Bishops Office Products
Simon (my Dad) set the company up back in 1991. He worked as a furniture sales rep at the time and believed he could do things better and decided to set up on his own. He came home, told my Mum – which I’m sure wouldn’t have gone down well, as my brother was about six month’s old, but that’s how it all began. We changed our name a couple of times eventually settling on Bishops Office Products, very imaginative!
Originally we concentrated on furniture doing installs, desks, chairs, screens etc and later added stationery. Gradually the stationery grew and grew and because of the repeat orders it has now become our bread and butter. Businesses will fit out their office once every 5 to 10 years, it’s not a constant commodity like the stationery. We moved in to our present premises on Chapman Way one weekend when I was 10. I used to climb up the racking in the warehouse and fall asleep, I was meant to be helping but think I was more of a hinderance. The image we’ve always tried to portray is that we are a independent family business employing local people suppling local businesses. We use as many local suppliers as possible and support charities in and around Tunbridge Wells with our toner recycling programme.
All I’ve ever known is my Mum and Dad working together, hats off to them. It’s really been instilled into my brother, sister and I the importance of hard work. Seeing our parents work long, long hours through tough times, has set a great example to us.
I left school in 2012 and worked for another stationery company in London, which was encouraged by my Mum and Dad. After 18 months with them, which was a very valuable experience, I’d had enough of the travelling. I did a little stint with Nationwide locally and then decided to join the family business.. The Sales Manager that was working for Mum and Dad was planning to leave and so they said to me: “why don’t you come and work here as a sales rep” that was in January 2015. I’ve worked my way around the business and now look after all our marketing, oversee the office staff and am due to take on the role of purchasing in a couple of weeks.
About the business
Bishops is a family-run business that knows the importance of going the extra mile to ensure complete customer satisfaction. Our simple solution provides an all-embracing range of business products and services at competitive prices from a caring local company with pride in customer service and procurement systems that fit with the way you work. We stock all core commercial lines in our 2,500 sq ft warehouse in Tunbridge Wells and can offer 30,000 product lines in total, including our own Initiative brand. Unlike other suppliers, however, we are not mere order-takers. The keynote of our service is to tailor a package around your needs, not ours. We’ll adapt to suit you, not the other way round!