Benefits of an Office Supplies Review.

Office Supplies are one of a company’s largest ongoing daily expenses. Yet, for most companies, it is one of the least understood and often receives the least attention – it tends to fly under the radar. If you do not have a contract for your office supplies with one of the suppliers, chances are you are leaving money on the table and paying way too much.

Key focus areas:


Why your office supplies needs should be on contract?

All the major Australian office supplies companies offer discounts in exchange for a contract, usually for a two or three-year contractual period.

By contracting out your needs, there may be substantial savings on offer that can be put to work in other business areas. In one instance, I saw a 3-fold increase in the price of one popular item overnight when it was accidentally taken off-contract.


What is involved in contracting Office Supplies?

Usually, a company will approach the market in a competitive tender based process, or it may be a direct approach to an incumbent. Generally, a contract will be for two or three years, depending on your preference.

A contract will define a “basket of items”, referred to as the contract list. The company itself puts this list together, or the supplier will be able to assist, and it usually consists of the top volume purchase.

Once the contract is signed, the supplier will usually go through an implementation phase that should include training of all staff.


What to watch for with contracting Office Supplies?

While it is tempting to think that once the contract is signed and implementation is over, that is the end of the matter. Not so fast…things will and do go wrong:

• Check the contract terms, watch for last right of refusal clauses, “use it or take” clauses, spend targets etc.

• I am yet to see an implementation that has been done correctly. Things such as incorrect baskets loaded, incorrect prices, not all users granted access, etc., happen despite the best assurances.

• While contract items are identified on the supplier’s portal, users will still be able to purchase non-contracted items in most cases. Unless managed, this will lead to excessive tail spending.


How ERA helps with the contract process and beyond.

• ERA has the expertise and market knowledge to analyse, market and monitor your Office Supplies purchases, i.e., managing the “end to end” process.

• ERA will manage the contract process to optimise the contract terms for our client.

• ERA will manage the implementation process alongside the supplier to ensure compliance.

• ERA will review and report back on purchases identifying anomalies and seeking appropriate redress.

• ERA will monitor purchases and advise on changes to the contract basket according to our client’s requirements.


Expense Reduction Analysts are in this market every day with multiple clients in multiple industries, and we bring those experiences and market knowledge to you. Our goal is to lower costs and minimise the amount of billing while providing the best solution for your organisation.