Budgets are tight and getting tighter in the current climate as businesses up and down the country brace themselves for Brexit uncertainty. Stationery is one area where potentially savings can be made, though be aware not to sacrifice efficiency for the sake of a cheap product.
There are quality stationery suppliers out there, but it’s worth completing some research to find one that can meet all your requirements, quality, price, service and efficiency are all key areas to focus on.
Of course, if you’re looking to cut costs by reducing the number of suppliers or by getting a bigger discount through placing larger orders, then the range of products a company can supply will be critical. If you regularly order something very specific, be sure to check the company’s ability to supply that before you commit.
Where cost cutting is the name of the game, price will naturally be a factor. Spend some time looking into value rather than cost alone, because the product with the lowest price tag might not suit your needs and could be a false economy, don’t forget service, this always makes a big difference. Quality stationery suppliers will not tend to sell the very cheapest products because they have to guarantee satisfaction to protect their reputation, but they might be able to offer added value in the way of discounted prices or expedited delivery.
Even the most efficient businesses sometimes find they need something immediately or sooner, so having a reliable supplier that can support those emergencies is invaluable. Check whether your supplier can fulfil next day delivery on orders, and if there is a time cut-off for that. There might be restrictions on days, too.
A supplier might be able to deliver next day, but the cost might be more than your business is willing to pay, so do be sure to check it all out beforehand. What about regular delivery charges? Are they free? Maybe free over a certain amount? It doesn’t help much if a supplier can give you the goods at a good price, but then charges over the odds to get them to you.
After Sales Support
Another area where quality stationery suppliers are able to give added value is through offering free returns. If you’re ordering consumables, you probably won’t want to return them, but if you buy a product that isn’t as expected, you’ll want to be able to send it back and receive a refund cheaply and easily.
The best companies to deal with are those that will be able to offer you advice on the products you are buying and have an understanding of the way your business works. They’ll be able to help you choose the right products first time.
In summary, make a list of all the things you would want from a single stationery supplier, and then look around to see how many boxes each is able to tick. You might prefer to create a ‘points’ system and award more points for being able to meet those requirements. Top score wins the business!