Choosing the right supplier is a crucial part of your business. You rely on them for the things that allow your business to operate and generate revenue. Many businesses don't realise that their stationery supplier is just as significant, if not more, than their other suppliers.Being that stationery is a monthly spend, selecting the wrong stationery suppliers can impact your cash flow and result in an unhealthy balance sheet. Choosing the right stationery providers – who understand the unique nature of your business – will make the difference between a profitable month and a month you’d rather forget. Unsure about what to look for when selecting a vendor? Consult our checklist:
What's your Stationery Supply Budget?
So you’ve found a supplier who seems like a possibility – what do you consider next? Ask yourself if the supplier can offer you exactly what your business is looking for. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless – the health of your business depends on it. Before starting a vendor search, make a list of your precise needs and determine your budget range.
Does your Stationery Supplier Deliver?
Tied in closely with whether your stationery suppliers can give you what you’re looking for, your vendor needs to be able to deliver the said goods or services. There’s no use signing an agreement with them only to realise that they’re constantly late with deliveries or are always out of stock.
This list will make it easy to eliminate any vendors whose primary offering is all the things you don’t need. If you know within a few minutes of perusing a prospective vendor’s website that they’re not the one, you’ll reduce the time you spend in fruitless searches.
Is your Company the Right Fit?
Part of ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship with your stationery or office suppliers is making sure you select one that’s on the same wavelength as you. Does your company culture mesh well with theirs? If not, save yourself the disruption of having to terminate an SLA six months down the line and cross them off your list.
The best way to tell if a vendor is able to deliver on their promises is to request a trial period. Most vendors worth their salt will offer a 30 day free trial by default. This is a great way to confirm whether they’re up to scratch and whether the two of you will get along in the long term.
What is your Suppliers Reputation? Online and Industry Specific
The internet might have its drawbacks – distracting us from important work with inane websites and videos – but one thing it does let us do is detective work. Social media platforms are the ideal place to go looking for honest opinions about your prospective vendor.
Start with their Facebook page. Chances are, if anyone has anything bad to say about them it’ll be there - just bear in mind that not all negative reviews are what they appear - keep an eye out for disgruntled ex-employees giving false reviews (we speak out of experience). Better yet, ask your vendor for customer testimonials and case studies.
Choose an Office Supplier that Suits your Pocket
As tempting as it may be to simply choose the cheapest supplier, don’t. If they’re dirt cheap, it’s probably for a good reason. Be open to paying that little bit extra if it means you avoid having to go through the hassle of vendor search and selection a month later. What’s most important is that you get everything you need from your vendor, within budget.
At OfficeBox we realise that every client is different and requires a service tailored to them. Sign up for our 30 day trial and see how we can help you business run more smoothly with our fully digital platform, superb delivery and quality stationery - at quality prices.
Updated Post from October 2017
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