Contributed by Susan Avery, MyPurchasingCenter.com, CU Quarterly September 2012
Procurement is pleased with performance of office products suppliers.
Procurement uses the research as a benchmarking tool.
Ninety-seven percent of procurement operations participating in the 2012 study say office products supplier performance is good or excellent. The rest find performance to be fair. No procurement operation says performance is poor.
More important, office products suppliers are only getting better. Twenty-five percent of procurement operations in the study say performance has improved in the past three years. And 15 percent say office products suppliers perform as well as their other strategic suppliers. For the majority, performance is about the same as for other strategic suppliers.
Procurement operations participating in the 2012 study source office products and other goods and services through Staples (20 percent), OfficeMax (16 percent), Office Depot (15 percent), W.B. Mason (3 percent) and multiple and/or other suppliers. Some procurement operations declined to identify their office products supplier. Office products suppliers excel at customer service, delivery and quality, procurement says. Fifty-four percent rate their supplier as excellent at providing customer service; 41 percent give their supplier an equally high mark for handling delivery issues and 36 percent give similar kudos for quality performance. Managing costs, technical support and geographic range of service are other metrics for which office products suppliers receive excellent ratings from procurement. Here is a quick sampling of responses:
- “Responds to company needs and suggests additional areas of savings,” says a procurement specialist in New York.
- “Provides good monthly year-end reports, enables approval limits and persons to be set up for ordering supplies to corporate office and stores with a good website,” says a director of strategic sourcing in Ontario.
- “Consistent and efficient order processing, integration of e-commerce tools and analysis of usage activity,” says a business analyst in Massachusetts.
The 2012 study also provides a detailed look at how procurement rates office products supplier performance in these areas: customer service, managing costs, assisting with compliance, technical support, handling delivery issues, assisting with demand management, geographic range of service, quality, e-commerce capability and innovation/new ideas.
Plans to Source
For the 2012 OfficeMax Office Products Industry Study, My Purchasing Center asked
procurement operations about the economy and their buying plans for the next three years.
The majority finds economic conditions favorable and are sourcing more office products and other goods and services through their office products suppliers today than they were three years ago.
Nearly every procurement operation in the study sources office supplies through their office products provider. Procurement also sources paper (67.2 percent), toner (59.6 percent), and office furniture (33.8 percent). Private-label items (30.3 percent), breakroom supplies (23.2 percent), computer hardware and peripherals (21.7 percent) and print services (21.2 percent) are other items procurement sources through office products suppliers.
Looking ahead three years, 35 percent of procurement operations expect to source more products and services through their office products suppliers. Another 51 percent plan to source the same amount.
Procurement operations also plan to work with their office products suppliers to meet corporate initiatives in such areas as the environment, diversity and global sourcing.
A year ago, My Purchasing Center published the 2011 OfficeMax Purchasing Study.
Download a copy of the 2012 OfficeMax Office Products Industry Study.