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office supplies

How to optimally manage your bulk office supplies


Taking a proactive approach to managing your office supplies can help prevent shortages, save money and free up resources. One of these approaches is buying your office supplies in bulk. But if it’s not managed effectively it can quickly spiral out of control leaving you with an overflow of supplies and shrinking amount of space. What’s more is that oversupply usually leads to waste. Think about the average small business; excessive operational overheads can have a serious impact on the survival of a start-up. Here are a few ways to help you get the most out of procuring bulk office supplies.

Set up a comprehensive inventory list and frequently update it.

The proof is in the preparation. Before even considering picking up the phone to a supplier, make sure you know what you need. Ordering bulk office supplies requires you to be very attentive. It’s easy to be enticed by low prices, but not all office supplies need to be purchased in bulk – excess orders only take up unnecessary space and lead to wasteful consumption. Ink and other products also have shorter lifespans, which means overstocking can lead to supplies expiring before they are utilised; leading to more money going down the drain.  

Aside from pens, notepads and paper that are high demand items in any business, each department usually has varying stationery needs. Adjusting your inventory list to their estimated monthly usage should give you a clear indication of what bulk office supplies you should order. During certain periods, like the financial year-end, departments are likely to use more supplies than usual.

Keeping track of high demand stages allows you to plan ahead and prevent any potential shortages. You can further simplify the ordering process by placing a repeat order for items you know run out fast and need to be replenished monthly. Understanding the ebbs and flows of your business means you’re able to cater to its demands for consumables efficiently, and with minimal wastage. Couple this with a supplier who is able to cater to your unique requirements and you have a winning combination.  

Choose the right supplier to meet your bulk office supplies

Choosing the right provider for your bulk office supplies is about more than finding the best price. Most suppliers offer discount on bulk purchases, but the cheapest option isn’t necessarily the best. A wide variety of products and brands means you’ll only have to source your supplies from one provider.  

Other aspects like accurate and timely deliveries and a streamlined online ordering system can save you a lot of time and hassle. A comprehensive return policy is also essential to protect both you and the supplier in the event of an incorrect order or delivery. Furthermore, by subscribing to a supplier’s newsletters or regularly enquiring about any special offers you could possibly get your bulk office supplies at even lower prices.  

Ensure you have adequate storage space and closely monitor your supply levels.

Before submitting your bulk office supplies order you need to be sure you have sufficient space to store everything. The layout of the storage room and placement of products is just as important as the size of the space.  

The proper arrangement of your bulk offices supplies can reduce time searching through hundreds of items and the risk of losing supplies. Supplies that are in high demand like pens and paper should be easily accessible, usually closest to the door at eye level. Arranging supplies according to categories also makes it easy to determine where everything is and determining what supplies are running low.

David Adams
06 October 2017