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Office products

Office products cost most businesses hundreds of dollars per employee, per year—as high as four figures in some instances. 

As an indirect spend category with many consumable products, the saving potential can be significant, encompassing:

  • Office supplies like paper, pens and sticky notes.
  • Break room products like coffee and drinking water.
  • Durable goods like office furniture and equipment.

Consider all your daily workplace tasks—if a process is not completely digitized, it likely requires the use and depletion of related office products.

Office supplies

Office supplies

The industry itself is shrinking, with two primary vendors in the US: Staples and Office Depot. Yet options for buying office supplies are extensive, including online retailers and drugstore and grocery chains. Easy access encourages employees to purchase directly, but even if the unit price is lower, off-contract spending erodes bargaining power, volume savings, rebates and other contract benefits.

Paper, toner and ink

Even with the increasing shift to digital platforms, document management costs remain a big expense, especially in paper-intensive industries like law, healthcare and finance with higher than average costs for paper, toner and ink. And like the office supply industry overall, the office paper industry has also consolidated and contracted, leaving fewer vendor options and increased pricing volatility to consider during the RFP and contract process.

office equipment

Office equipment

Computers, printers, copiers and the relatively new multi-function devices (MFDs) that combine printing, copying, faxing and other document management features are costly to purchase and operate. From complex purchase and leasing options and termination clauses to extra “hidden” fees for using certain features, procurement departments quickly realize how expensive these devices can be.

office furniture

Office furniture

Desks, seating, conference room tables and other office furnishings are not a frequent purchase, but a costly one. Products in this category can come with big-ticket price tags, especially for high-quality reception and conference room furniture and highly configurable workstations. While it’s not a spend category that warrants ongoing monitoring, value can be realized during the vendor assessment and contract management process.

How LAC Group reduces office product expenses

Office supply spending is an area of specialty for LAC Group’s spend management team and a category we monitor for many of our clients.

  • Tracking new products, new packaging, obsolescence and other product changes that affect spend through our proprietary database of more than 50,000 global SKUs.
  • Streamlining RFPs and optimizing contract terms and conditions through extensive vendor knowledge, benchmarking data and negotiation experience.
  • Monitoring invoices to flag errors and irregularities, spot product substitutions, confirm negotiated pricing and ensure applicable discounts and rebates are applied.

If your company or firm is new to indirect spend management practices, office products can be a good place to get started.

Can we help you control office product expenses?

Assessing utilization patterns, identifying available options to help you choose the right one, guiding contract negotiations and management for terms and conditions, invoicing accuracy, renewals and other key performance indicators—these are a few of the ways we can fulfill your procurement and budget needs for office products.

As a leader in managed services, LAC Group is a trusted partner and guide to our clients in business and law. Working with the staff and systems you have in place, our programs and services are structured along a spectrum that ranges from “help us manage” to “manage for us” with any level in-between.

Let us know your operational and financial concerns and we’ll let you know how we can help you manage and reduce your company’s expenses for office products and supplies.