Why you should review costs in Q4

 

With the summer holiday season at an end, we are now looking ahead to Q4 and a major budgeting period for 2018. But, today’s businesses face a changing landscape, with many factors demanding a greater need to control costs:

  • Budget - This year the Budget will be delivered in the autumn for the first time in more than 20 years. It is expected to be announced in late November or early December, around the same time as the traditional Autumn Statement.
  • Brexit - The government has passed the first parliamentary test to withdraw from EU law, winning the EU Withdrawl Bill by a 36 vote majority. This is the first stage of many and clarity is still being sought on how Brexit will affect UK business.
  • Inflation - The UK inflation rate has jumped to 2.9% as the Pound hits a one-year high. The pound has now regained half of the losses suffered after the Brexit vote but is still worth 10% less than in June 2016.

Against this backdrop, the office supplies industry has also seen major changes. Lyreco is moving to become number one in the UK market, Office Depot Europe has been sold into private equity and Staples has new leadership. In addition, larger independents are taking market share, while the new Amazon Business service remains a threat.

Now is the perfect time to review 2017 costs and projected spend. Taking the time to review your contract and costs will pay dividends – do you know how much you are spending? Is your core/non-core split at the level you expect? What are your plans for 2018?

Conducting an audit or benchmark review will put you in the best position to negotiate. There is talk of more paper price increases, so the need to ensure efficiency in your contract is crucial.

However, many procurement teams don’t have the time to carry out a detailed investigation. Office supplies contracts can be a minefield, covering a wide range of services, product lines, and SKU’s. Using an expert who understands the market will help you to ensure long term savings that do not hinder quality or processes.

With average savings of 22% achieved for our clients, office supplies remains a major area for review - and one that should not be overlooked.

 

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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