How to Control Stationery Costs in an Office

Written by john buchanan
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How to Control Stationery Costs in an Office
Careful monitoring can reduce the cost of a company's stationery. (Pennies on the Dollar - one dollar bill with pennies. image by Andy Dean from

A company's letterhead stationery, as well as related printed products such as business cards and mailing labels, is an important part of its corporate identity. Well-designed stationery, printed on high-quality paper, makes a positive statement about a successful enterprise. However, quality stationery is also expensive and many offices use it inefficiently, which often results in excessive costs. You can reduce your letterhead expenses without sacrificing your company's professional image.

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Things you need

  • List of stationery users
  • Expense receipts
  • Audit of use

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    Consolidate all purchasing. In many offices, different departments routinely order different applications of a company's stationery for their own letterhead and paperwork needs, such as invoices or customer survey forms. It's also not unusual for individual departments to use their own printer, which adds further to costs. For maximum savings, consolidate all of the company's letterhead purchases into a single, all-inclusive transaction that takes place just several times a year, and accounts for every department in the company; buying in bulk can save as much as 20 to 50 per cent on the cost of letterhead. Give all of the work to a single printer at one time.

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    Monitor use. Establish a baseline for ongoing, regular usage of letterhead in each department, then monitor actual use to look for variations. Use your data to compare departments and to determine variations. In many companies, one or two departments are particularly wasteful when it comes to basic but costly resources such as letterhead. Your goal is a consistent pattern of efficient use throughout the company. Hold department managers responsible for the accomplishment of this goal.

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    Reduce the cost of some applications. While letters from the CEO or other top executives should always be on first-class paper stock with superb printing, you can significantly lower the overall cost of the company's letterhead by going to a less expensive paper stock and a less expensive printer for more routine pieces of communication.

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