The temptation for any office manager or administrative assistant is to fill up the office supply cabinet with years of supplies, so he/she will not be pestered by co-workers in search of post-it notes, pens, paper clips, staples, and other office supplies can be overwhelming. In the past, overstocking the cabinet was good, but today’s office does not require half the products simply because many tasks can be completed online.
The primary reason you want to hold off on over-ordering supplies is that technology has moved much of the office to the online landscape, reducing the reliance on printers, ink cartridges, and host of printer supplies. With cloud-based programs, communication technologies, and e-signature apps available online, the need for files, making copies, and waiting for signatures has been significantly reduced. In essence, the ever-changing office landscape makes it less cost-effective to spend more on supplies until absolutely necessary.
Continue reading to learn why you should only order supplies when you absolutely need them.
Paying Attention To The Expiration Date
One of the main reasons to hold off on sending that purchase order is that some supplies can become old and unusable. Printer ink, specifically, can remain in a supply cabinet for far too long and run the risk of not being able to be used because of drying out, if not stored properly.
Generally speaking, office supplies are increasingly expensive, so purchasing disposable items such as printer ink and other products with an expiration date is unwise.
Taking Advantage Of Discounts
When you purchase too much in one go, you possibly miss out on discounts that might occur later. With a full supply cabinet, there is no need to purchase extra to save. Ultimately, it is not a cost-effective way to purchase office supplies, especially when retailers are known to routinely offer discounts on popular products.
Using Another Brand
Change is good, but when you, as the office manager, are left out of the loop, it can be a costly mistake. Most managers know of changes up the food chain long before they happen. However, this is not always the case, and if the business that you work for decides to, for whatever reason, decide to change gears and use different brands, you are left with a closet full of unused product, which again can cost your business a lot of money holding unusable supplies.
Change in Office Format
Another reason to buy your supplies as you need them is that the office format might change. For example, today’s businesses have seen the benefit of sharing documents through cloud-based programs and moving hard copy files to electronic storage formats.
The office format has changed the need for ink and paper, as the office would have gone from producing more prints per day to producing hardly any. The change in the logistics of getting work done decreases the reliance on certain products over time.
Finally, computers and other office technology evolve so rapidly that it is not cost-effective to purchase a whole bunch of a particular product that might only be used for a few years. New technologies are one of the main reasons for holding off on purchasing licencing for programs that might be used in the office until absolutely necessary.
Licenses to run programs are extremely expensive, and while you might get a deal on a three-to-five year contract, you do not know what technologies will be used in the future or whether the programs will be compatible.
This era that we are in is one of transition where a lot of the older technologies are being replaced by newer ones. At the same time, to function, businesses need supplies in order to operate in the present business environment.
For most business, adopting a policy of purchasing on an as-needed basis to avoid overspending is the key to a more secure financial future.