With the world settling into a new normal, there are many businesses transitioning to a more hybrid working model – which means not everyone is back in the workplace, and the office environment
itself will continue to change long-term. As a result, sales for office supplies have faced a lot of disruptions, as empty desks lower the demand for stationery, appliances and other work necessities. Average office supply budgets have been declining for some years even before the pandemic began, meaning this is not a wholly new issue. Bearing this in mind, here are just a few ways to increase office stationery logistics and combat disruptions.
1. Diversify product ranges
The most successful companies are always those that can adapt to new circumstances; the hybrid work model is no exception. This does not have to be a limitation, but can instead form a whole new market –adding value to new requirements for home workers. This may include headphones, webcams, chairs, desks, and more. The very concept of ‘the office’ is changing, and suppliers who wish to remain competitive are accommodating these changes.
2. Identify green alternatives
If products are not already as environmentally-conscious as they could be, now is the best time to change that. We are slowly but surely becoming more aware of the effect our actions, big or small, have on the planet, and people are seeking green products in almost any industry. By making sure products are recyclable or at least do not actively harm the world around us, this element can be used to differentiate between the masses of options already available in the office supplies market. Examples of this can include sustainable pencils and bio-plastic scissors, or even just limiting the unnecessary use of paper that is present in many businesses.
3. Re-evaluate your supply chain
Bulk orders from overseas are experiencing delays and disruptions caused in part by the coronavirus pandemic and its ongoing effects – which is resulting in longer lead times. If there is a way to source your products locally, and the end result is efficient at delivering what you need, when you need it, then it may be worth changing providers. Local companies can usually give you quicker turnaround times and offer local communication, resulting in a tighter operation that benefits every party. Lowering your lead time is a great way to show your customers that their needs are your priority, and building a strong supply chain is essential for this.
4. Employ a digital solution
Many forms of software exist that can help streamline and support your business transactions; this includes a simple online store that lets you generate more sales, plus tools such as Enterprise Resource Planning -ERP systems. An all-encompassing business management tool designed to help you manage your end-to-end business. Platforms like these are instrumental to many manufacturing and distribution providers, letting you neatly track sales or inventory while giving you the foresight and opportunity to correct any issues as they emerge. Tools like ERP software systems also work in tandem with home-working setups, linking accounts together and providing a helpful framework to make everything more efficient, whilst increasing internal knowledge sharing and transparency between your teams
There may continue to be some bumps in the road ahead for office supplies, but they’re not impossible obstacles – by changing your business in small ways, you can adapt to the new world. In doing so, you’ll open your business up to more demand, and more efficient operations. WinMan provides top-of-the-line ERP software to companies overhauling their operations
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