In 2014, American companies on average spent approximately $80 per month just on various office supplies.
That’s a whole $80 per month just for all those pens and pencils!
Unsurprisingly, many companies are looking to cut the amount they spend on supplies, including those in the legal sector.
These are some tips to follow to find the best deals on legal supplies. We want to ensure you don’t get stung when buying your next batch of printing paper or sticky notes.
What Supplies Do You Need?
The big question you need to ask yourself is what supplies do you seriously need to run your legal firm.
We don’t mean which supplies would maybe help the firm, we’re talking about supplies that are essential to the day-to-day operations of the business.
You need to make or find a list of legal supplies like this one. It should reveal which supplies are necessary to you regularly and is vital to do before you can find deals on them.
It isn’t just about recognizing which type of supplies you need, but what sort of quality they need to be.
Its no use saying you need to buy a laptop, then purchasing a second-hand machine that doesn’t work.
Equally, its a waste of money to buy expensive pens when a reliable, cheaper option can do the job just fine.
There will also be different approaches that you need to take for different kinds of products; you can’t use the same money-saving tactics with pens that you would with office desks.
Once you know this you can then find specific information relating to each product you need.
For example, you know you need folders. You can then find the specific information on which folders are best suited to your firm.
Its no use sourcing cheap bulk-packaged toilet covers if they aren’t going to help out your firm itself; find out what you need, then the cost-cutting can commence.
Deals On Legal Supplies: Money-Saving Strategies
Once you know what exactly it is that you need in terms of legal supplies for your firm, you can set to work on implementing money-saving strategies.
These can include creating an inventory list of all the items you need and when you need them.
Its crucial to include when you might need them, as then you can look into setting up repeat orders with companies to regularly receive items.
If you know how many folders you get through each week, you can order the exact amount you require to avoid over-ordering.
It is advisable to have some overflow of essential supplies, just in case you’re stuck without anything and need to make an emergency, costly order.
Once you know how many of each item you need and have begun the process of making repeat orders, you can look into bulk buying legal supplies.
When bulk-buying for essential supplies you know you are going to use, it almost always works out cheaper.
But, it is important to source who you are organizing these repeated bulk-buy orders with.
If you buy a large amount of super cheap sticky notes that don’t stick, you’ve wasted your money and might be locked into repeat orders.
You should always check the quality of your supplier before agreeing to continued trade with them.
The quality is more important for certain large items like desks, computers, and chairs where health and safety is also a factor.
For some items, you don’t need expensive options and generic products will do, but for larger purchases, you need to be prepared to pay a bit more for quality.
Online Vs Offline: Which Is Better For Your Legal Supplies?
There are pros and cons to both shopping online and shopping offline for essential supplies, which can make one option better in certain situations and the other better in other situations.
For example, it can be easier and more reliable to set a rolling order with an online supplier, as they are more accustomed to delivering their products than a brick and mortar store might be.
But, if you took the time to approach a store in your local area, they might be prepared to give you a better offer than you would’ve gotten online.
You also have to take into account shipping costs on every essential law firm supplies purchase you make.
The cost of shipping is the number one reason why online shoppers abandon their carts before purchase.
You don’t want to spend all of your time sourcing a cheap, reliable product online, only to find out the shipping costs push it way out of your budget.
One benefit of online ordering is however in price comparison, as its much faster to check prices on multiple sites than it would be going to actual stores.
It’s usually a good idea to check online first because of this. At least then you know what price you can get online, and can negotiate this with a local offline supplier to try and get a better deal.
As can be seen above, it is better to shop around using a combination of both online and offline, to get the best deal.
Tracking Your Supplies
The inventory is important as a first step, but you should frequently keep track of your supplies and your stock.
Not only does this improve your ability to make repeat orders, but it can help you track anomalies where products are breaking easily, or don’t fulfill the task well enough.
You need to do this initially, but for the best results, you should do stock takes. You don’t need to do this every day, you’re not running a restaurant.
But being able to see where your supplies are going and how quickly puts you in the best position to save money in the future.
Finally: Don’t Give Up
When it comes to finding deals on legal supplies, the best advice is to not give up.
A distributor may release a new discounted product, or you might find you need an all-new item that you haven’t ordered before.
If you treat saving money on your legal supplies as a long-term project, you will end up saving a lot more in the future by not giving up on the task.