All businesses need janitorial supplies, but because items like toilet paper, cleaners, kitchen utensils and Kleenex are boring and mundane, people don’t always take the time to make sure they are getting the best value. While businesses spend too much time making sure they are getting the absolute lowest price on office supplies like copy paper, they are spending more than they should on janitorial and break room supplies. Here’s some industry secrets to help you save on janitorial supplies, and save money for your small business.
A great many businesses hire janitorial services to maintain their offices, and depending on the size of your office this can make financial sense. Where you can get into trouble is when you actually buy the janitorial supplies being used from your cleaning service. Many cleaning firms use the sale of supplies to increase their profits, so while they give you a great deal on cleaning the office, they are overcharging you on supplies. Always check your bill and compare the prices a cleaning service is charging you, or better yet, buy the janitorial supplies you need yourself, and have them on hand in the supply closet for them to use when they clean. This alone can save you over 50%!
The next secret to saving money on janitorial supplies is to consolidate vendors. Instead of buying your janitorial supplies from one company, and your office supplies from another, consolidate your suppliers with a trusted online office supplies company. Let’s be honest, janitorial supplies are really just another form of supplies being used in the office, and you will be shocked at the huge selection many new online companies offer today. Everything from cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, soaps, paper towels and toilet paper, to a huge selection of break room supplies like cups, utensils, plates, coffee and beverage service items, napkins and creamer. Consolidating vendors simply saves you money; you place one order, receive one shipment, pay one invoice and deal with one trusted partner, all which saves you cash!
To quickly pause, I am often asked which office supplies and janitorial supplies company do I recommend. I think the right thing to do is let you shop around and decide what’s best, but this office products expert never shops at the “mega superstore chains”. I’ve found online office supply companies that are family owned and independent that actually offer better prices and faster delivery, and of course have better service than the big chains. More importantly, I look for companies that do good work in the community, and have found some companies that donate half their profits to charity! They practice a business School IT Supplier model called conscious capitalism, and I feel good about doing business with them.
All companies use a lot of ink and toner, copy paper, staplers and file folders, so when you need to order those office needs, simply order your Kleenex tissues, Marcal toilet paper and Starbucks coffee at the same time. That’s right, Starbucks coffee from your office supplies company! This consolidates shipments, but also helps you get free shipping, as many online office products company’s today ship free with reasonable order minimums of $75 – $99. Every purchasing manager will tell you that buying from fewer vendors saves you money.
My final tip to saving big on janitorial supplies is to always buy commercial grade paper supplies. This includes paper towels, tissues and toilet paper. Mass market stores like grocery or discount chains may have what looks like great prices, but in reality they are selling short rolls that are very loosely wound and really aren’t that great of a deal. Manufacturers like Georgia Pacific, Marcal and Kimberly-Clark all make commercial grade paper and janitorial supplies that contain more sheets and last much longer, therefore saving you money. These items are usually sold in bulk by the case, and in this instance it is true that buying in bulk saves you money.