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| Office Supplies and Ink

05/10/14

Supply and demand: Are your office products putting your profit in jeopardy?

When you think office supplies and ink as it pertains to your office and ordering, you probably don't give it much thought as far as your bottom line is concerned.
Even the most ardent and studios of office managers might be a little lax when it comes to keeping the office stocked with notepads, pens and printer paper and ink. Even thought these items wouldn't be considered large scale expenses, they add up quickly, often account for thousands of dollars of overspent funds per year and are the last line item on a balance sheet that is taking into consideration.
So how exactly can you keep tabs on your tablets without having the CEO nipping at your heels and asking questions about why you've spent well over your budgeted amount?
The trick isn't so much difficult as it is paying close attention to ordering habits and not assuming that something as inconsequential as pencils and paper doesn't deserve some organizational skills thrown in its direction.
And being organized includes anything from making sure you're only ordering as needed and not haphazardly to price shopping between vendors and not believing that to be a waste of time. Far too many managers see office supplies as interchangeable and low cost endeavors that cost pennies in comparison to bigger expenses like a marketing budget or purchasing a fleet of cars for your sales force.

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But price comparing ultimately is a good thing, even if you save a few cents here and there. Any competent office person that is in charge of ordering supplies will tell you that they'll receive a hearty pat on the back and handshake from their boss when the year end totals are tallied and everyone involved in ordering saves the company, especially a small business, a decent amount of cash. A thousand dollars by year's end back in the company's pocket could mean more staff hired during peak times, an overhaul of new desk, chairs and paint job for the office or year end bonuses for the entire staff.
That sure makes those Post It notes seem a lot more important, right?
In addition to price shopping, office supplies and printer ink also shouldn't be sitting on the shelves collecting dust. These items and products can easily be ordered with little or no lead time for shipping, so being overstocked with them is like cash sitting on the shelves. And when your cash flow is paramount, money is of the utmost of importance, and no one in the office wants that capital tied up in erasers, rubber bands and paper clips.
Companies, large or small, might not always have their pulse on just about every purchase, but office supplies often don't pique the interest of parties involved.
That is, of course, until you realize that you're losing money.

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