Stationery - Managing and optimising a complex category

| 0 Comments

 

AlanLow_2013.jpg“Recent benchmark reports have shown price variances for specific items of more than 60% and on A4 paper in excess of 40%.”


Alan Low has seen both sides of the stationery supply world: from benchmarking stationery supply arrangements for many of South Africa’s top organisations, to being the Managing Director of a UK stationery company in 1980s.


“From a supplier perspective, the cost of fulfilment (the procure-to-pay process for the supplier) is inordinately large when compared with the average value of a stationery order. When you factor in service requirements such as to-desk delivery and no minimum order value, making a profit becomes even harder,” says Low, of Purchasing Index (PI) in this month’s SmartProcurement.


Stationery suppliers must recoup their costs through the sales price charged to each customer. Consequently, the mark-ups on each stationery item can vary dramatically. Recent benchmark reports have shown price variances for specific items of more than 60% and on A4 paper in excess of 40%.

 

Category2Overview.pngPI benchmarks stationery (including paper) for a number of South African companies and compares prices paid for brand-specific and generic items across a core catalogue of items. The resulting reports show how pricing on different brands differs and moves from quarter to quarter, as the figure alongside shows, and how the basket of items shifts over time.
 

Getting hold of this information is often complex, especially when organisations rarely know their actual total spend on the category. “PI’s experience is that data held on clients’ ERP systems is often incomplete and prices inaccurate,” notes Low.


Knowing how your organisation’s prices and service requirements compare with your peers is vital to managing spend that can often run into millions of Rands. “PI has repeatedly illustrated that stationery is a commodity where volume does not necessarily lead to lower prices or better service,” says Low.


What can stationery category managers do to make spend more effective?


Low suggests users consider the following:


• Supplement your own internal information with reports from your suppliers (sales information is usually more accurate than purchase data);
• keep the core catalogue small and non-brand specific;
• find a way to compare your price and service arrangements with the marketplace;
• ask suppliers to suggest different service and supply alternatives and see how that affects the cost; and
• regularly test the market.


“Organisations often overlook ‘low hanging fruit’ that a review of stationery arrangements can provide,” concludes Low.
 

Leave a comment


SmartProcurement Newsletter
X

Please enter your details below to receive the SmartProcurement Newsletter for FREE on a regular basis.

As part of the SmartProcurement Newsletter you will be receiving World Class Procurement News, Tools, Tips, Tactics, Procurement Training updates, Upcoming Events, and the latest Procurement Career Openings.

* Email Address:
* Title:
* First Name:
* Surname:
* Company:
  Position:
* Country:
* Public / Private:

 

 

Career opportunites

Commodity Manager

  • <500 000 Commodities Permanent Procurement Management Western Cape
R700 000 - R850 000 per annum,Location: Western ...More

National Supply Chain Manager

  • <500 000 Across borders Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain
R750 000 - R1 000 000 per annum,Location: ...More

Industrial Engineer

  • <500 000 >500 000 Industrial Engineer Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Western Cape
R450 000- R500 000 CTC per annum,Location: Western ...More

Commodity Manager

  • <500 000 Commodities Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management
Category: Procurement,Salary: R700 000 - R800 000 per ...More

Supply Chain Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain
Category: Consulting,Salary: R750 000 - R800 000 CTC ...More

Logistics Manager

  • <500 000 Across borders Logistics & Warehousing Permanent Procurement Management
Category: Logistics,Salary: R900 000 - R1 000 000 ...More

Demand Planner

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Projects / Category Management
Area of Specialisation: Planning,Salary: R500 000 - R650 ...More

Industrial Engineer

  • <500 000 Analyst Gauteng Industrial Engineer Permanent
R800 000 - R850 000 CTC per annum.Location: ...More

Security Manager

  • <500 000 Analyst Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist
(Total Cost to Company R350K - R550K).This is ...More

Operations Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Operations, Planning & Inventory Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost to Company R650k - R750k) excluding

Commodity Manager Raw Materials

  • <500 000 Commodities Gauteng Permanent Strategic Sourcing
(Total Cost to Company R980k - R800k) excluding ...More

Commodity Manager Logistics

  • <500 000 Commodities Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Permanent
(Total Cost to Company R1mil - R900k).Industry: Engineering

Procurement Consultant

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Consultant Procurement Management
(Total Cost To Company 550K - 450K) includes ...More

Commodity Manager MRO &CAPEX

  • <500 000 Commodities Gauteng Permanent Projects / Category Management
(Total Cost To Company 900k - 750k) includes ...More

Commodity Specialist - IT Hardware and Software

  • <500 000 Commodities Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Permanent
(Total Cost to Company R550k - R650k) including

Sourcing Specialist

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Officer / Specialist Strategic Sourcing
(Total Cost to Company 500k - 650k)Experience and ...More

Supply Chain Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Supply Chain
(Total Cost to Company R850k - R1mil) includes

Senior Consultant

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Consultant Strategic Sourcing
(Total Cost To Company 500k - R750k) includes ...More

I.T Procurement Specialist

  • <500 000 Gauteng Permanent Procurement Management Procurement Officer / Specialist
(Total Cost to Company R350k - R450k) includes

Logistics Manager

  • <500 000 Gauteng Logistics & Warehousing Permanent Procurement Management
(Total Cost to Company R700k - R550k) Including ...More