Do You Know the True Cost of Your Office Supplies Program?
Lack of timely, detailed, and accurate reporting on office supplies program data can limit spend leverage, hinder compliance, and cause procurement managers to make ill informed decisions. Add in the current economic woes and increased business scrutiny, and any reporting deficiency is now more exposed than ever. In fact, in a recent global survey nearly 300 supply management and business executives cited improving visibility into timely and accurate spend data as their top initiative for the next two years. A proactive office supplies vendor can be a partner in this effort by offering customized reporting that provides transparency and visibility into the following areas:
Product usage: Usage reports can track your product usage organization-wide and drill down by facility, department, office or individual user. They allow you to control consumption, monitor compliance and attain your goals for contract purchases. Product usage can be reported by product category, class code, contract versus non-contract item, order method, etc. A sophisticated supplier can also compare your product usage to similar companies to identify cost saving and vendor consolidation opportunities.
Compliance: Actual sales versus potential sales is tracked through compliance reporting. For example, work-at-home employees or a decentralized workforce may make off-contract purchases at retail locations. Reporting enables you to identify such instances of noncompliance with your program. Only then can you and your supplier develop plans to increase compliance in these areas, thus maximizing cost savings and process efficiencies and taking full advantage of program incentives.
Environmental and diversity spend: Many companies today have corporate initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their diversity spend. Your office supplies vendor can help you measure the impact of your sustainability initiatives through reporting on items including recycled paper spend, ordering through online versus paper catalogs, and consolidation of orders and deliveries. Similarly, reporting on diverse spend, such as minority purchases as a percentage of total spend, can help drive purchasing toward these product groups.
Key metrics: Reporting can provide statistical information to track vendor performance and service levels at various points of the supply process. These service level reports often include fill rate percentage, shipping cycle times, returns and incorrect shipments, and order statistics such as average order size and number of orders. These key metrics are identified by your company and can be customized according to your business needs.
Customer feedback: Surveys and customer service metrics are among various methods suppliers can use to obtain customer feedback. Findings from these tools are then used to identify and prioritize improvement opportunities in the relationship with your vendor.
Your office supplies vendor should offer a broad scope of reporting capabilities to meet all of your requirements, thus enabling a perpetual state of program review. Also look for a vendor whose reporting is timely, detailed and actionable.
If you'd like to learn more about the benefits of reporting to your business and how Staples Advantage® can help, please visit www.StaplesAdvantage.com.