How to save on office supplies

Posted In Weaver Bomfords Blog   |   26th January 2018

Buying office supplies is a bit like doing your shopping at the supermarket.  In spite of all the BOGOF deals and the half price offers, you still get a much bigger bill than you expected at the checkout thanks to all the impulse buys and little extras that somehow got in to your trolley. And you’ve still got nothing for tea.

As supermarket shopping proves, it’s not always about the price of an individual items.  The mix of product you buy, the brand of product and resisting unnecessary purchases are all just as important in keeping your costs down.  Many companies will negotiate fiercely over the prices of items on their stationery contract but will forget to put controls in place to make sure that these are the items that staff order.

Here are six simple ways to get control of your costs.

1. Choose products carefully

There are some products that people are often not prepared to compromise on; Heinz Beans, PG Tips, Bic Pens, Rexel Staplers.  This really is a matter of how committed you are to cutting costs.  There may be some products that you feel it’s worth spending the extra on, there may be others that are simply ordered out of habit. There are always alternative products that will do the job just as well as the branded market leader, at a significantly reduced price. We can help you to identify and evaluate products, provide samples and help you set them up favourites so you can find them easily.

2. Share nicely

Waste is a significant issue in most companies with items stashed in staff desks and drawers, unofficial stationery stores in departments and part used items relegated to the bin.  Hold a stationery amnesty, collect in all the items scattered around your offices and you’ll often have a month’s additional stationery for redistribution. Often, one person will be ordering items, blissfully unaware that someone else has got a full box in their desk drawer. Make it company policy to have a properly organised and controlled stationery store or eliminate it all together, setting up an online system with us, where you can authorise and review orders, set spend and product type limits and see exactly what everyone has ordered.

3. Get control

Because the individual price of stationery items is often relatively low, many people don’t give sufficient thought to what they buy.  By putting appropriate buying systems in place, you can control how stationery is purchased right across your organisation.  From simple ordering and authorisation processes to budget controls and management reports, our ordering systems allows you to see exactly what you’re buying and when.  You can check orders by individuals or by departments and then see by individual and department what has been ordered over the course of a week/month/quarter – whichever you prefer. Make people aware that however small the item, it will need to be authorised and will be on the management report – sometimes that’s all that’s necessary to make them think about what they’re ordering.

4. Single Source

Only 60% of the total cost of an order relates to the product, the remaining 40% is hidden cost, added by the administration and account management required to process the order.  Reducing the number of suppliers you deal with can result in a significant reduction in these costs.  By selecting a supplier able to offer you competitive prices across a wide range of products you can improve savings by increasing your volume with one supplier, benefit from improved delivery efficiency and get accurate and comprehensive spend reports.  At Weaver Bomfords we can supply everything your office needs from stationery to janitorial products, catering items and promotional items.  Our range features over 28,000 products and our specials department can source any item, however weird and wonderful!

5. Expect More

The service that you get from your supplier should be another way to save money.  There are routine tasks such as stationery distribution, departmental recharging and providing usage reports that your supplier should be able to provide free of charge.  This can save significant amounts of time for your staff and cost for your business. Your supplier should act as a service partner; able to help you out when there’s an emergency rather than leaving you to rush out and buy emergency supplies locally; source the cheapest and best products for special requirements, rather than look at it as an excuse to improve margin; advise you when a product should be added to your contract list, rather than encourage your staff to buy off contract.  Weaver Bomfords have close working relationships with all our customers and look to provide service that’s of genuine value to your business.

6. Print Differently

Look at other less obvious ways to reduce the paper and stationery you use by thinking about what you print and copy – as much as 20% of a firm’s total waste output can be from white paper alone. Set your printers to duplex (print on both sides) automatically, to default to mono, scan documents and reduce the space, stationery and time involved in keeping hard copies.  You could use a colour MFD to bring your marketing and document production in-house. Produce professional quality documents and print them on demand – no more throwing away out of date leaflets and forms. Take advantage of a Managed Print Service and reduce the costs and time involved in printer and toner buying and administration.  Our print and copy experts, can talk you through some simple changes that will save you really significant sums.

At Weaver Bomfords we specialise in helping companies reduce their office supplies expenditure with a combination of effective account management, competitive prices and first class logistics, all of which significantly reduce costs.

Contact us on 03456 123858 for more information or get in touch with one of our experts

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