Executive Briefings

Procurement Departments Often Fail to Factor in Needs of Telecommuters, Study Says

The overwhelming majority of employees believe telecommuting is good for both themselves and their company, but most organizations are not budgeting appropriately for telecommuters, according to a recent survey of procurement officers by Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples Inc.

Procurement Departments Often Fail to Factor in Needs of Telecommuters, Study Says

Two-thirds of those who responded say they do not take telecommuters into account when planning their organization’s purchasing budget. The result is a lack of consistency in telecommuting purchasing, including which products are purchased, who is purchasing them and how much is being spent.

“For many companies and employees, telecommuting makes good business sense,” said Neil Ringel, executive vice president of Staples Advantage. “However, if organizations don’t budget accordingly and provide appropriate oversight, there is significant risk for rogue spending and inconsistencies in the tools provided to telecommuters. Organizations can reduce their overall spend with up-front planning, streamlined purchasing and procurement oversight.”

More than half of the procurement professionals surveyed – 59 percent – purchase products for telecommuters, while 33 percent say telecommuters purchase products out of their own pocket. Less than half of those procurement professionals work for companies that provide reimbursement.

Telecommuters most often request office supplies (44 percent), technology products such as keyboards and monitors (17 percent), Internet and phone service (16 percent). They also request IT services, furniture, copy and print services and cleaning supplies. There is an opportunity for procurement to negotiate better prices for goods and services in these categories to maximize savings.

Source: Staples Advantage

Two-thirds of those who responded say they do not take telecommuters into account when planning their organization’s purchasing budget. The result is a lack of consistency in telecommuting purchasing, including which products are purchased, who is purchasing them and how much is being spent.

“For many companies and employees, telecommuting makes good business sense,” said Neil Ringel, executive vice president of Staples Advantage. “However, if organizations don’t budget accordingly and provide appropriate oversight, there is significant risk for rogue spending and inconsistencies in the tools provided to telecommuters. Organizations can reduce their overall spend with up-front planning, streamlined purchasing and procurement oversight.”

More than half of the procurement professionals surveyed – 59 percent – purchase products for telecommuters, while 33 percent say telecommuters purchase products out of their own pocket. Less than half of those procurement professionals work for companies that provide reimbursement.

Telecommuters most often request office supplies (44 percent), technology products such as keyboards and monitors (17 percent), Internet and phone service (16 percent). They also request IT services, furniture, copy and print services and cleaning supplies. There is an opportunity for procurement to negotiate better prices for goods and services in these categories to maximize savings.

Source: Staples Advantage

Procurement Departments Often Fail to Factor in Needs of Telecommuters, Study Says