ITASCA, Ill. – Credit unions from coast to coast can receive a "significant" break on office products, furniture and tech equipment under a group purchase deal being offered by Boise Office Solutions in separate agreements with CUNA and CU Association of the West. CUNA in Madison, Wis. said its pact with the office equipment firm would be administered under its Strategic Alliance division in which member CUs get discounts on a wide variety of vendor products. Like the Boise pact, CUNA has similar agreements with Diebold Inc. on ATMs, Canon on office products, De La Rue on money handling, and Harland on checks, to name a few. All told, CUNA has 14 "strategic alliances" with vendors developed in a formal structure over the last three years. The discounts on office supplies, paper products, furniture, and tech equipment could run as high as 75%, said Wes Millar, CUNA vice president of strategic alliances. "There is a core set of 75 items that are deeply discounted, and then on top of that there are additional items that can be selected by the credit union in which there can be significant savings," explained Millar. Steve Renock, a director of CUAW and chief operating officer of the California Credit Union League's service corporation, said the discounts would cover a broad array of Boise products "including everything from filing systems to pens and paper clips." Millar acknowledged that CUAW had been first in line to negotiate a deal with Boise and that both trade groups agreed to develop a joint pact. CUs in California or in Illinois ordering the equipment on-line or through an 800-number "will not know the difference" whether they're dealing with CUNA or CUAW, said Millar, "it will be neutral, but we will know," he said. CUAW, organized by four West Coast leagues-California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada-represents more than 900 CUs and 13 million CU members. Chris Milliken, president and CEO for Boise Office Solutions, headquartered in this Chicago suburb, said in a statement that its focus in aiding the industry would be to let "credit unions concentrate on their core business issues and opportunities" while it makes office products purchases "easier and more controllable." Boise Office Solutions is a subsidiary of Boise Cascade Corp, headquartered in Boise, Idaho and touts itself as the "premier multinational distributor" of office products. [email protected]

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