Purchasing Tip: Choose Delivery over Drop-In
The New Year comes with the sense of a fresh start. Employees head back to work after holiday celebrations, and there’s a feeling of optimism and renewed commitments to better ourselves, and our organizations.
This “back to business” mentality accompanies the reality that it’s time to start restocking office supplies for the coming months. As you and your organization think about stocking up for the year, we encourage you to consider an important purchasing best practice: choose delivery over drop-in.
Here are four reasons why delivery beats drop-in:
A lot of retail shopping takes place in stores known for their low prices, such as dollar stores and Walmart. The concern here is with the quality of the products that you’re purchasing. At best, you might be faced with having to replace poor-quality items sooner rather than later.
At worst, you could be using items that are not sourced from reliable manufacturers and could carry health-related risks.
People working in the non-profit sector do good work, and it’s often true that the work we do needs to occur in physical spaces (housing, community centres, offices, etc.). Time spent outside of those spaces usually means time away from the work and the people that need us.
Even if staff are not required to be in a specific space, shopping in stores takes time away from the mission of the organization, and can be an unnecessary distraction.
In-store shopping usually means payment with a credit card or petty cash. There’s more to know about differences in payment methods, but for now, suffice to say that there are significant advantages to ordering on account via an invoice with agreed payment terms (such as 30 days later).
In addition to the typically lower finance charges, it’s also usually more efficient. An invoice often means better capture of data, so you can keep track of where your budget is being spent.
4. Health and Safety.
During these winter months it’s especially important to help our staff teams stay healthy. Opting for delivery is a great way to reduce unnecessary in-person contacts as we all continue to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
It’s about more than just price – it’s about Total Cost.
In-store shopping can be a last-minute solution for an urgent need every now and then, but it can become a concern when organizations make it regular practice for their on-going needs.
There are more reasons to opt for delivery than the four big ones we’ve covered here. Many organizations have made the strategic decision to choose delivery over drop-in. Doing so reinforces an overarching best practice that we talk about all the time: the notion of Total Cost.
You may save a few dollars at the local discount store, but what is it costing you in terms of lower quality products, higher risk, and loss of your most valuable resource: staff time? Once you take a total cost approach, you might reconsider the true value of those shopping trips.
Written by Round Table Procurement Services
Something new is on the way!
ONPHA is partnering with Round Table Procurement Services on something exciting for the community housing sector. We’re working to increase your purchasing power significantly and support your bottom lines in new ways.
We’ll also be bringing you more learning and best practices on how to manage your purchasing to save your organization valuable time and money. Stay tuned for more details!