The Post-Crescent has an interesting blog detailing how some smaller or local businesses are dealing with the economic downturn. In addition to companies laying off employees, instituting rotating periods of time off, and reducing office space, they’re also re-imagining how they manage office supplies (a subject near and dear to my heart):
For a national distributor, it was a matter of getting back to basics. First, they centralized office supplies into a single location to eliminate all the “private stock” of supplies that cost extra and resulted in more of some supplies (e.g. staples and paper clips) than would be used in a lifetime.
This highlights an interesting example of how some companies handle their office supply budget. When you have a lot of small offices, people seem to think it makes sense to have each office buy their own supplies, often from a local brick-and-mortar store. But if you found a company that shipped fast, nationwide, and offered bulk discounts, why not just use them exclusively?
Each office could tap into the corporate account and receive exactly what they need, when they need it. No need for little pockets of extra materiel, no need for a centralized office hub. Or rather, the company would be the hub, and do all the work for you. Sounds nice, eh?