Sending An Employee Out To Pick Up Supplies – Cost more than you think!

Many times when we talk with small offices about their office and janitorial products, they tell us they just send someone out to pick them up.  Running out to a big box store to take advantage of the flyer price for BIC pens might save you a few cents, but it will cost you in staff time and potentially expose you to risks associated with having staff on the road rather than in their place of work.  The prices at the dollar stores sure are hard to beat…but what do you know about the quality or source of that box of highlighters that just saved you $2?  Given enough time and resources, you can eventually find a lower price on almost any given item.  But we have to ask – at what cost?  The time and expense is obvious, but the associated risks are no less troublesome, and questions abound.  What happens if your employee is in a car accident while shopping?  What is the cost or risk of them being away from their assigned duties?  What do you know about the origin or quality of those impossibly cheap supplies? Are you really saving anything when you have to replace your whiteboard markers three times as often? And the phenomenon of impulse buying is real – how much are you spending on unnecessary items because they were well displayed in a store? To have a more realistic picture of the true costs, we have calculated the labor costs below depending on what the employee makes per hour. – seethe chart below.