As one of the smaller line items in your company’s larger list of business expenditures, it’s easy to overlook office supplies as you work to control costs and improve your profit margins. But that relaxed attention is exactly what makes office supply purchasing such a pervasive source of spending waste within many organizations.
Between paper, ink, pens, pencils, shipping materials and other supplies, the cost of overpriced and mismanaged supplies can add up quickly. While many businesses use bulk ordering to stock their supply shelves, those business leaders may not realize how a properly managed bulk ordering process can deliver even more value and reduce supply costs over time.
The Benefits of Buying Office Supplies in Bulk
Bulk purchasing for supplies delivers a range of benefits for your business. Likewise, the value generated from bulk buying can be realized in several different forms, ranging from reduced purchasing costs to reduced resource waste in the form of administrative labor.
While the impact of these benefits will vary depending on your specific supply needs and your current approach to supply procurement, bulk buying can deliver the following advantages:
- Reduced pricing. As with any consumer product, bulk ordering allows your business to reap the benefits of pricing discounts. While price reductions may vary based on the amount being purchased, as well as the vendor selling those items, bulk pricing discounts are the top reason most businesses seek out this procurement approach.
- Improved inventory availability. When you buy in bulk, you face fewer instances of running short on supply—which means fewer instances of supply outages that affect workplace performance and productivity.
- Less ordering and administrative work. Frequent supply ordering is a waste of administrative time. Bulk orders reduce the number of orders placed, resulting in more efficient procurement processes.
- Reduced office waste. By purchasing in bulk instead of in smaller units, supply stockpiles are used up more efficiently than if they were purchased in smaller amounts.
How to Save My Business Money: Other Tips for Purchasing Office Supplies
Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to reduce your office supply costs, but there are other steps you can take to trim expenses, reduce purchasing volume, and save your business money over time.
Some of these cost-cutting strategies include:
- Negotiating prices on bulk orders. Bulk order pricing for office supplies is rarely fixed. Whether you’re negotiating directly or through a service provider tasked with managing your office supply purchases, don’t be afraid to approach the negotiating table and see if you can negotiate a modest price reduction.
- Assign inventory control to one of your employees. Too many businesses overspend on office supplies because those supplies are poorly managed. From unnecessary printing to employees taking pens and other supplies for personal use, your business may be able to scale back its office supply costs simply by designating an employee as an inventory control monitor. Ideally, this will be a professional working in admin or a related department with inventory control can be folded into their other job responsibilities.
- Seek out pricing comps periodically. Even if you’re happy with your current service, comparative pricing will help you evaluate your current office supply pricing relative to the going market rate for those supplies. If you’re paying a rate higher than the market comps, you can use this information as leverage to negotiate a lower price.
- Increase your office supply purchases from a single vendor. If you currently purchase supplies from multiple vendors, you might be able to secure an additional discount by consolidating some of those purchases with a single vendor. This discount is essentially the vendor’s way of increasing its overall volume of orders from your company—and the discount can also represent your company’s increasing value as a client.
Where Can I Find an Office Supply Store Near Me?
If your business manages office supply purchases on its own, it’s best to work with a local supplier where office supplies can be purchased and/or delivered on a fast timeline—especially if your supplies shortage is causing work disruptions.
Alternatively, your business may benefit from working with an office systems partner who facilitates supplies orders as part of a larger package of office support services. This partner can take your company’s orders and manage fulfillment and delivery to make sure you receive exactly what supplies your business needs, when your business needs them.
This alleviates some of the tedious labor involved in placing and managing supply orders, and lets your employees focus on tasks that offer more value to your organization.
Don’t let (bulk office supply) purchases become a source of excessive spending. Through strategic office supply management and a partnership approach to purchasing, your business can reduce costs, avoid unnecessary headaches, and keep your employees well-stocked with everything they need to excel at their jobs.