Is your business spending too much money on office supplies? Odds are, the answer is yes. According to the experts at OPI, smaller offices with up to four employees spend over $1800 per employee on office supplies. A medium-sized business with about 40 employees still spends about $1069 per worker on office supplies.
That’s a lot of money! For cash-strapped businesses struggling to stay alive or maintain a competitive edge, the cost of office supplies could literally kill the company. Are those fancy new chairs or new coffee machines really worth damaging your bottom line?
With spending on office supplies clearly out of control and ranking as one of the top ways businesses waste money, it’s time to take a step back and come up with some ways to save money around the office. By following these simple tips, you can get your budget in check while still making sure your office functions the way you demand.
Saving on Office Supplies
Here are the absolute best ways to save money on your company’s office supplies:
Buy in bulk whenever you can—
For the items you use most, such as pens, printer paper, ink cartridges, HP toner for your printers, and staples, buy in bulk to get the absolute lowest per-unit costs. Most office supply stores will offer significant discounts on bulk purchases. You can even talk to your supplier and try to negotiate discounted rates on your orders.
Just make sure you don’t get carried away and buy more supplies than you’ll actually need. Focus on the things you know you’ll use. For example, your printer will always run out of toner, so that’s something you could buy in bulk. Be smart about it!
Don’t worry about getting brand name items—
Do you really need name brand office supplies? In most cases, the only difference between office supplies from different brands is the name on the package. Name brand supplies come at increased prices because people recognize and trust the brand name, but they aren’t usually significantly better products.
In most cases, you can get away with buying generic office supplies. You’ll save a heap of money, and you won’t notice any difference in the quality of the products. If you do, you can always ask your supplier to trade what you have left up for a better quality.
Shop online for the best deals—
For the best deals, always shop online. Shopping for office supplies on the internet allows you to easily compare prices from a number of retailers in just seconds. That makes it incredibly easy to spot the best deals. Just make sure you factor in shipping costs when making your online purchase.
Why is it so much cheaper to buy online than in a store? The large office superstores have huge overhead. They have the building space to pay for and tons of employees as well. Internet stores don’t have all of this overhead, so the savings get passed on to you.
Make sure your employees aren’t stealing your supplies—
Did you know about 2/3 of all employees admit to having taken office supplies from work? In most cases, those who take office supplies home grab cheaper items like pens and post-it notes. There usually isn’t any ill intent behind these “thefts.” No harm done, right? Well, while you might not think it’s that big of a deal, the cost of those little items going missing can begin to add up.
However, what’s really costly is when an employee makes the conscious decision to steal more expensive office supplies, like printer ink, software, or even office furniture. It happens, and a lot of managers don’t even realize it. Make sure you stay aware and have a system in place to prevent supply theft.
Track your monthly expenses—
One of the main reasons companies spend so much on office supplies is because no one is actually paying close attention to how much money is actually being spent. Quick, without looking at the numbers, do you know how much your company spends on office supplies each year? Probably not.
That’s why it’s so important that you track all of your office supply expenses. This will help you identify areas of overspending as well as areas where supplies might be getting wasted. Knowledge is power!
So, how much money is your business wasting on office supplies? Stick to these tips, and you could start saving a lot of money.