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National Accounts Program

May 07, 2013
National Accounts Program


If you’re the one who does the supply ordering for you company, you know how complex that process can be. If you’re company has multiple locations, it’s downright daunting! Weighing each location’s needs and wants against organizational policies and budgets, navigating a variety of cumbersome supplier websites, understanding shipping costs and methods, managing product returns, ensuring competitive pricing . . .  ARGH!
You only have so many hours in a day, and your time is money. Centralizing the ordering process by using one trusted supplier can make a huge difference. Dealing with only one accounting department; becoming comfortable using one, well-designed website or catalogue; having access to competitive pricing and Canada-wide delivery, and developing relationships with friendly, helpful sales personnel are all huge time, not to mention money savers. Crites & Riddell is just such a company. Through their National Accounts Program, buyers can fill all their office supply needs at one convenient location.
To bring the idea a little closer to home, here’s a recent purchasing nightmare. The procurement agent for a large educational institution with campuses throughout Western Canada took a period of leave for a medical issue. Fortunately, he was able to return to work and upon doing so, found his replacement frazzled and stressed out. His co-worker, formerly his assistant, had made the decision to change suppliers in an effort to prove his worth and secure a promotion. “I thought we needed to reduce costs,” was his response to his superior’s exasperated plea for a reason.
What the assistant had done was diversify the supply purchasing amongst close to a dozen different suppliers. He was spending copious amounts of time researching prices, tracking deliveries, dealing with multiple accounting departments and generally wasting a great deal of time. So much time in fact, that there were now two assistants. The co-worker thought their busyness was testament to his proficiency when in fact it was the result of the beehive of activity he had inadvertently created. Savings indeed!
Horror stories aside, streamlining your supply sourcing processes by finding one quality supplier can not only make life easier for you but will produce cost efficiencies for your employer. One important tip: don’t get caught up in having to get every single item at the lowest price, but rather, ensure that overall, the pricing is competitive. Do your homework but once you find a reputable supplier that meets most if not all of your procurement needs, cultivate a working relationship with them and stick with them. The results will please you.
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