OCS Stands For…?

When I was hired to work at ProStar as the receptionist, I didn’t know what the abbreviation “OCS” meant.  I heard it used often around the office—“OCS” this… and “OCS” that—but I never thought to ask, “So what does OCS stand for?  Then one day I heard another employee ask the pertinent question and felt silly I hadn’t figured it out.  It’s pretty obvious.

Office. Coffee. Service.  Got it!

I’m glad my first position with ProStar was as receptionist, because working at the front desk provided me a great introduction.  Through forwarding calls and knowing just who does what around here, I quickly learned the scope of the company.  I saw the network of product and action that makes up ProStar today ~ from roaster to warehouse to delivery truck to office break room to…

But that vast network began with a simple premise:  we shall serve coffee to other offices.

Randy, founder of ProStar, began his own OCS career as a delivery driver in Oklahoma.  He was working his way through college, studying to be a funeral director.  But after he moved to Dallas in 1986, he realized the true breadth of the Dallas market, and he decided to begin his own OCS company out of his garage.  He bought a used van that didn’t have an air conditioner.  He purchased inventory from a local distributor.  In the mornings, he made cold-calls to local businesses, asking if they were interested in establishing an office coffee service for their employee break rooms.  In the afternoons, he delivered his product.  His wife, Debbie, helped with invoicing, babysitting to help cover the bills.

Randy’s original business model was simple:  he left every break room cleaner than he found it, well-stocked and organized with everything from coffee to sugar and stir sticks.  And he installed commercial-grade equipment and filtration systems, ensuring the quality of each mug of coffee.

In many ways, that original model is still in place.  A team of over 50 delivery drivers services routes in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City, leaving break rooms in every market cleaner and more organized, full of fresh coffee product.  ProStar service techs still install commercial-grade coffee equipment at account locations, while our Guardian Water division ensures the superior filtration of the water used in each machine.

But Randy will tell you it took years for him to develop what he calls the “full proposition” of his business—the practices and the heart that make this company unique in a competitive OCS market.  ProStar began as an OCS company, and it still is an OCS company, but it has matured.  The vision has broadened….

And it took a lot of hard work to get here.  A lot.

Next week on Behind the Bean:  Simple Doesn’t Always Mean Easy!