Supplier efficiency - are you wasting your time?

Published by PHS on 29 April 2014
in Improving efficiency, Better bottom line

Is your office supplier providing you with you the best possible service?

The business world isn’t static and nothing stays the same for long, so what was once an efficient process from your supplier could now be vastly improved by a different one.

An office supplier should be invisible in many ways; you shouldn’t realise that floors have been cleaned, toilet paper has been replenished or data has been securely destroyed. If you’re having to chase them up for regular things, you’re most likely wasting your time.

Your time at work is spent spinning plates ensuring that morale is up, productivity is high and everything runs like clockwork. You want to dedicate your time to helping your colleagues and efficiently managing office issues, you know how important your time is and don’t want to spend too much of it being distracted by minor issues.

If you order supplies for the office, you want to know the timeframe in which it will arrive and not have to subsequently chase them up. We’re a modern small island; deliveries needn’t take more than a couple of days to arrive and, once a date has been given, you should be able to count on it.

An efficient supplier is a supportive supplier. No matter whether you’re in the process of courting a supplier and they’re still chasing your custom or you’re a long standing customer, your supplier should be there to aid you whenever necessary. During the implementation period, did your supplier find issues or additional problems you may have overlooked, offering a solution to the problem before it genuinely became one? How capable is the support network of the company you currently work with?

The best companies are those that are nationally (if not internationally) renowned, but retain local bases with the local knowledge to accompany that. Companies with regional offices are also able to provide faster response times in case of emergencies.

It’s fair to suggest that your company wants to continue expanding - and the added work and commitment needed to do this means you shouldn’t be chasing suppliers or finding alternative solutions. What use is a company that fails to keep up with your own in terms of scale? A competent supplier should be able to grow as quickly as your needs. If yours cannot, it may be worth looking elsewhere as there are many who can match your needs at every stage.

Throughout the transition from small office to large enterprise, there will undoubtedly be location changes; can your supplier facilitate these? It’s worth bearing in mind before committing to a supplier as it’s one less headache to know that the company you’re already involved with can help you as you expand further.

Versatility is a large and important part of the supplier role. After all, the sector is broad; encompassing small stationary stockists to waste management and data destruction. Why waste time by dealing with multiple contractors when one could do it all? There is no denying that some aspects concerned with the above are more uncommon or irregular than others.

Replacement toilet supplies may well be quite a regular purchase but replacement welcome mats or secure data shredding could be far rarer. There is a comfort to be had from knowing that the one organisation can deal with everything, even something as uncommon but as necessary as compliance testing, providing an efficient solution to regular, irregular and one-off services.

It’s worth considering some of the questions raised in this blog post, no matter what your current position. You may well have become used to dealing with the quirks and issues surrounding your supplier – but that doesn’t mean that you should. Quirks and issues by their very definition are not the norm and there could be a far better solution for you.

by PHS in Improving efficiency, Better bottom line