How to Choose an Office Supply Company You Can Rely On
Setting up your new office is an exciting and stressful time, especially if it is a new business. It might seem like a jungle when it comes to ordering office supplies, as there may be plenty of options.
Finding the right one for your office needs may take a bit more involvement than just calling the first one you see. Whether it is for a staff of one or one hundred, you need to depend on reliable vendors and find the right price.
It's important for you to do a bit of homework before you get locked into a supplier or service that you are not happy with. Here we will break it down to help you find the perfect office supply company for your business.
Choosing an Office Supply Company
If you are new to business or recently expanded, the first thing you need to figure out is what you will need. You may need more of certain items more often than others, and you have to consider how efficiently you get your supplies and how that will affect you supplying your own customers.
Picking a supplier that is dependable. That could mean a few things, like do they guarantee their delivery, can they do a rush order, and do they back that all up.
Being let down by your office supply company means you may have let down your own customer.
You always have to look at pricing, and you always are going to want the best deal. However, it's a good policy to keep in mind that the most expensive doesn't mean the best and the least expensive is not always the best value.
Find the balance that will keep you and your customers happy and is a reasonable request from the office supply company.
You need this to be consistent with all your jobs and to keep your customers happy. If the quality is less than standard, your customers will blame you, not your supplier.
This is a vital art of a business relationship, to keep the communication lines open and honest. If they are unable to deliver, they need to be honest about it.
This also means that your supplier is in constant contact with you, trying to find out if they can help you, keeping you informed of any new policies or product and checking to see if you are happy.
Where to Find a Supplier
It might feel like you are spoilt for choice if you are in an area where there are a lot of office supply companies. There are a few ways to find a good one.
Ask your fellow business people and friends. A quick call can get you a lot of information. Ask for recommendations for several companies, so you can make a short list of companies to call.
A quick check of business and supplier directories will give you a good idea of who is out there and what services they offer. These things should all be listed on their website.
Business Advisors and Exhibitors
Places that keep lists of recommended office supply companies can be a great asset to you. They will have records of their services, good and bad, to help you decide if they should get your business.
Business exhibitions are like diving into the pool for potential office supply companies. You can ask all kinds of questions, see examples of their products and services and get a lot of contact information.
Before You Decide
Once you have gathered all the information you need and have made a short list for the office supply companies you are considering, there are a few more steps.
Get a Quote
Once you have a good idea about your needs, ask each office supply company for a quote. Get that quote for a few months worth of supplies, ask about long-term discounts and if there are bonuses or discounts for high-volume orders.
Compare these numbers with each of the companies you have chosen to see how they all stack up. Once you have all that information, ask about other incentives that may be offered by their competitor.
Meet Them in Person
A quick meeting in person is a great idea and gives you a chance to ask any other questions they might have or even get a tour of their facilities. This will help you decide if you can see how their operation actually runs.
Quality over Location
Picking the office supply company closest to your business isn't the best way to choose. If they can get the supplies to your office, you shouldn't need to worry if they are on the other side of town.
Good quality supplies and reputation are more important than having them just down the street.
Your business is unique to you and you know best what you will need. Make sure you let your potential supplier know what makes you different than the rest. A few other things to keep in mind:
- Have more than one supplier
- Check their reputation
- Find out how long they have been in business
- Get it in writing
- Do they back up their service
Finding out what your bottom line is will help you choose the right office supply company and keep you and your customers happy. Keep in mind, many of these suppliers are willing to negotiate and set something up that will suit your needs best.
Get the Best
There may be several companies that are offering the same or similar service, so you will need to do your homework. That's why it is important to understand your own needs so you can communicate that to your potential suppliers.
There are a lot of worries when you are running a business, so take the worry out of yours with the best office supply company that will meet your needs. A quick call and a few questions can get you all the information you need.
Get the best so you can give the best.