Managing office supplies for a large organization

No matter how big or small a business is, maintaining a steady supply of readily available office supplies can keep costs down and improve overall productivity — imagine the stress of spending an entire day making an important presentation for an important one Prepare customers only to discover that. One of your colleagues finished the last sheet of paper yesterday and didn’t think to tell anyone?

Management of office supplies for large organizations in a simple way

Ideally, stationery and other office supplies should be managed by one person, or if there are multiple offices within the organization, by one person per office. This role would normally fall within the job description of an office manager but may be delegated to a responsible junior member of the administration team. Supplies are also best kept in a central location where distribution can be more easily controlled.

It could be argued that small businesses have an easier time managing stationery and various office equipment: invariably one person is responsible for ordering new supplies and it’s easy to keep track of who’s using what, while for larger organizations it can be much more difficult to stay in control of spending and usage. For this reason, while a regularly updated inventory is essential for all businesses, large organizations in particular benefit from it.

Why is an inventory essential?

A materials inventory helps the office manager keep track of stationery and office equipment at all times. To begin, a list of all consumables should be made and usage of those consumables tracked over the course of a typical month. Once usage patterns have been identified, back-order quantities can be set so that new consumables can be back-ordered when the quantity of a product falls below a certain quantity, which is particularly important for frequently used products such as paper and ink cartridges.

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While maintaining a high stock of supplies in the office prevents catastrophic shortages at inopportune moments, they also take up valuable storage space. Taking inventory can help prevent stocking problems by always ensuring optimal stocks are being maintained, and by constantly monitoring inventory levels, replenishment levels can be adjusted as needed.

Always stay in control of who has access to the materials in the office. When everyone starts grabbing new supplies on a whim, inventories will soon become scrambled and essential items could run out sooner than expected. To avoid this, conduct a physical inventory check at least once a month.

Create purchase orders for each material order and check off delivered items against the original purchase order. It’s also a good idea to maintain a policy where all orders are placed through the inventory manager so stock levels can be tracked.

This is how you keep your material costs low

Although larger organizations have far greater purchasing power than a small business, it’s still important that office managers don’t get lazy by always using the same suppliers. Regularly check the prices of popular items in the accessory inventory to ensure you’re getting the best prices, and don’t be afraid to negotiate a better deal if necessary.

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