Improving Office Supply Procurement With Software

Office supply procurement can be time-consuming and expensive. With the right software, you can streamline the process while realizing significant savings.
Written by:  Bridey Joyce
Last Updated:  April 2, 2024
reviewing office supply needs

Small businesses often manage their procurement through an Amazon account or a handful of transactional vendor relationships. But as the business grows, procurement needs become more complex. At some point (and sooner than you might assume), moving to a procurement platform makes great financial and operational sense. 

Many organizations put off selecting a procurement system due to uncertainty about what to look for or a perception that onboarding will be difficult. Over 20 percent of business and IT leaders believe process automation will be too hard or take too long. However, choosing and implementing a high-quality system doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming.

This article covers all the information you need to identify a high-quality solution, integrate it into your tech stack, and get your stakeholders up to speed on its use and benefits.

Download the free ebook: The Procurement Strategy Playbook for Modern Businesses

What is office supply procurement? 

Office supply procurement is the strategic process of sourcing, purchasing, and managing the office supplies a business needs. This can include essentials like pens, paper, copier toner, breakroom supplies, and printers. But it extends to larger-ticket items like furniture, computers, and office equipment. Office supply procurement aims to ensure core items are available when needed while minimizing procurement costs and maintaining quality. 

Many organizations opt to implement procurement software solutions for this task. Purchasing software solutions allow businesses to create a better procurement strategy, streamline purchasing activities, save time, and reduce expenses. Efficient procurement leads to better resource management, ultimately contributing to organizational success.

Why use software for office supply procurement?

Procurement management software organizes and streamlines the office supply procurement process into a repeatable ordering system that captures all vital data. A purchasing system's increased visibility and savings can improve the bottom line while letting everyone focus on higher-value tasks.

The following benefits are some of the top advantages for companies moving to a procurement platform for office supply purchasing. 

Procurement efficiency: Software solutions automate the procurement process, eliminating manual tasks and making procurement quicker and more efficient. This leads to increased productivity as employees can focus on other important tasks. 

Cost savings: Procurement software saves businesses money by identifying cost-effective alternatives and consolidating ordering to decrease product redundancy. It also reduces administrative expenditures associated with manual procurement processes. 

Nearly all procurement decision-makers (95 percent) know there’s space for optimization. Yet only 10 percent have large-scale deployment of advanced analytics tools.

Procurement data accuracy: With automated systems, there's a lower chance of human error in ordering and tracking supplies. The software ensures accuracy in orders placed, deliveries received, and invoices processed.

Total spend visibility: Using software brings transparency to the procurement process. All transactions are recorded and easily traceable, reducing the risk of fraud or discrepancies.

Improved supplier relationships: Procurement software often includes supplier management features that help maintain positive vendor relationships by ensuring timely payments and effective communication.

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The Procurement Strategy Playbook for Modern Businesses

Download the ebook to learn how to modernize your procurement strategy and realize the benefits of tech-enabled procurement.

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10 Key features of top office supply procurement software

There are plentiful options for procurement software solutions on the market, but not all offer the same level of service and features. When evaluating options for procurement software, look for a tool that offers most or all of the following key features: 

1. User-friendly interface: A good procurement system should be intuitive and easy to use. Navigation through various functionalities of the software should be smooth for all team members.

2. Vendor-agnostic support: A flexible procurement platform has options to transact with every vendor in the organization’s procurement program, including those with phone- or email-based purchase processes. 

3. Centralized data management: A good procurement platform offers a centralized data management system that allows easy access, control, and tracking of all procurement-related information.

4. Robust reporting and analytics: Next-generation procurement platforms provide powerful analytics and reporting capabilities to help identify office supplies spending trends, monitor key performance indicators, and optimize cash use.

5. Supplier management: Great procurement platforms enable supplier management, allowing teams to curate items from preferred suppliers, manage multiple orders, leverage negotiated discounts, and pay suppliers automatically.

6. Purchase order automation: Procurement platforms make requisition and purchase order processing faster and easier. Select a tool that lets users create, approve, and issue purchase orders within an automated workflow. 

7. Integration capabilities: Procurement systems can supply the rest of the finance tech stack with valuable information. Choose an option that offers robust integration options with other business systems like enterprise resource planning, accounting, and payment systems for improved data coordination.

8. Security features: Given the sensitive nature of procurement data, top-notch security features are mandatory in a procurement platform. Some security aspects to consider are encryption for data protection, user access controls, and audit trails.

9. Cost-effectiveness: Cost savings are the best reason to implement a procurement platform. Strong procurement platforms give businesses access to competitive office supplies vendors and allow procurement teams to understand the total value of every transaction for optimal indirect spend.

