Essendant, a wholesale distributor of stationery and office supplies, is experiencing a multi-day systems “outage”, preventing customers and suppliers from placing and processing orders online.
THE Staples owned company, formerly known as United Stationers, generates more than $5.4 billion in annual revenue and employs more than 6,400 people. Based in Deerfield, Illinois, Essendant also operates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
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A “significant” breakdown leads to cancellations of orders
A systems failure at Essendant prevents the placement or fulfillment of online orders, affecting both the company’s customers and suppliers. Cargo carriers have also been asked to suspend all pick-ups until further notice.
The ongoing operational outage is believed to have started on the evening of Monday March 6, 2023 and Essendant is continuing its recovery efforts. During this time, customers will not be able to place orders or contact Essendant customer service.
The company began notifying customers of the “significant network-wide outage” on March 7, according to an email seen by BleepingComputer.
“Some orders were shipped on Monday March 6, 2023 but we did not provide DSC. Starting this weekend, we will begin the process to provide the missing ASNs. This process will take several days,” an update says. notice published by the company.
Orders placed but not physically shipped before the Monday evening outage will be canceled by the company.
“Customers will be notified of cancellations in one of two ways: 1) by ASN indicating that the items have been manually marked (zero shipment); 2) a report of canceled orders will be provided to you by our team. This process will take several days.”
The office supply supplier has also asked its suppliers to suspend additional deliveries because the company “will not be able to receive anything along the way”.
Reception hours and order forms are also limited until further notice.
Essendant stocks over 160,000 types of items, including traditional office products, office furniture, janitorial and breakroom supplies, and technology products, serving approximately 30,000 reseller customers. Failure of systems is therefore likely to have a widespread impact on the supply chain.
Essendant has yet to disclose the cause of this outage – whether it is a simple technical glitch or a cyberattack, a theme that BleepingComputer has repeatedly observed in multiple “outage” events. days, including those of FLAT And royal mail.
BleepingComputer has contacted Staples and Essendant with questions, but we have not received any additional information beyond what is already mentioned in Essendant’s public notice.