Getting better value for every £ you spend

 By David Yates, Office Solutions Category Manager for NWUPC
Let’s talk about how investing time and resource into developing a great supplier relationship can lead to getting better value for every £ you spend.
Banner was confirmed as a supplier to the Office, Computer and Library Supplies Framework (OFF 3068) as the highest ranked organisation on Lot 1. They are a leading source of supply within the sector and have built an excellent reputation for delivering tailor made solutions to its customers.
The Problem:
Banner had been approached by their industry partners where raw material, labour and energy costs were leading to calls for increases to many critical core products. Despite their best efforts to work with their suppliers to find cost effective solutions, Banner were obliged to make me aware that a net cost increase was imminent.
In light of the potential reduction of budgets, and a remit from our Members to attain the commercial advantage, a cost increase of any magnitude was perceived to be a non-starter.
The Preparation:
Having analysed the first submission put forward by Banner, it was clear that the vast majority of the “basket of goods” would remain unaffected, but focus would need to be applied to where the prominent price impacts to our members would arise.
The Meeting:
We were both able to outline the key aspects/pressures we were under but agreed up front that that the common goal was to drive towards a solution that would work for both parties.
We agreed that Banner would review the content of the Core Items Basket where an equivalent, but lower priced branded or own-branded product could be deemed to be a reasonable alternative, accepting that whilst the quality may not be an exact match, it would still be fit for purpose. This approach was expected to show a cost reduction for NWUPC, but also maintain or even improve Banner’s margin.
The Response:
Banner reviewed their offer line by line and re-submitted their proposal, clearly outlining their recommendations as to where a lower cost product could be substituted for an existing sku. The Category Chair and fellow TWP members were happy with the outcome, and allowed me to implement the changes.
A 1% cost increase request has resulted in a 1.7% decrease – in “Pound Note” terms, this will generate a saving of £30k and avoid a cost increase of £17k, all of which will be applicable from 1st October.
What Next?
Banner are keen to assist any review of office and computer supplies and are committed to help you reduce cost and improve service to you, but above all, can tailor a solution that works best for your facility and team.
If you wish to discuss this article or anything related to NWUPC's Frameworks in Computing, Office Solutions or Libraries please contact me at and we can get the ball rolling!
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