10. Budgetary control: Many procurement management tools incorporate ways to control individual user spending. They offer dynamic controls within the platform or customizable settings through a virtual or physical procurement card. Look for an option that offers these advanced controls.

How to integrate office supply procurement software with vendors

One of the first challenges in moving to a new procurement tool is Integrating current vendors and procurement data into the new system. The procurement platform a company chooses will significantly impact the speed and success of implementation. Look for a solution like that uses direct integrations and API resources to pull vital data into the platform. 

Although implementation time depends heavily on the size and scope of the current procurement program, it can take as little as 2 weeks to get up and running on Other procurement tools significantly vary in their implementation windows — from just a few weeks to multiple months.

The implementation process generally goes as follows: 

1. New users provide with access to their current vendor lists and procurement data from the past 6 months of purchases. uses this information to conduct a procurement analysis and begin accounts setup. 

The implementation team starts with the most commonly used vendors for the organization, reaches out to points of contact, and gets suppliers set up within the system. 

This is achieved through direct integration for large vendors like Amazon, Staples, Office Max, etc. Other vendors may integrate through an ecommerce marketplace or an API. 

The implementation team also establishes contact with phone-based and email-only vendors to set up accounts. 

2. Once vendor data is complete, the team sets up the curated catalog of goods. While users are always free to select any vendor they want, these preferred and frequent vendors appear in the catalog for easy ordering. 

3. administrators then set up users within the account. They approve permissions, spending budgets, and role-based ordering parameters. They also set approval workflows to usher transactions from intake to payment. The platform integrates with accounting and payment systems to ensure fast and automated payment. 

4. Users complete onboarding, receive training, and use the new platform to place their first orders. Through this process, internal and external points of contact help answer questions or resolve issues with the implementation.

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5 Focus areas for training on office supply procurement platforms

Onboarding to a new procurement management system takes time and patience. Adoption goes much smoother when the process is well-managed, and stakeholders feel informed and empowered. 

A structured change management plan helps establish expectations, set the timeline, and ensure everyone has the materials and support needed to move to the new system with minimal stress. 

When implementing a new procurement system in your organization, prioritize these five areas of adoption to give everyone the best start:

1. Vendor setup and transactions: The first thing that comes to mind when implementing a new system is often “What about my vendors?” Affirm that all current vendors will be accessible on the new system. makes this easy for every vendor on the list. 

Provide training materials and documentation describing how users access their preferred vendors and create purchase orders to get the necessary supplies.

2. Order processing: Procurement platforms streamline orders with a centralized process. accomplishes this with a curated catalog of favorite supplies and commonly reordered items from vendors stakeholders already love. 

Walk users through creating and processing a purchase order within the system. Ensure approvers understand the approval workflow. 

3. Payment management:  Be sure administrators know how to schedule invoices for payment — including using advanced features like consolidated payments for easy, one-touch payment across multiple invoices and vendors.

Procurement platforms like take the hassle and manual work out of processing vendor payments. 

4. Reporting features: The reporting tools inside a procurement platform provide finance and accounting teams with information to make sound financial decisions. Train users on accessing information within the system, including how integrations pull data into the other finance tools already within the tech stack. 

5. Troubleshooting and support: Every implementation raises questions and concerns. Although a system like provides extensive training resources and in-person training support during implementation, many users have questions after initial setup. Document the options and methods for obtaining support and answers to questions. provides support through multiple channels.

Patience and careful change management are critical during any transition period. Providing staff with tools and support ensures they’ll always have the resources to approach the new procurement system confidently.

Review and refine your entire procurement process

After implementing a procurement system, businesses will have the data and insights necessary to review and enhance the process. 

Take the time to look into tool performance after the first few months, and ask the following questions to identify possible upgrades or improvements: 

  • How did the onboarding and implementation process go? 
  • Are there any outstanding vendors or issues that need to be addressed?
  • Has the procurement tool produced quantifiable results like cost savings, cycle time reductions, or improved internal processes?
  • What do stakeholders have to say about the new tool? 
  • Has the team encountered any issues or platform concerns? 
  • Have all vendor relationships remained steady after the cutover? 
  • Does staff grasp platform operation? Can they use it with confidence?

Based on these questions, work with your team and procurement management tool provider to address challenges and refine the process.

How streamlines office supply procurement

Implementation and onboarding shouldn’t hold a company back from experiencing the benefits of procurement management with an advanced software tool. The cost savings and operational improvements with automated procurement are well worth the time and investment to get the solution up and running.

Want to learn more ways to improve the procurement process and avoid costly inefficiencies? Read The Procurement Strategy Playbook for Modern Businesses to optimize office supply purchasing and maximize savings. Download our free ebook today!

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