Teleworker Tips Series – Are You Prepared to Purchase?

April 28, 2015 Staples Advantage

Make the people who purchase your supplies part of your plan.

The professional workforce is becoming more dispersed, creating new challenges and opportunities for employers. But are you planning for this trend? According to the recent study, Telecommuting: Purchasing for the Home Office, as many as 66% of companies don’t budget for their workers who spend some (or even all) of their time working from home or on the road, and that can make the procurement process more challenging for those companies

To find out what the telework trend really means for procurement professionals and other employees who keep the office stocked, we sat down with Chris Sawchuk of The Hackett Group to discuss this growing trend. We’ve excerpted some of his insights for you:

Q: What’s the connection between telecommuting and procurement?

It’s a good question and not one many procurement executives or professionals have considered… the key takeaway for procurement teams is that they have to develop a scalable strategy to support remote employees with the products and services they need.

Q: What benefits could be missed by having telecommuters buy their own supplies?

The biggest benefit being missed in this scenario is compliance to negotiated contracts and the spend visibility that it brings. If you’re lacking visibility into a significant percent of your spend in a certain area, you’re missing an opportunity for volume-based discounts from suppliers.

Q: What advice do you have for companies looking to manage and track the spend by telecommuters better?

The best way to get telecommuters to buy on contract is to create an environment where those employees have easy and direct access to the preferred suppliers, contracts, or catalogs. And it has to be easy for them to receive the products and services they buy.


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