The start of a new financial year provides the opportunity to review budgets and implement cost reduction measures. But do you have a strategy to reduce and control office supplies expenditure?
With 30 years in the office supplies industry, I’ve put together my fair share of budgets. We can help you to control your spend and manage the conflicting demands of budget cuts - starting with a robust budget plan.
Here are my tips for a more effective budgeting process.
Starting early will pay dividends, giving you time to define and prioritise critical targets, and align your strategy with long-term business goals.
An invaluable exercise for budget planning!
There are many software tools now which make budgeting quicker and simpler. In addition, discussion sites such as Twitter and Quora enable decision makers to interact with peers and gain valuable insight on which systems may be best for your business. Although each industry is different, the conversational nature of these sites, along with networking events, make them ideal methods for gaining ‘seen it, done it’ advice and practical information.
The office services market moves quickly with price changes, new products and innovation commonplace. To keep updated and ensure effective purchasing many businesses routinely perform benchmarking – it really does pay to test the market even when you are satisfied. This should be built into your plans as part of a continuous improvement strategy; an investment that will provide detailed insight and improve profitability.
If your budget has reduced but your service requirements haven’t, it’s time to cut costs. It is critical to control all office supplies purchasing, especially for businesses with multi-site locations and order points. Ensure a strict purchasing process is in place, and that staff understand the importance of sticking to it. It's useful to highlight the effect buying off-core has on the company’s bottom line, and how this impacts employees in the long-run.
Predicting expenditure to the penny for the year ahead is not objective. Rather, ensure the budgeting process gives your team meaningful direction at the right level of detail. This will help to ensure proactive management - and avoid driving everyone crazy!
Once the budgeting process is over, don’t forget to review, review, review. Regularly ask your team and supplier(s) these questions:
At Red Herring we help businesses to spend smarter and manage suppliers effectively. So if your office supplies and services expenditure has increased, or you can’t remember the last time a supplier offered product alternatives, talk to us. We can save you time and improve your bottom line.
Book a meeting to find out how you can reduce costs, spend smarter and achieve long-term savings.get in touch
One of our core values at Red Herring is being a business for good. This means that we raise money by donating 10% of all fees earned to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. After a recent diagnosis, this cause is close to our hearts and we are proud to support the UK’s leading MS charity that provides practical help today and the hope of a cure tomorrow for everyone living with multiple sclerosis (MS) nationwide.
Over 100,000 people in the UK have multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s unpredictable, and different for everyone. It’s often painful and exhausting, and can cause problems with how people walk, move, see, think and feel. It can make it hard for people to work, and do the things they enjoy. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The MS Society is a community of people living with MS, scientists, campaigners, volunteers and fundraisers. We understand what life’s like with MS, and we support each other through the highs, lows and everything in between. And we’re driving research into more – and better – treatments. For everyone.
Together, we are strong enough to stop MS.
To find out more about MS please visit: www.mssociety.org.uk