Minnesota’s Innovative Office Solutions, the largest women-owned Independent Business Products Dealer in the Country, combines with Northern Business Products, a Duluth based Business Products Dealer. 

Minneapolis, MN (October, 2021) –  Innovative Office Solutions has combined with Northern Business Products, marking another key step in Innovative’s 20-year growth story. The combined company will operate under the Innovative Office Solutions brand in locations throughout Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, and now Wisconsin with the addition of the Northern Business Products locations. 

Jennifer Smith, the CEO and founder of Innovative Office Solutions, started her business products company in 2001, and has navigated its continued growth through two recessions and a pandemic by investing in staff, technology, new business categories and a commitment to an excellent customer experience. The combined company will employ over 300 people in 14 locations. 

Under the leadership of brothers Mike Farrell and Jim Farrell, Northern Business Products has a multi-decade history as a well-respected provider of office supplies and furniture to businesses throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

This move comes as Innovative celebrates its 20th anniversary. Starting in 2001 with 21 employees, Innovative has grown rapidly through a highly successful model centered around the customer experience where “Relationships Matter”. At a time of uncertainty in the market, this move represents another bold step forward for one of Minnesota’s most dynamic and progressive companies. Under the leadership of Jennifer Smith, Innovative has a 20-year history of bold moves that provide more options for its growing customer base and continue to set Innovative apart from its national “big box” competitors. 

 A Winning Culture 

Throughout its growth, Innovative Office Solutions has made it a priority to maintain the culture that made it successful in the first place. “Our culture has always been a source of pride for me” Smith said. “We’ve created a culture of growth and empowered our employees to take care of our customers through a clearly defined set of core values and brand promise. It’s allowed us to grow rapidly while maintaining clear expectations and keeping Innovative a fun and rewarding place to work.” 

Amongst a long history of notable recognitions, Innovative was recently named a 2021 Top Workplace by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, by offering a flexible workplace that puts employee wellbeing first. 

This winning culture has given Innovative a unique spot in the marketplace as a business that deftly combines it’s large-scale technology and national supplier partnerships with the touch and feel of a small company. 

Simply put, Innovative Office Solutions provides the customized solutions and services you expect from smaller local organizations with all the capabilities, resources, products, services and technology a larger company offers. This model has proven to be successful as organizations large and small flock to the personalized service offered by Innovative. 

Moving Forward 

“This will combine two of the strongest remaining independent office solutions dealers in the Upper Midwest and will enable us to provide even more services and solutions to our customers, and new opportunities for our employees and supplier partners,” said Smith. 

Mike Farrell, of Northern Business Products, weighed in, “Northern Business Products has spent decades providing exceptional customer care throughout northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. We’re confident that as part of Innovative our customers can expect this continued level of service with the addition of many more options in products, technology, and services. Just as important, our employees will benefit from being part of a company that puts their winning culture to work every day for their people.” 

This is a collaborative acquisition that will bring both companies together under a single brand. Innovative Office Solutions will inherit the people and services of Northern Business Products, thus allowing customers to maintain continuity with their existing relationships, while adding expanded capabilities to the customers of both organizations. Mike Farrell and Jim Farrell will continue as regional leaders in the newly expanded company. 

About Innovative Office Solutions 

Founded in 2001 by CEO Jennifer Smith, Innovative Office Solutions is a progressive, independent provider of office productivity solutions with a vision towards making the workplace more productive. 

The products & services offered by Innovative include office supplies, furniture & design, cleaning supplies, breakroom products, promotional products, technology solutions, print & graphic design. This full portfolio is delivered in a personalized, relationship focused, approach designed to deliver the right solution to meet the unique needs of any organization. 

Clients include the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota TwinsMinnesota Wild, St. Paul Saints, and Minnesota United FC. Innovative partners with each of these professional sports teams to give back to the community through its InSports Foundation and a variety of sports-themed initiatives. 

Some notable recent recognitions: 

  • 2021 CEO Jennifer Smith receives Special Award in Leadership and Management by the Star Tribune 
  • 2021 Top 175 Workplaces by the Star Tribune 
  • 2020 COO Julie Owen recognized as Women in Business Award by the Minneapolis-St Paul Business Journal 
  • 2019 CEO Jennifer Smith inducted into Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame, Minnesota Chapter of NAWBO 
  • 2019 CEO Jennifer Smith received Business Solutions Association 2019 Leadership Award 
  • 2018 CFO Brooks Smith received CFO of the Year award, Minneapolis / St Paul Business Journal 
  • 2017 CEO Jennifer Smith award EY Entrepreneur of the Year Upper Midwest by Ernst & Young. 

About Northern Business Products 

With a multi-decade history, Northern Business Products has been a fixture in communities throughout northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Providing a unique blend of products and services to meet the needs of today’s business, including Business Products, Office Furniture and Printing & Promotional Products. Northern Business Products has over 100 employees in seven locations. 


For more information please contact Jason Player, Chief Marketing Officer, at 952-698-9200.