For the fourth year in a row, Federal Express, Office Depot, and Dell were viewed most favorably as suppliers in a survey of 4,000+ by small business managers completed by this publication. In this annual survey, readers were given a list of 18 top brands, five satisfaction choices and asked:
For the following national brands please indicate your general overall opinion as to their handling of small business clients?
The clear leaders are Federal Express, rated "very favorable" or "favorable" by almost three out of four respondents, an increase from last year's (64.7%), followed by Office Depot and Dell computers. This year, the editors developed a more mathematical approach to the ratings which is reflected in the chart below. It provides a more graphic picture of the comparisons within the 17 brands nominated by readers.
For the first year, FedexKinko was listed instead of the separate groupings, as the two have merged. Surprisingly, American Express lost its fourth place position from last year yielding to rival Visa and dropping to ninth place. Staples jumped five places and is now in the fifth position amongst the 17 top providers.