OSI’s History in Galesburg
Based in Galesburg, IL, Office Specialists Inc. is an independent supplier of office products, furniture, and other useful items. The company was originally founded in 1989, and over the years it grew into a well-regarded establishment that people from nearby counties partner with. Spend a few minutes reading about Office Specialists’ history in Galesburg, and see how the company got where it is today.
Establishing Office Specialists
Office Specialists was originally founded in November 1989 by Randy Conlon and Steve Gerstenberger. Both had plenty of experience working for other office supply companies, and decided to use their knowledge to run their own business. During the first month of business they operated in Steve’s first house, a small bungalow in Galesburg, IL. Working with them were two employees, both of whom still work with the company to this day.
At first, Steve and Randy focused on selling office products and office furniture. OSI primarily served citizens in Galesburg at the start, but as time passed Randy and Steve were able to purchase a 3,450 square foot commercial space to work in. From there, company would continue to grow, and the two started serving other counties located in Illinois.
Developing the Business
In 1991, OSI joined Tri-Mega, which was known as National Office Buyers (NOB). By joining this group, OSI could give customers the chance to shop directly from manufacturers, allowing them to save a lot of money. Following the purchase of Norris Office Equipment in October 1992, OSI became an Authorized Sharp Copier dealer for multiple counties outside of Galesburg.
In August 1993, the company purchased a machine showroom on 28 North Seminary Street in Galesburg. After an expansion to a larger facility in 1996, OSI was able to use the showroom to showcase multi-function products and facsimile machines from a wider selection of manufacturers. By November 1999, the showroom was consolidated into a larger facility on 143 East Ferris Street so the company would have more space to work with.
Office Specialists, LLC & Further Changes
With the help of a new partner, Trent Pearson, Office Specialists, LLC was formed in August of 2000. After acquiring Missing Link Communications soon after, OSI gained seven new employees, and was able to start working with computer and network sales. The computer division expanded in 2010, and Office Specialists, LLC officially merged with OSI into one corporation. Trent continues to work with Steve and Randy to this day.
By March of 2011, OSI expanded its catalog to offer more products, including janitorial, restaurant, and sanitation supplies. Following this, the company joined NISSCO so it could offer better prices and fend off major competitors.
OSI closed its Monmouth, IL location in 2012, and shut down its Kewanee facility in 2017 as it realigned its business plan. This was done so the company could have a better chance of competing in the growing online space. In 2018, OSI acquired Macomb Office Supply and Western Distributing Inc. to continue its expansion.
After starting in a small house in Galesburg, OSI is now a major seller throughout the state of Illinois. Though there were only a few people at the start, the company now has 23 local employees who serve over 900 customers throughout Illinois.
OSI focused solely on serving Galesburg in its early years, but it now serves other local locations in Illinois, including Peoria, Moline, East Moline, Kewanee, Macomb, Canton, and Monmouth. In addition, OSI also serves the following areas in Iowa: Davenport, Burlington, and Bettendorf.
OSI currently works out of a corporate facility in Galesburg, and offers a substantial online ordering system for customers to use. After all these years, the company’s goal remains the same: to assist customers and give them the best prices possible. The OSI staff members continue to work with distributors across the nation to offer shoppers the best products on the market.
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