Six questions to ask before choosing your workplace supplies provider

Six Questions to Ask Before Choosing your Workplace Supplies Provider

Saving money is a key priority for many businesses in the current climate. While choosing a workplace supplies company isn’t a glamorous task, it’s a task that requires some serious consideration and research.

Workplace supplies are a big expense, and if you’re overpaying for your paper, pens, and other essential supplies, this can be detrimental to your overall profits.

Here are six questions to ask yourself as you try to narrow it down:

What is their pricing for core products?

If they cannot provide significant, proven cost savings against your current core product range, then there is no value in this partnership. Take a list of your five or ten most ordered office supplies, and compare them to make sure you are getting the best value every time you order.

Do they offer a wide variety of products?

In this current age, you should be able to order more than just pens and paper from your workplace supplier. You should also be able to purchase a variety of different brands, so make sure they stock all the different types. Do they have a catalogue or online webstore to browse some product categories you may be interested in?

Also, it is worth asking how they feel about sourcing GNFR (Goods Not For Resale). Can they help co-ordinate your long tail spend? This is a great way to save money for your business in the long run too.

Can you order online?

Ordering via phone or email is not sustainable all of the time. Especially if you have a big organisation with multiple users purchasing from one supplier. Having a strong online ordering experience is crucial when creating core lists, whilst also having the added benefit of saving baskets, easily comparing prices and products, and having account and address details saved in one place. It also means you can track orders without having to talk to someone, every time.

How is their customer service experience?

Everyone knows mistakes in deliveries and ordering are inevitable. It is how a company deals with them that is the most important thing to consider. How easy is it to get in contact with someone? Will you have your own personal Account Manager? Can you get online support?

Don’t cut costs when it comes to customer service; no one wants to spend valuable time on the phone waiting to speak to someone about a lost or incorrect order. Ensure they have a knowledgable, passionate and trustworthy workforce with multiple levels of management and who genuinely care about their customers.

What extra services do they provide?

A good workplace supplies provider should be able to offer additional product ranges and services that your company could also benefit from. Although you may only consider them for your office products to begin with, it is worth knowing they can help you in other areas such as office furniture, PPE and care products, or even branded merchandise for them occasional requirements where you don’t have a sole supplier in place for.

How does their reputation stack up?

Ordering workplace supplies should be hassle free, so doing some research on how they are performing financially and how long they have been in the industry should give some indication of what sort of supplier they are.

Do they have accreditations to support what they do? Have they won any awards? Can you actively request testimonials and case studies from them? All of this information will help you build a better impression of what sort of company they are, and whether you are happy to put your trust into them.

If you are currently looking for a new supplier, get in touch with someone from our team who would be more than delighted to take you through our service offering.

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Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, Upstream have been outstanding, helping us to continue keeping our workforce equipped and safe across our many locations. They are an invaluable supply chain partner.

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