Saving Money and Being Efficient is Easier than you Think – if you plan ahead!

Company StoresEvery business struggles to stay on budget. However, when companies analyze their budgets, the smaller expenditures are often overlooked, while larger expenses such as payroll and benefits are forced to make cuts. But these smaller expenses add up throughout the budget year, slowly draining both time and money that could be allocated elsewhere.

What you spend, in both time and money, on your printed materials, logoed marketing products, company apparel and uniforms adds up to real money throughout the year. But too many companies treat each purchase like an event, instead of having a company-wide plan. Even if you bid out each individual purchase to multiple suppliers, not having an overall plan for how to handle these critical supplies is costing you! Here are 5 likely reasons why your supply are over budget, and what can be done to help save you time and money, going forward.

5 Your Orders Are Not Consolidated Across Departments and Locations.
Without a standard procedure in place to order supplies, departments and locations will be obtaining the products they need from different suppliers. This is problematic in the sense that some locations will be paying much more for supplies than the others, and you are not getting quantity discounts. A couple bucks here and there turns into thousands of dollars by the end of the year. Not all employees are conscious of the cost of ordering small quantities, or they may not even know that other departments use very similar items. You’re also paying multiple employees to work independently on similar purchasing tasks.

4 You are not qualifying for volume discounts
If you are not consolidating your orders, by location and by department, you are likely losing money every time you order supplies. Products bought in larger quantities are always discounted, and you save on shipping costs as well. If you have multiple employees placing separate orders for similar products, you’re placing small orders and managing too many suppliers. In addition, these small suppliers view you as a smaller customer than you really could be, so your customer service can improve as well.

3 Your Products Are Not Standardized
If your office in Atlanta is using full color pre-printed premium envelopes for all of their correspondence, and your office in Miami is using a custom rubber stamp with the company address, there’s certainly going to be a cost discrepancy between the two. Yet, if the entire company were standardized and use the full color premium product, your order quantity would go up, an inferior duplicate item would be eliminated, and the cost would average itself out. You’d get a better product for the same cost. Not to mention, standardization is a good way to help keep your company brand consistent.

2 You Are Spending Too Much Time Ordering Supplies
If products are not standardized and pre-approved, your employees are left to “invent” what they need each time they need to purchase more. And if your suppliers are not consolidated and pre-approved, your employees are spending valuable time repeatedly gathering quotes and bringing new suppliers in to your company. Looking for the “best deal” each time a purchase is needed may seem cost effective, but small dollar savings often come with big unnecessary investments of time. A little standardization and foresight can ensure you’ll be getting the best combination of price, time efficiency, product quality and improved service from company-wide suppliers.

1 You Have Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen
When you give too many employees the authority to choose suppliers, you end up with duplicate small orders for similar items, and inconsistent results for the products being purchased. Many employees may need to place orders for items used in their specific areas, but a well planned supplies management program can give people ordering authority, while maintaining supplier control, cost control and product design control.

The Fix

So what can be done to fix the money pit that is supply ordering? Consider utilizing a Custom Online Company Store, to manage all your supplies across all your locations (see www.CustomOnlineCompanyStore.com for examples). Using a company-wide Store allows you to easily track all orders, so you know exactly how much is being spent on supplies, as they are ordered.

Your Store also makes it easy to identify similar items, and consolidate them. All locations order from the same online store, and receive the same company branded products. This not only helps your budget, but ensures uniform branding across locations. Additionally, there are management tools to help corporate identify who is allowed to order, and how much money they are allowed to spend. A Custom Company Store gives you complete control over the supply orders for your company; and perhaps most importantly, employees are given a time saving and cost efficient way to do their jobs. Just a little pre-planning, and then you’re never more than a few clicks away from whatever supplies your entire company needs.