Chelsea Derrah, of Derrah Morrison Enterprises, LLC (DME), is one of three women that we recognized at the JP Morgan Chase and NaVOBA 2018 Veteran Women’s Business Enterprise of the Year.
Chelsea was in the U.S. Army from 2003-2006 and was a Specialist/E-4, she was a Korean Cryptologic Linguist. She created her company in 2009 to provide wholesale recycled copy paper, resale of medical supplies and equipment, laboratory solutions and pharmaceuticals. DME is located in Cedar Park, Texas.
” While I was finishing college at the University of Texas, I met my business partner while playing golf. He had a relationship with Office Depot and it was brought to his attention that Office Depot was looking for a Service-disabled Veteran-owned Small Business to partner with in a Tier 2 capacity. At that time, Office Depot needed an SDVOSB paper supplier so that they could then offer their contract customers a diverse solution in the supply chain. Within a year, DME was born and I forged a relationship with not only Office Depot, but also Domtar, our copy paper manufacturer. We began servicing all of Office Depot’s distribution centers with truckloads of copy paper and then in 2014, we also added their military stores located on key Army bases here in the states, as well as off-shore. We now ship to dozens of distribution centers across the US, as well as in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Japan, ” Derrah said.
“Although we began dabbling in the medical supply market in 2012, our business really accelerated after the Kingdom Ware Supreme Court Decision, which changed the way the VA uses the Vets First procurement program. In short, it established the “rule of two” when awarding VA contracts to SDVOSBs and this ruling dramatically changed our business model. We became a licensed medical device and wholesale pharmaceutical distributor. We forged key strategic alliances with several Fortune-500 manufacturers/distributors so that we could increase our leverage,” Derrah said.
“We sell primarily to federal and state government agencies (The Dept. of Veterans Affairs, DOD, NASA, EPA, Dept. of Justice, Dept. of Interior). We also have a mentor-protégé relationship with Texas School for the Deaf. They purchase office and medical supplies from us for campus use and in turn, we support their charity – Texas School for the Deaf Foundation – which provides education and services free of charge to all hearing-impaired students in the state of Texas,” she added.
“My job is to make my customers’ lives easier by providing “concierge level” salesmanship and customer service. Customers know they can call my cell any time, day or night, and I will answer. I do my best to preempt their needs, minimize errors in processing and delivery, and to supply the highest quality products as fast as I can get it to them. I give my best effort to visit my customers on at least an annual basis for face-to-face time, so that I can always improve and expand our offerings to meet customer needs. For large equipment deliveries with installation, I am on site as much as possible to ensure seamless transfer of goods,” Derrah said with a smile.
To learn more about DME you can visit their website: www.dme-vet.com