Procuring Office Supplies in Large Companies

Friday, November 19, 2010
How many times have you noticed the printer ran out of ink, but pretended that you didn't see? Still, somebody has to change the cartridge and let the office manager know.

It is one of general affairs' jobs to efficiently purchase and replenish office supplies. There are so many things to supply: printer cartridges, light bulbs, whiteboard pens, work slips, individual business cards and uniforms, to list a few. It's an often overlooked yet tiresome job.

In this workflow employees can apply for office supplies when they deem it necessary. The administrative office either immediately supplies them (flows through 4-6) or purchases them anew (lingers at 4). That way they can, if they want, let applications pile up and process them all at once at the end of the week. This should optimize purchase procedures and confirmation of delivered goods.

It's often useful to notify the person who made the application, his/her boss, AND other people who may possibly make the same application (=who may notice the same missing office supply), when a purchase has been completed or a supply has been replenished.
Here's a workflow that sends auto emails to related employees.

By the way, it's often convenient to reuse info from past applications.