Each year during August, September and December, office supply usage goes up. We have tracked this usage for the last seven years. During August and September, your employees may find it easier to grab some supplies for their school age children than running to the store. In December, these same items make great stocking stuffers for the holidays.
The money spent on office supplies is only one to two percent of your budget, yet these supplies cause much more of a headache because everyone seems to have an opinion on what they want. It is important to control the office supplies provided for people to do their job. An order guide of approved supplies should be created and adhered to. There should be no off contract order guide purchases allowed.
An order guide will also help to standardize the supplies used and therefore keep costs down if done properly. For example, at one facility, they were ordering pastel colored post-it-notes at twice the cost of the single colored post-it-notes because the pastel color matched the wallpaper in an office. Further, don't assume that smaller 5" x 8" ruled paper pads are less expensive than the 8 1/2' x 11' ruled pads. Many times the office supply distributor gets better pricing on the products they do a larger volume on and in this case, it would be 8 1/2" x 11" paper pads.
Five easy steps to control office supply expenses are:
1. Create a standardized order guide.
2. Utilize bids with net pricing for the items on your order guide. The PRIME Service's Group Purchasing Program can help.
3. Monitor inventory levels. Overstocking of supplies costs money because invoices will be paid long before the supplies are used and it increases the chances of pilferage.
4. Talk to your office supply distributor to see where they get the best deals and use these items in your order guide.
5. Communicate your office supply ordering policy to all staff. Orders should be coordinated through one department not placed by several departments.
Don't waste money, let PRIME Services assist you in reducing costs, increasing cash flow and improving operational efficiency.