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Essendant Facing Multi-Day Systems “Outage”

Essendant, a wholesale distributor of office supplies, is experiencing a multi-day system “outage” preventing customers and suppliers from placing and fulfilling online orders. The company is owned by Staples, formerly United Stationers, has a headquarters in Deerfield, Illinois, and operates in Dubai, UAE. The company brings over $5.4 billion in revenue annually and has over 6,400 employees. The ongoing operational outage is understood to have begun sometime on the evening of Monday, March 6, 2023, and Essendant is still working on recovery efforts. Customers will not be able to place orders or contact Essendant’s customer care until systems are restored. Freight companies have been instructed to postpone all pickups until further notice. “Some orders were shipped on Monday, March 6, 2023, but we did not provide an ASN. Beginning this weekend we will start the process to provide those missing ASNs. This process will take several days. Customers will be notified of cancellations in one of two ways: 1) by ASN indicating the items were manually marked out (zero ship); 2) a report of cancelled orders will be provided to you by our team. This process will take several days,” reads the notice published by the company. 

Analyst Notes

Serving about 30,000 reseller customers, Essendant maintains inventories of more than 160,000 different products, including conventional office supplies, cleaning and break room supplies, office furniture, and technology. The systems outage will significantly impact the supply chain. Essendant has not yet disclosed the reason for this outage. It is unclear if it was a technical problem or the result of a cyber attack. Lately, we have seen different multi-day “outages,” including the incidents that happened in DISH and Royal Mail caused by cyber criminals.