Businesses today face greater challenges and test than they have seen in recent times. With the continuing uncertainty of the economic climate, changing banking relationships and the pressures of balancing the company books it is now more important than ever to make the company dollar stretch as far a possible.
Put into simple terms business needs to make as much as possible whilst running and economically as possible, that means buying at the right price; whether it’s the company electricity bills, temporary staff, printing, telephone bills, fuel costs or the cost of running an efficient office.
Office supplies are one area where companies with large numbers of office based staff can really save if done in the correct way. Stationery products, filing supplies, printer cartridges and general desktop office products are all common place in the office; in fact without office supplies most businesses would struggle to make progress throughout the working day. It doesn’t matter what the trade is from stock broker and bankers, to manufacturers and recruitment agencies – if the office is the hub and core management area of a business then it will in almost all cases be responsible for a substantial area of a companies spend.
1. The best way to trim a companies office supplies spend is to look within.
Look through previous invoices from office supplies providers and create as large a list as possible detailing the most used office supplies within a given department or office. At this point it’s worth noting to actually do this within the company and not ask the office supplies provider to undertake the task: this way, the list will be based on the actual items purchased as opposed to a general core list that most office supplies companies will provide. Make the list as comprehensive as possible; filing products like binders, suspension files and archive storage products, also printer supplies, fax toners, photocopier ink and calculator ribbons – anything that will be ordered over and over again.
2. Bid out your office supplies needs
Once the core list of regular use office supplies has been complied, invite a cross section of office supplies providers to tender for the supply of them – try to indicate willingness to do monthly orders, pay on time and where possible order online – all of these aspects will appeal to office supplies companies and helps to secure a better deal, the easier it is for an office supplies company to supply a company the less margin it will take to run the account efficiently.
3. Choose the best providers.
Once the prices have been submitted by the suppliers it’s a good idea to select the best two. This will help keep the costs down on items that may be one off purchases in the future as ordinarily this is the area an office supplier provider will make their money.
Run this procedure at least once per calendar year and review the office supplies providers with this method and the company spend on office supplies will quickly become reduced.