While there are any number of places a company can save money, one of the easiest places—often overlooked—is in the area of office supplies.
Here are 10 ways you can save money today:
While name-brand supplies carry a certain prestige, they are not always the most cost effective. Many generic supplies are just as good as the brand names, but cost less. These include paper, ink & toner and even pens. You don’t need Bic, manufacturer toner direct from HP or top of the line paper for everyday printing.
Office Superstores or Online Retailers
Office superstores often have low prices due to their purchasing power. Joining loyalty clubs at these types of stores can bring cash-back rewards, based on the amount of your purchases. In addition, you will receive notices of special pricing and sales on occasion. For Canon toner cartridges or other brands, don’t forget online retailers who often have cost savings that rival office superstores.
Make a Deal With Your Supplier
If you’re purchasing supplies from a one-stop distributor, they are certainly aware of the competitive pricing the office superstores offer. In appreciation for your commitment and loyalty, they may consider offering you an “across the board” discount on your purchases.
Online independent “superstores” often have pricing equal to their brick and mortar counterparts, and various specialty items may be available through their own websites as well. An additional advantage is that these stores are open 24/7, and depending on where you live, sometimes you can avoid paying sales tax with online purchases.
Eliminating Waste and Monitoring Usage
Keeping track of “who uses what” in your office can be an effective way to cut expenses. Establish an individual to be in charge of all office supplies, and perhaps have sign-out sheets to monitor usage. You may find one department or individual is responsible for using an uncommon amount of supplies. Have just one person in charge of reordering supplies; this will keep your expenditures lower, as well.
Leading the Charge
As the boss, employees look to you to set an example, and if wasteful use of office supplies is a problem in your company, be the champion of resourcefulness. Start by eliminating paper memos in favor of email, and printing or copying on both sides of a sheet of paper. Lead the way to cost reductions and your employees will fall in line right behind you.
Software as a Service
Are you still buying and installing critical office productivity suites on CD-Roms every couple of years? These programs are very expensive, and the new SAAS equivalents, where the software resides on the cloud, are considerably cheaper then hard copy equivalents. Not only that, the programs are constantly being updated and improved as you use them—no need to wait for updates every several years. This can increase your office productivity and save money as well.
Examine Postal Expenses
The days of making trips to the post office, buying stamps or refilling meters should be long gone at your company. You can purchase postage online from the post office or private companies. Having a scale in the mail room, using the free shipping supplies available from the USPS, and printing postage in the office will save money and employee time. You can schedule free pick-ups from the post office online, as well. No more toting packages to the nearest post office.
Reward Employees for Saving Money
Some small incentives can go a long way toward making your employees more aware of the costs of running the business.
While it may seem like a smaller item, you can save money by purchasing refurbished ink for HP printers or other name brands. Brand name ink cartridges can add up to a significant amount of money over a year’s time.
Are you taking advantage of any of these money saving ideas for your company? If not, do so today!