Why is it that every time you sit down to calculate the returns on investments, your stapler is out of staples, the copy machine is out of paper, and you can't find a pen that hasn't run out of ink? It's because you're not ordering your office supplies in time. Most people view ordering office supplies as a pain in the butt, and end up putting it off until it's too late. But these people are doing it wrong, because ordering office supplies is easy. You can even do it without leaving your home or office computer. Here's how to order office supplies online.
Connect to a Store
Your first step is to find an office supply store that delivers. Pretty much all office supply stores do, though some operate only with a catalog and telephone order system, many have stepped into the technology age and allow you to order online. All of the major office supply stores, such as Staples and Office Depot, use a central ordering system on their websites that get sent out to the branch stores near your business. Smaller stores will have their own websites.
Select Your Purchases
Make a list before you go on the computer of the supplies that you need. Don't forget the badges for next week's conference or the special report covers for the board meeting this month. Ideally you should train your employees to mark down any item that is running out on a general list that you can just pick up. The site will have a catalogue of items that you can order simply by clicking on the item and entering the number that you need, much like a paper catalogue order form, which gets emailed or e-submitted to the store.
Give a Delivery Address
The store will then need a delivery address for your order. Most office supply stores have their own trucks, since most of their business will come from business owners who are too busy to go out shopping for supplies. If your store has a regular route for deliveries, make sure you order before the cutoff time or you may have to wait for the next go round to get your supplies. The fewer orders you place, the more economical it is for the store and for you, as you only have to pay for delivery once.
Most companies will have an account at the local office supply store, so that the person in charge of ordering the supplies doesn't necessarily have to be the one who pays for them. Instead, an invoice is delivered to the billing department for them to take care of. If you're a small one person or home based business, however, you'll need to give them a credit card number to keep on file if you want to order online. Our partners at Bear Equipment Inc., tell us that they have an account with their local supply store and once a month an order can be placed by each employee.