Regularly shopping around for the lowest prices on office products and services might seem like the sensible thing to do. But when you factor in the bigger picture, purchasing this way is not so attractive. Here we look at why using a single-source supplier makes far better business sense.
Time and transparency
A major drawback of a multi-sourcing approach is the huge amount of time that it takes up – which is a big cost to a business. For example, if you need numerous items of stationery or several services, getting quotes for each from a range of suppliers is extremely time-consuming. If you then spread your purchasing across multiple companies, time will also need to be spent placing individual orders, raising different purchase orders, managing diverse sets of invoicing and reports, and handling separate relationships.
Using one supplier drastically reduces the time involved. Choosing and ordering is speedier, and with only one account, administration is quicker and more efficient. It will be far easier to keep track of purchases and there will be just one invoice to process. You’ll also have just one set of management reports with bespoke detail and breakdown, giving you absolute clarity and tight control.
Opportunities and safeguards
A single supplier will get to know you and your business properly, enabling them to suggest realistic ways for you to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and optimise resources.
Support will be very personal, easy to access, relevant and genuinely helpful, and deliveries will be coordinated so that they dovetail with your needs. You’ll benefit from price reductions leveraged through the supplier’s purchasing power, and your supply chain carbon footprint will be lower, helping you meet your environmental commitments.
In addition, quality will be consistent. This means no unpleasant surprises that could impact on productivity or operations and all-important safeguards for your brand and reputation. Having one financially sound and stable supplier with recognised process and operations accreditations will also minimise risk overall.
The bottom line
All things considered, there is significant value to be gained from using a good single-source supplier. So although low prices might be seductive, opting for a one-stop-shop strategy adds up to far greater gains for your business and your bottom line.