Chicago School Supply—A Story of Growth

Chicago School Supply—A Story of Growth
In September 2006, Michael Ockrim began selling school and office supplies, as well as furniture and equipment, to schools in the City of Chicago.

His company, Chicago School Supply, LLC, sought to take advantage of a gap in the school supply market to fulfill the needs of Chicago schools. Michael came to SCORE in need of help in expanding his business.

Three SCORE counselors, Gene Migely, Norm Letofsky, and Phil Hartung, worked with Michael to develop hiring, training and compensation plans and to deal with a multitude of business issues. They continued to meet with Michael every three months to review his progress and to advise on actions and plans.

Since it started, Chicago School Supply has added three sales representatives, an office manager and three e-commerce websites. In 2008 the company achieved over one million dollars in annual revenue, which represents a 180% growth, and the company continues to grow.

Michael had the following to say about the help he received from SCORE: As an entrepreneur, it is important to surround yourself with smart people that challenge your thoughts and business model. The SCORE coaches inspire critical thinking and provide excellent outside perspective. Oftentimes, as business owners, we become so consumed by our day-today corporate minutia that we fail to see the bigger picture or analyze the core competencies that have made us successful. Thank you SCORE for taking the time and effort to work with me and Chicago School Supply!”

Chicago School Supply’s website can be found at