convenient, but also saves them from having to lug items like cases of paper across their parking lots and into their offices.”
The VOS service area extends 60 miles around Alexandria in central Minnesota, including the cities of Alexandria, Glenwood, Elbow Lake, Paynesville, Long Prairie, Wadena and more.
Steve Gullickson loads up the VOS van for a delivery. Photo by Jim Palmer
“We also stop at customers in between cities, including places like farms, resorts and golf courses,” said Eric.
VOS has the most common items in their retail locations in Alexandria and Glenwood, but for items they do not stock, VOS can get them quickly.
“Our catalog consists of over 26,000 items,” said Deanna. “If we don’t have them at our retail locations, we can order them at no additional charge. We order daily, and items typically arrive in one or two days. We also provide delivery at no additional charge within a 60-mile radius.”
VOS employs 15 people, all of whom live in the area they serve.
“We are active in the communities and know the people we serve,” said Deanna. “We pride ourselves in having a real personal connection to our customers.”
And the VOS team is top notch.
“We get many compliments on our staff. We try to maintain the principle that it doesn’t matter how the issue was created, we need to keep our customers happy,” said Deanna.
“We try to do what it takes to assure our customers have a good experience,” said Eric. Customer service is what sets us apart from the other suppliers. Lots of places can provide products, but we work with our customers to assure we get exactly what they need and expect.”
VOS employees attend conferences and specialized trainings regularly to assure not only the best product knowledge, but also to best serve their customers and meet their needs.
“We recently had a customer order several cases of a product that wasn’t quite what they wanted,” said Deanna. “But they said they weren’t concerned about the return. They were happy to be working with someone local who could take care of it all.”
Here are a couple of the positive comments VOS has received recently for their customer service.
Collin Nelson and T.J. Martin service a printer. Photo by Jim Palmer
“T..J. has been one of the best technicians and customer service people I have ever seen,” said Pastor Kendall, Calvary Covenant Church. “We were all very impressed. Eric did an amazing job of working with us to get the right machine and an incredible deal. And Sharon was the connection that made it all possible. We are so grateful and thankful for your excellent service.”
“We have been doing business with Viking Office Supply for multiple decades and have found that Eric and his entire staff have been nothing but professional and we have found their organization to be top notch. From the small box of paper clips to the copy systems we have purchased, we have been given the highest degree of customer service.” This was received from Integrity Title in Alexandria.
Viking Bank built a new bank in Alexandria earlier this year, and VOS was proud to be chosen to furnish their beautiful new facility. “We are very happy with the office furniture that we purchased from Viking Office Supply. They were professional and worked with us to make sure that every piece of furniture was a fit. I would recommend working with Viking Office Supply for your office furniture needs,” Shari Laven, president, Viking Bank.
The Johnsons purchased VOS in September 2008 from Ken and Marillyn Nelson, who owned the business since 1972. “I started working in sales at VOS in 1999 after following up on a lead that the Nelsons might be planning to retire, and then the business would be for sale,” said Eric, who had nine years of experience in the office supply industry before coming to VOS. “Ken told me retirement and selling the business were not his current plans, but I should come to work for him, and see what the future brought.”
Deanna joined the team temporarily later that year.
“I filled in during a leave of another employee at VOS in 1999, then went on to other positions before returning to VOS full time in 2011,” said Deanna.
Chris Behrens stands next to a sit-stand desk in the showroom. Photo by Jim Palmer
VOS purchased Central Office Solutions, a local office furniture company, in 2011, which allowed them to ramp up their office furniture capabilities. Joining the VOS staff from Central Office Solutions were Chris Behrens and Curt Krueger, bringing years of experience and knowledge in furniture design, sales and installation to VOS. This move also made a need for more space obvious. As a result, after nearly 40 years at their downtown Alexandria location, VOS moved to its new location in the Midway Mall in Alexandria (2921 Highway 29 South) that same year. It was a good move for VOS and its customers.
“We now have a much larger retail space, allowing enough area for office supplies, machines, and a furniture showroom and also warehouse space for housing and assembling products,” said Deanna. “One of the luxuries that we have now is a loading dock, which makes deliveries of any size much easier. Customers like the ample parking and easy-to-get-to location right off Highway 29.”
In 2014, VOS added a second retail location, located at Palmer Creations, 107 East Minnesota Ave., in Glenwood.
Despite the changes to VOS over the years, one thing has remained constant… top-end customer service.
Viking Office Supply in Alexandria is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The VOS retail location at Palmer Creations in Glenwood is open Monday though Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more about the products and services of VOS, visit their retail locations, or call 320-762-1503. Customers can also browse and purchase items or find out more on-line at www.myvikingoffice.com.