Have you unexpectedly run short on paper, pens, or printer ink in your home or business office? It’s never a good time to run out, and it can be a hassle to make a last-minute trip to the store. Whether you’re in an office building or you’re working from home, you’ll find it easier to keep tabs on office supplies with these four easy tips.
Tip #1: Make a Comprehensive List of The Most Commonly Used Supplies
This list will likely include more than paper clips, printer paper, and ink; in fact, it should include everything you may use during a workday. Create a list of the company’s most used supplies, including names, brands, colors, numbers, and other important details. Having this information on hand will make it much simpler to restock or reorder items from Richmond Advantage, especially when sticking to a certain brand is crucial. For instance, making a note of the type and brand of ink your printer uses will keep you from having to look those details up each time a cartridge is replaced.
Tip #2: Keep Items in an Accessible Location
It is much easier to track office supply usage and quantities when those supplies are always stored in the same place. If your office has no centralized storage area, consider creating one in a filing cabinet, closet, or unused desk. After setting aside a storage area, organize supplies by use and frequency. Which items are used daily, and which only see quarterly use? When the most frequently used items are kept front and center, you’re more likely to notice when they’re running low.
Tip #3: Schedule Periodic Supply Checks
Don’t wait until you run out of important office supplies! Set up regular checks for your office, whether they’re done each week or once a month, and make a list of items to be reordered. It’s a good idea to track the supplies that get used the fastest, as you’ll have to buy these items more often. Also, many office managers find success when they set a minimum supply level that triggers an automatic reorder.
Tip #4: Take Advantage of Online Purchase Histories and Rewards Programs
Finally, consider ordering office supplies online. There are a few good reasons to do this: most retailers allow you to save orders or purchase information, which makes it easier to reorder those supplies. Additionally, some retailers have rewards or loyalty programs, where buyers get points to be used on future purchases. With these programs and online purchases, it’s easy to keep track of your office supplies.
Bonus Tip: Limit Supply Access
The most successful office supply inventory programs start with good organizational skills. How does the company currently monitor supply levels? While an open supply room sounds great on paper, it may not work in real life because it doesn’t limit how many or which supplies employees can access.
There are a few ways to monitor access. Many companies choose someone to run the supply room. While this is an effective inventory control method, it may be inefficient for smaller businesses. It’s easier to limit supply access to certain employees, or to put a lock on the supply closet door. By controlling employees’ access to supplies, you’ll minimize theft and loss.
While most of us take office supplies for granted, they’re the little things that keep companies running. By following these tips, office managers and business owners will find it easier to track usage while keeping important materials on hand.