Office supply dealership is one business which is increasing by leaps and bounds with the passing of days. For those who thought computers would take away all the need for papers and make the place paper-less were far, far away from reality. In fact, they were miles away. If paper stopped as note-books, notebooks came in another form. Computers itself. And papers on their own never really disappeared. Instead of bound ones you now have them sized as A3, 4 and so on. The same applies to pens. Printers did away with the need to print. But that hasn’t stopped the proliferation of pens…and printers. And for a well-stocked, operational office supply dealer, this just means only two things. Big business. And bigger confusion if business isn’t handled well.
Helping these businesses do well are office supply software of various kinds. With them doing so much, their clients demand more. But only a few genuinely provide features that are sensible and stable. Like for example, the feature for contracts management!
Office supply dealers today themselves have very few products of their own. In most cases such enterprises remain mainly dealers who buy at lower rates and sell at MRP and keep the margins. That being the case, contracts with producers, dealers, distributors etc. is of immense importance for business to survive. Add to that their numbers. With each shop carrying multiple items and multiple brands under each item, the number of contracts each dealer caters to could go into dozens if not more. Keeping track of every aspect of each contract could then be the task for either superman or a good office supply dealer software! And among other features that such a software provides, it HAS to deal with contracts in all their details which should include:
– Details of each supplier complete with that of the right person: A contract without the details of contact does not make any sense! Whom do you approach in times of need and difficulty? Agreed that people do keep details of suppliers with them in any case, but from a professional point-of-view, these are very required and need to be kept in places accessible to everyone. An ideal office-supply dealer software should have the facility to records complete, complete details of the supplier in every respect. What may seem too trivial or too much to ask could be of use at some time- mostly when it isn’t available!
– Complete details of the contract including items/ categories excluded, payment terms, discounts, penalty clauses etc. A contract for supplying to any office-supply dealers has two kinds of items. One, that is obvious and quite explicitly put there, like prices, payment terms etc. What may not, and are equally important are things like penalties in the event of non-compliance of certain terms and norms etc. A good office-supply dealer software should not leave anything to chance and should document EVERYTHING with absolute clarity how-so-ever trivial it may seem at the time of entering into the contract. Ideally, the software itself should facilitate such terms and conditions in all its length and significance.
– Items customized by price, category and/ or manufacturers: Something as simple as printing paper could be of varied kinds, used in more than one situation, and made by so many manufacturers! That being the case, nothing should be left to chance and one’s own recollections but be documented down to the last detail with everything being clear to the most uninitiated.
– Contract renewal notice. One of the worst things that happens with contracts is that people forget to renew them. The most telling effect of doing so is in the case of those whose products are under a time-bound warranty and has been bought from an office-supply dealer. Imagine the situation of someone buying a product with a valid warranty not getting the promised service just because the dealer in between forgot to renew his contract! For products that hardly have such considerations, it doesn’t really matter. But what of those where they do, and where the oversight results in huge losses to the buyer? With so much depending upon contracts and their renewal, the office supply dealer software should have the facility to remind the dealer to renew contracts by multiple means and in ways which catch the latter’s attention firmly.
– Details (not for supplier) of types of margins to be kept when selling ahead. An office supply dealer could be procuring a single product of one maker from various suppliers at varying prices. The same could apply in the case of sales where the same products could be sold to various parties at varying rates. What this may call for is to keep track of margins being charges to each buyer as also being accepted from each supplier. This being a very, very vital and sensitive piece of information which could make or break a business should not be visible to every person at the dealership and should be available only to a select few. BUT, it ought to be there in the system.
These then, are points to do with contracts in any office supply dealer software which ought to be there come what may. There may be others, but these for sure are necessities.