Selection is the process of choosing the right type of supplies which suit the purpose for which they are meant. What kind of stationery and supplies should be selected may depend upon the type of business concerned and its financial position. In the selection of office supplies due attention must be paid to its quality.
Any item of stationery and supplies required should be determined keeping in view the purpose for which the item is to be used. The good qualities of various items available in market should be tested to select the sample which will best suit the purpose.
Supplies may be classified in two main categories: (1) Standard Branded Products and (2) Non-Standard Products. Standard products of reputed firms are generally 25-30% more costly than Non-Standard products. The difference is usually in quality. But, in practice, there is no economy in getting cheap supplies.
For instance, cheaper quality of carbon papers can be used only a few times. But the superior quality of carbon papers can be used many more times. Similarly, inferior quality of duplicating paper may be good for cyclostyling only on one side of the sheet.
When a standard duplicating paper which is about 25% more costly, may be used on both sides. Thus there is no economy in getting cheap and unbranded items. These may be made up of inferior materials and this proves to be more expensive in the long run.
Generally more papers are used in an office work than any other single item of stationery. The following points should be considered when selecting paper for office stationery:
(a) How long can it be kept?
(b) How often will it be referred to after filing?
(c) How many copies are needed?
(d) Are stocks of different colours necessary?
(e) What kind of office machine operations are involved?
(f) Which duplicating process is used in making copies?
Carbons, mimeograph, offset or any other copying method?
(g) How will the paper be filed; in binders, filing cabinets, envelopes?
(h) What is the annual consumption?
(i) Which sizes can be cut without waste from the basic sizes produced by mills?
(j) How and where will the paper be stored?
A good quality of carbon paper would yield better quality copies, and in the long run, costs no more than a cheaper one.
(C) Typewriter Ribbon:
One way to cut down on the cost of the purchase of carbon paper and ribbons is to buy from one reliable source and contract with this course for a quantity that will be used in a period of one year. This will result in the lowest possible price.
Standardization implies fixing the requirements or specifications as to the quality of the items of the office supplies for various purposes. The standards have to be revised from time to time to come up with the changing requirements of the office and the changes in the technology. Different grades of items of different brands should be tried to determine which brand is more suitable.
The use of many items- ink, glue, paste, rubber, pins, clips, tags, sealing wax, adhesive tape, etc. should be standardized. Items of very good quality should be purchased because they prove economical in use even though costly in price.