5 Tips on How to Manage Your Office Supply Inventory
Are you finding that your office supplies are always running short unexpectedly? If so, then you might be mismanaging your office supply. It’s important to find the right balance of stocking enough supplies to last your employees and making sure you don’t overspend your budget by stocking too much.
Here are some tips on how to do just that and ensure that you won’t have to deal with stocking problems that could result in annoying and costly business disruptions.
Buy generic supplies rather than branded, first-party ones.
One of the biggest things you can do to help manage your office supplies better is to buy generic or third party supplies rather than branded ones. This will allow you to stock up on a whole lot more for a whole lot less. It could also help you save some money on the side, which could then be put towards something that could help your company grow—such as better equipment or better amenities.
For instance, you can save money by using generic ink cartridges instead of buying new. Generic ink cartridges are essentially the same as branded ones, just that they’re made by third party manufacturers and sold as generic goods. They have the same amount and quality of ink, so you won’t have to worry about getting inferior results by using them. Just remember to buy from reputable generic good sellers rather than fly-by-night ones. You can find top quality ink cartridges at https://www.inkjets.com/.
Limit access to the supplies.
Another way to make sure that your office supplies last longer is to limit who accesses them, or at the very least ensure that there’s accountability attached to taking and using these supplies. Employees, no matter how honest or hardworking they are, will never pass up on “appropriating” more office supplies than they actually need. Prevent this by keeping office supplies under lock and key and having only a handful of key personnel have access to them. This will cut down on any incidents of office supply misappropriation.
Track your inventory.
This means keeping an updated log or spreadsheet of the office supplies you buy and use. This way, you can get a handle of how quickly a particular type of office supply gets used up, what doesn’t get used as much, and other factors that should help you with your buying decisions when resupplying time rolls around.
You can either do this manually or take advantage of the many apps and programs available online to help you. Either way, doing so will help ensure that you’re only buying the supplies that are essential to running your business and forgoing the supplies that simply end up warming your supply room shelves.
Group similar items together for easier tracking and organizing.
You’ll be able to manage your office supply inventory a whole lot easier by grouping similar items together when you store and purchase them. For example, office supplies that have to do with common desk work such as pens, paper clips, highlighters, and so on can be placed in one group, while those that have to do with printing, such as printer paper and printer ink, can be placed in another. By doing so, your office supply cabinet will be a lot more organized, and help your employees find what they need much more quickly and easily.
Practice FIFO for all your supplies.
FIFO means First In, First Out. When applied to office supplies, it means that anything that gets purchased first must also be used first before anything else. This ensures that no purchase goes to waste, especially office supplies that have a perishable nature to them. Such supplies include printer ink cartridges, toners, ink pens and so on. One way of ensuring this practice is done is to shelve all fresh supplies and replacements behind the old inventory, so as to prevent your employees from mistakenly taking and using the former rather than the latter.
One of the best ways to keep an office running smoothly is to manage your office supply inventory. By taking the above-listed steps to heart and practicing them, you can ensure that your employees will have everything they need to keep your business healthy and profitable for years to come.