With so many businesses touting “the best savings” and “lowest prices” it can be difficult to cut through the noise and get real savings. We’ve compiled tried and true methods to find the right procurement partner and how to make purchasing decisions that cut your invoice.
A small healthcare office will have different office supply needs than a large corporate office. Similarly, an office in Toronto may differ from one in Calgary. Conducting an audit based on your company industry, size, and the supplies used most often, will help determine where your priority focus should be. It will also be a useful tool to help potential procurement partners design strategies. You can then compare these strategies to choose the best one for your needs.
Tip: The people who use the office supplies most are your employees. Have them take a quick survey about the office supplies they use, what they frequently run out of, and their preferred brands. This will significantly help you to determine the supplies usage in your unique office.
In addition to a main audit about your office, take a look at the numbers themselves. Where can you cut back? What is an absolute necessity? What office supply deals should you be on the lookout for? In this way, you can make a confident purchase when the time comes without worrying about the damage it will do to your budget. Do this for each quarter and you will be on an excellent track for savings!
Tip: A good procurement partner will help you do this. They will keep track of your purchasing records and use their expertise to help you make better buying decisions for your office and budget.
First It may seem easy to turn to big name companies like Amazon or Staples, but the fact is that they fall short compared to local suppliers. Smaller businesses will offer discounts, special offers, and have an understanding of your community that can bring you incredible savings. Knowing your options will help you to compare services, location, delivery, prices and so much more to choose the best supplier for your business.
Tip: When a company chooses another local business to partner with the local economy always benefits.
Research on a vendors and suppliers can begin with asking employees and other trusted individuals if they are aware of any procurement businesses that the company should look into. A person is more likely to go to a doctor recommended by a friend or family member than trying to choose one through a lengthy process of elimination. It is the same with office supplies. This will narrow your options and increase the confidence in your choice.
Tip: Once you have a vendor, referring other businesses to that supplier will likely lead to further discount and special services offered to your own business.
Many local office suppliers have specific features and capabilities that are valuable resources for offices. From breakroom supply services & promo products to interior office design & furniture installation, they truly are one-stop shops for an office’s needs. Many will have featured products and promotions that discount otherwise pricy materials and furniture that big name brands do not or cannot do.
Tip: The more capabilities your supplier has to bring discounts and convenience to every aspect of your office, the better your savings. Outsourcing to multiple vendors for different needs and promotions will ultimately cost more time and money in the long run.
When you have a relationship with your procurement partner, purchase from them and use their services frequently, you likely will be given perks otherwise unavailable. These may include discounts, special pricing, freebies and so much more!
Tip: When a business remains loyal to its supplier the account representative gets to know your office’s unique needs like the back of their hand. They will be able to predict what you need and when you need it, as well as present offers and suggestions that will be helpful to your daily work routine.
Sometimes the cheapest option isn’t always the best option despite its initial price tag. Cheaper items may seem like a good deal at the time, but lack of quality manufacturing leads to damaged goods or causes them to break easily. Buying cheaper items at a more frequent rate will cost an office more in the long run than if quality supplies were purchased. The better the make, the longer the item will last and the less often it will have to be replaced.
Tip: Not every item has to be made with the best quality. Depending on your office’s needs and supply usage you can determine where you want to buy quality and which can be generic brand.
Copy paper, pens, notebooks, even coffee are all things that an office frequently goes through. Purchasing these items and others in bulk not only comes at a better cost, but it ensures that there will never be an “oh no!” moment when a staff member realizes the office is out of stock. Buying more for less infrequently is an excellent way to save money on office supplies.
Tip: Buying bulk will also make it easier to note when a new purchase needs to be made. Simply look in the supply closet and determine the quantity available. When it reaches a certain amount, say three (3) notebooks for example, then you know it is time to contact your procurement partner.
Some office supplies cannot be reused once their initial purpose has been served, such as pens. Paperclips, sticky notes, and other such supplies can be given a second life an office staff only thinks creatively.
Tip: Recycling your used paper and cardboard goods may not help your bottom line, but it will help preserve the environment, and that is a goal everyone should work toward.
Having one person in charge of supplies procurement means that there is a gatekeeper to control buying and costs. This helps not only to manage costs and keep records, but that one person eventually becomes extremely familiar and intuitive to the office’s supply needs, making the entire procurement process easier.
Tip: Some of the best individuals for this task are those that come into contact with everyone in the office and know them as people in separate departments, such as marketing and accounting, would not have the opportunity to. This means that the “gatekeeper” may be in HR or even a personal assistant.
It can be difficult to keep track of all the supplies in an office. Often, employees keep extra supplies at their desks or get lost. Having a supply station that in the office helps the person in charge of procurement have a clear visual measure of what needs to be replaced. It also ensures that supplies are not being bought unnecessarily, thereby wasting company money.
Tip: A supply station can be a closet or cabinet that all employees have access to. This keeps the office neat and discourages supplies hoarding at staff members’ desks.
Learn how Everyday Office Supplies can be an invaluable partner for the procurement needs of your unique office.
Our representatives are always happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have about the procurement process and the Everyday difference.
After reading this free 12-page guide, you'll know the right questions to ask when it comes to pricing, order and delivery process, product support, invoicing & payment terms, and more.
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