A typical office may have anywhere from 4 to 20 different types and brands of paper in its inventory at any one time. This may not seem to be a significant issue but paper costs anywhere from $0.006 (low-end standard copy paper) to $1.00 (fancy letterhead) or more per sheet when all costs are included.
An analysis for one organization found that the lack of standardized purchasing allowed them to spend about $85,000 each year in extra costs just for copy paper. We conducted the analysis in this manner:
-Examine purchasing invoices for copy paper
-Tabulate the costs paid for each quantity
-Calculate the savings possible if the lowest cost supplier had been used
The recommendations were to centralize purchasing decisions and to communicate standardized purchasing procedures to those people who managed the paper inventories at dispersed locations.
The analysis did not determine how much could have been saved if less paper had been used but the qualitative judgment was that the savings could have exceeded the purchasing savings.
Paper losses like these are an indicator of even deeper loss of control over expenses.