Hoosier Independent Stationers (HIS) was formed in 1977 in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven independent office supply dealers. Their vision was to become the best customer driven salesforce in the marketplace. Individual dealers cooperated as a single buying and marketing force in the U.S. While this concept was already being utilized in the grocery and hardware industries, HIS was the first office supply dealer group in the United States. Soon after 1977, the group began to expand beyond its Indiana boundaries, and changed its name to simply Independent Stationers.

In 1994, Independent Stationers began operating as a cooperative, much like True Value®, Do-It-Best Centers, Ocean Spray®, and Sunkist®. IS members continue to be locally-owned and operated, but utilize common merchandising and marketing to aggregate the strength of the organization.

The organization has continued to evolve, merging in 1998 with a similar group, Office Network.  In 1999, we began using the name is.group and we later affiliated with two other organizations to enable each group to benefit from the combined strength of each:  AFFLINK, a janitorial/sanitation buying group, and Pinnacle Affiliates, a dealer group of large office supply, furniture, and other services companies.

As time evolved, the typical member was not just a traditional office supply dealer, selling pens and paper. Today, members and affiliates sell office furniture, computer & IT supplies, printing, school supplies, janitorial and break room products, promotional products and more.

In 2018, we rebranded as Independent Suppliers Group. The new brand identity reflects the dealer group’s desire to more accurately describe what the cooperative represents today, which is a “big tent” that enables different types of dealer focus, including office supplies, furniture, facilities/maintenance/industrial dealers. It also eliminates the antiquated use of the word “stationers” that was developed back in 1977.

After 41 years, the organization and its members continue to grow, develop new programs and services, and create efficiencies in their businesses!