5 Simple Ways To Save Money On Office Supplies (Woo Hoo!)
Some companies are in the healthcare industry, some make toys, and some are sport the traditional corporate grind. But at the end of the day they all have two basic things in common: they all need office supplies and they all like saving money (who doesn’t?). The reality is that office supplies are usually a tiny percentage of a company’s costs and spending valuable time trying to save a few pennies has an imperceptible effect on your bottom line.
- STOP SHOPPING: GASP! In a consumer culture such as ours, such a statement doesn’t compute for many, but there is method to our madness. We know this seems self-serving, but shopping to save a few % points on office supplies is likely costing your company more money than it saves. When you double check the math on this point, you’ll be surprised to find that you likely didn’t save more than the cost of your shopping time—after all, “time is money!” How much does it cost for Accounts Payable to set up a new vendor? Answer: probably more than its worth. Say you spent 15 minutes shopping and found paper for $5 less a carton at some website. If you make $20 an hour, it’s already break even and the cost to set up a new vendor averages $25 at the low end. Do yourself and the company a favor: don’t spend dollars to save dimes.
- BUY PRIVATE LABEL BRANDS: Okay. Here it is. The big one. Use the private label “house” brands for oft-used commodity products as often as possible. Let’s be realistic, how many paper clip factories do you think there are? The answer is only a few. Very few. And these few companies supply both the name brands and the private labels, meaning that the quality will generally the same. The same is true with ring binders, file folders, legal pads and hundreds of other products. You can save a ton on cleaning and breakroom supplies alone by using house brands over pricey grocery store name brands.
- ORDER ON A SCHEDULE: You have a laundry day, a food shopping day, and likely an appointment with the doctor every few months or so. You have a schedule for these things because without one things can get a little sticky. Ever wait too long for the laundry and suddenly it’s like dirt clothes tsunami and you have nothing to wear? Buying office supplies follows the same principles. The most cost-efficient company doesn’t waste time placing orders every time a small need arises (you don’t run the laundry for a sock) or waiting until the last minute when they’re completely out. Ordering on a regular calendar schedule-once a week, once a month… you get the idea. Find what suits your operation, and because every time we send a truck our “cost to serve” increases and your prices follow. Plus, with our Home Team Service, we’ll adapt to your needs and help you establish a routine that we’ll manage right off the bat!
- USE SPEND-MANAGEMENT TOOLS: Coastal, like most of our fellow OP dealers, has a very sophisticated set of automated cost controls that can be deployed to manage your company’s spending—isn’t technology great? At Coastal, we have the tech and the human experts running it to set a monthly budget per office or department, restrict purchases to a company list, auto-substitute house brands for name brands or require up to three levels of approvals. With spend-management tools, we’ve got your back at every turn. By combining rules, we can create an almost infinite variety of circumstances to make your spending cost-effective and predictable. Yeah. Saving money also means saving time with mathematical calculations. That’s a win-win.
- REDUCE, RECYCLE & REUSE: Listen, if your company hasn’t gotten on the Green bandwagon, then it’s time to get with the times and level up. Not only is being environmentally conscious just a good thing to do, it can also save money. Start with saving paper by printing on the backs.
So there you have it! That’s the way the cookie and all those unnecessary expenses crumble when you buy office supplies smartly.
Get poppin’ on your Coastal office products savings!