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What to Do When You Can’t Find it on IBVI Supply

How IBVI uses convenience and customer service to meet customer needs

At IBVI, we’re passionate about meeting the needs of our customers, and we’ll go to great lengths to ensure they’re always taken care of. In this blog, we’ll focus on the big picture of how IBVI’s dedicated staff can source just about anything, anywhere, anytime.

We sat down with IBVI’s very own Director of eCommerce, Jason Radliff, to talk more about how this process ensures compliance, convenience, and customer service through our IBVI Supply site.

What do people usually buy on IBVI Supply?

We offer a wide range of products on the site, but the most popular categories are office supplies, office technology, and printer and toner. Customers often purchase other products like tactical gear, tools, food and consumables, and cleaning or maintenance supplies as well. While both our product assortment and sales spread are expansive, these categories make up the majority of purchases year to year.

What’s the user experience like on the site?

I look at it this way: we’re in a much better place, but as the saying goes, “All websites are a work in progress—no site is ever completely done.”

Recently, we’ve made significant improvements to our search functionality. One example is how we’ve integrated predictive text to make finding what you need faster and easier. Another is in how our ink and toner search has been refined and simplified. Now, you can search by printer model instead of needing an exact cartridge number. This helps the user see all available options versus just the one model or specific item number plugged into the search bar. 

Additionally, we’ve optimized overall search performance to ensure accurate and relevant results, eliminating any frustrations or inconsistencies. AbilityOne items are still given priority (showing first), but we’re happy with the results.

Is everything on the site AbilityOne certified?

Not everything on the site is AbilityOne certified, though we do offer nearly every AbilityOne item. For example, much of the tactical gear and related items are not AbilityOne certified. But, we’ve worked hard to make our site a “one-stop shop” for our customers looking to be AbilityOne compliant. 

We can fulfill your AbilityOne needs, but we also provide other day-to-day items that our customers need as well, like office supplies, etc. This convenience also helps consolidate invoices and paperwork, making the purchasing process much smoother for our users.

How have the recent improvements been received by customers?

We’ve received a lot of valuable feedback from our customers. For instance, customer surveys over the last six months have been insightful, and overwhelmingly positive. The survey, conducted using a five-point scale, revealed an overall positive sentiment with a rating of 4.6 out of 5. Our most consistent positive note is that the site is responsive and that checkout is easy and convenient. In fact, 95% of customers recommend our site to others. 

The same surveys were also helpful in highlighting areas for improvement. Customers have suggested using fewer boxes, and consolidating orders to use less packing materials, etc. These suggestions align with our own sustainability goals as well, so they were reassuring to listen to. Overall, we know that we’re offering what our customers need, and we’re known for our fast and convenient purchasing process. We’re thankful for the positive feedback, and we’re excited to keep improving.

If a user can’t find something on the site, what should they do next?

On the main page of our website (at the top right), there is a “Contact Us” link. There, you can enter your name, email, and the product you’re looking for. This information goes directly to our customer service team. If we carry the product, we’ll provide a link for you to view and add it to your cart. If we don’t carry the item, the information is then forwarded to me, and my team and I will consider if it makes sense to add to our inventory. For large orders, we can source the product and fulfill the need right away. For occasional purchases or lower-priority items, we’ll consider adding them in the future, especially if they fill a category gap in our offerings.

One example of how this worked was recently, we noticed customers expressed a need for MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operations) supplies, so we began offering more Snap-On tools on our site. This was met with positive feedback, however, there was still a frequently requested item we were missing—multimeters. To meet this demand, we reached out and partnered with Grainger, and now offer their multimeters on our site. We plan to expand our selection by including more of their tools in the future. This positive change has been well received and appreciated by our customers.

What kind of products can you source? And how do you do it?

Some of this depends on the customer, as some items have certain compliance requirements to consider. TAA and Berry compliance are two examples of this. The Berry Amendment requires certain items be manufactured 100% in the USA. Additionally, the TAA (Trade Agreement Act) mandates that the products are manufactured in countries that we hold a Trade Agreement with.

If the items fall under this requirement, our options are limited by those compliance rules. If they don’t fall into that category, we have a lot more flexibility in what we can offer to meet their needs. Ultimately, it all depends on each customer’s compliance requirements, and we aim to fulfill those needs accordingly.

How is IBVI like a true partner when it comes to sourcing products for customers?

One of the advantages of choosing us as a business partner is this compliance piece. We will always ensure your compliance is guaranteed, which is crucial in the government space. As an authorized AbilityOne seller, we have tools in place for this very purpose. For example, when you use our site to purchase an item, if there’s an equivalent AbilityOne product available, our system will automatically substitute it, ensuring your compliance and protection. These tools and features distinguish us from our competitors and our customers are appreciative of this effort to serve them well. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share about the experience shopping on IBVI Supply?

Over the past year, we’ve made a lot of improvements to our site, including better product images, enhanced site functionality, improved order tracking communication, and upgrades to our Master Shopper Program.

While there may be other options out there with a similar product assortment, I can assure you that we excel in compliance, convenience, and customer service. These three qualities are where we truly shine and it’s what sets us apart from our competition. Our goal is for our customers to always experience these qualities as our signature strengths.

Things go wrong. They always do. But, it’s what you do about it that matters. I call these situations “moments of truth.” We truly set ourselves apart and differentiate ourselves in the level of customer service we provide. At the end of the day, our customers can rest knowing that we will always go the extra mile to make things right.

Browse through our ever evolving e-commerce platform and find the products that your business, workplace, or agency needs at


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