6 Questions top procurement managers ask when looking for an office products supplier
When it comes to office supplies, you probably know a thing or two. But, with the average employee costing a company between £150 and £600 per year, it’s time for a rethink. Sure, a few changes could save you thousands a year, but it’s not all about money. The right office products supplier should bring you a bundle of benefits you may not have considered. Together, these could streamline your business model whilst taking the hassle, headaches and expense out of the whole procurement process.
So, ask yourself: “am I really getting the best deal from my supplier?” Now take the time to read on. You may want to re-evaluate...
#1. First things first: how does my supplier compare by price?
Whether you’re a fresh start up or a well-established family business, you should always focus on cost. This isn’t as simple as it sounds. Time and again business owners ask, “Where should I start? What’s the relative focus point?” The simple answer is: there isn’t one.
Be wary of the supplier who offers paper at a loss, just as you would of the supermarket that continually slashes milk prices. What you need is a complete, line-by-line review of your current spend. Then you can compare this with a line-by-line review of your potential new supplier. We offer a completely transparent audit which monitors price, spots billing errors and highlights ‘price creep’. Unlike other suppliers, this service is 100 percent free. Why not take advantage and get an honest account of your procurement costs here?
#2. Looks good, but how can their expertise really support my business?
Business supplies is like any service. There are those who take the time to listen, understand and use their well-found knowledge to help customers. Then there are those who are in it for the quick-win. You know it’s worth finding out which type your supplier is, but what benefits can they really bring?
A good office products supplier will be both a mentor and consultant. They should help you streamline your procurement process, eliminate costly procedures and discover smarter spending solutions. This could mean suggesting low-cost alternatives that are equal to the big brands. Alternatively, they may give advice on quantity and quality of supplies that match your brand and budget, or even highlight current promotions that are available at the time. A single invoice and a simple procedure can really minimise your soft cost, too. Take a second to think what that might mean for your business?
#3. Next up: can they supply everything (and I mean everything) I need?
One of the main reasons to employ a single dedicated supplier is that it will save you time. So long as you can satisfy all your business needs in one place, from a supplier you trust, you won’t have to spend hours trawling through the internet and old catalogues. Instead you can rely on total cost first and individual product price second.
Many suppliers claim to be a one-stop-shop for all your office needs, but what does this really mean? Sure, they may sell stationery, paper and toners, but do they offer business machines and furniture at discount prices also. In fact, whatever you need, we’ll find it. At LG Davis, we pride ourselves on our massive catalogue of 22,000 business products and we include a range of complimentary business services to go alongside them. Check out our design and print service for starters, here!
#4. So far so good – but how easy is it to order and what about deliveries?
Have you ever decided to order a product only to have been put off by a convoluted buying process? Or, a delivery time that’s greater than 24 hours and that won’t drop products at your desk? You’re not alone. An all-star supplier makes the whole purchasing process easy by having:
A direct line to an experienced team of product experts.
A return rate of less than 0.2% and a no-quibble refund policy
An efficient online ordering platform with email and fax orders available
These days, online is key. A good supplier website will be easy to navigate, will give a history of past orders and will let you log in and order in a matter of minutes. It’s also nice to have a good range of visible, fresh promotions for you to benefit from. Have a click here for an impeccable example (okay, we admit it, it’s ours).
#5. Are they guided by ethical principles?
If you believe in ethical practices, then it makes sense to buy from an ethical supplier. That means one that doesn’t just stock Fairtrade, eco-friendly and Rainforest Alliance goods, but also one that sources goods from an ethical supply chain. You should also think about the carbon footprint. How far does your delivery van travel to bring your goods?
Tip: a local choice is often the best choice.
Choosing an ethical supplier won’t just give you a warm gooey feeling inside, it will help you when looking for new business too. If you’re interested, you can find our environmental policy here. Remember, having an ethical policy is a must have for many big tenders. Make sure you tick all the boxes.
#6. And finally, what is the customer service like?
If you deal with a company every week, it’s good to know that the people you contact are capable, knowledgeable and out for your best interest. Sometimes, it’s nice to just hear a welcoming voice. Our dedicated team of account managers are trained to be like friendly consultants ready to help with your every need.
Similarly, we take pride in the professionalism of our delivery drivers. We also promote our lively Facebook and Twitter pages to keep customers informed of our best promotions and any other services they can benefit from. After all, it’s the little things that count, right? Why not go over to our pages and like/follow them now. We’d love to see you there!
Interested in LG Davis and what we’re all about? We welcome you to get in touch to arrange your free consultation today. Call us on 0121 430 9000.