For any business, whether it’s a multinational corporation or a one-man band, spending money on office supplies is essential to function on a daily basis. But is your stationery expenditure eating away at your profits while consuming the equivalent of a small forest in paper? We investigate ways to save money on those essential stationery supplies without harming your business’s efficiency.
Think before you print
E-mail has transformed the way we communicate; we no longer have to waste reams of paper sending inter-departmental memos regarding important matters such as asking Finance to kindly replace the milk when they’ve used the last drop (very annoying if you’re making important clients a cuppa!).
Despite the wonders of technology, the nirvana of a paper-free office often seems an unattainable dream. How many times have you printed an important letter, proof-read it and found a mistake? Make sure you, or the signatory, reviews letters before printing, that way any alterations can be made without wasting paper.
Save the ink
Yes, we know you can do a lovely pie chart and make pretty little diagrams in smart art with a rainbow of colours, but is the Sales Director really going to care if last month’s sales figures are printed in colour or boring black? Of course, if they’re really atrocious there may be a case for trying to distract him with the style over substance approach, not that I’d ever recommend that (honestly!).
Colour printing may be pleasing to the eye, but colour cartridges are generally more expensive than black, so only use when necessary. Another way of saving on the ink is to set your printer to economy mode; not every document requires presentation style printing, unless you’re thinking of framing the minutes of that meeting?
Is it really necessary to accessories your printer with expensive matching cartridges? You’re in the office, not on the catwalk. Remanufactured cartridges, which utilize empty original cartridges, are not only cheaper they’re more eco-friendly, reducing the waste sent to landfill.
While we’re on the recycling theme, does everything you print have to be on a luxuriously thick pristine white sheet? Recycled paper is a cheaper alternative for printing all those everyday documents that will never find their way into that important client’s hands.
Set up a central stationery hub
While your employees may enjoy the luxury of a well-stocked desk that resembles a small stationers, providing everyone with their own staplers, hole-punches etc. is expensive and unnecessary – after all, you wouldn’t give them all a kettle on their desk would you?
Set up an office stationery hub with a heavy duty stapler and hole-punch (screw them to your desk if necessary) and a supply of essentials such as paperclips and pens.
Not only will you be saving money on office supplies, you’ll be providing employees with an opportunity to stretch their legs by walking across the office. Now who said you were a slave driver keeping people chained to their desks?
Buy in bulk
Buying your office stationery supplies in bulk can save money as many suppliers offer discounts once a certain amount of units are ordered. Keep an inventory of your stationery and reorder items once they fall below a certain level. Don’t just order one ream of paper, order enough to take advantage of any discount and save yourself from the chore of a weekly stationery order.
Have you got any tips for saving money or recycling office supplies? Leave your comments below.