A cross category approach - why housing providers need one


Social housing providers looking to make efficiencies and free their procurement teams up for high value purchases, should consider making their workplace supplies strategy a cross-category one.

From catering, cleaning and safety wear products to stationery, printer toners and writing instruments, looking at all these areas as one, and taking a more strategic approach can pay big dividends.

Benefits of taking a cross category approach with the right supplier can include better awareness of all available products and services, increased innovation and smarter logistics.

Working as one

Rather than see the purchase of workplace supplies as a matter of just picking up the relevant catalogue and placing an order, perhaps it’s time to think again.

Occasionally difficult cost cutting decisions and improved procurement become easier when an organisation has a workplace supplier who it can work with to achieve both safely and effectively.

Social landlords facing the pressures of spend reduction and meeting quality standards need an experienced supplier who can advise as a partner, understand what they’re dealing with and support wise decision making.

Operational uplift

One starting point is to assess how many workplace suppliers are on the books, and how truly productive these relationships are.

Social landlords should think about the wider and softer costs, including logistics and management time, that are involved in procuring workplace supplies from several suppliers, rather than one.

It’s surprising how many organisations are dealing with several office product, catering, safety wear or office furniture suppliers, placing orders in a variety of ways, accepting numerous deliveries from various sources and managing a range of relationships.

Consider the operational, logistical and time saving improvements that will come from one monthly delivery, one monthly invoice and one point of contact.

Freeing up procurement team time to deal with strategic issues and focus on the big, politically and socially-sensitive purchasing issues is as important now as it has ever been.

Year on year savings

As savings are inevitably essential, having an eye on year-on-year opportunities for savings is a crucial step. Being able to do this across all categories, with one global overview of where spend is going, rather than having to pick data apart category by category, is a huge advantage.

From looking at where suitable, but more cost effective, core products can replace existing choices, to how deliveries can constantly improve, working with one supplier to look at all the workplace categories together as one, can be a game-changer.

One ordering point

Spend and time can be lowered considerably by the use of one effective online ordering solution with one supplier. Not only does this mean employees are all ordering through the same system, it can provide an overview of spend across all locations and categories and help provide the core data for analysis of category spend.

Constant improvement

When the supplier is seen as an essential arm of the organisation and understands its needs across the workplace supplies categories, a social landlord can continuously keep costs down, make efficiencies and improve profits.

With Banner the housing sector can save on workplace consumables and improve operations.

To contact our housing team, please email socialhousing@BannerUK.com

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