The method of procurement will depend on the size of the organization, the nature of the equipment and its availability.
Large firms may buy directly from the manufacturers or place order through the manufacturers representatives or by examining catalogues and making the choice before ordering through the representative or direct.
However small sized organizations may prefer to buy their office machine needs in an open market.
Methods Of Procurement Of Machines And Office Equipment
1. Direct Order From The Manufacturer
If the manufacturer is known or the source of supply had been identify by reference to Trade guides or directories of manufacturers; then a letter of enquiry is sent or a telephone call is made to enquire about prices, delivery and suitability. Sometimes the letter of enquiry prompts the supplier to send back a catalogue and a price list, or quotation.
An order is placed for the supply of the equipment, if the user department is satisfied with the quotation and specifications.
When the invoice arrives from the supplier of the equipment, the details must be checked against the order. Buying from the manufacturer direct has several advantages among which include it reduces cost as dealer’s commission is saved, quality of machine procured is guaranteed to be genuine.
2. Order From Manufacturers Representatives
An order for effective equipment may be placed through the manufactures representatives. The representative may be mere commission agent who arranges for the contract of sale to be entered into. Or he could be a technical expert who also undertakes the servicing of such equipment as well stock them.
Tender is an instruction to contractors to bid for the supply of items at competitive terms.
The office may decide to put up advertisement for interested persons/manufacturers or contractors or manufacturers representative to tender to supply the equipment on terms stated or to be agreed by the parties. The advertise considers the tender and accepts the best one.
The Advantage: is that the buyer may get very competitive prices quoted by interested tenders. Also, it affords convenience in procurement. However the risk of getting inferior quality in return is there too.
4. Renting And Leasing
Renting and leasing are other methods of acquiring office equipment particularly very costly and complex equipment/machines e.g. Photocopiers and computers. Renting and leasing are suitable where the office lacks enough funds to effect outright purchase which the three methods above involve.
It eliminates the risk of obsolescence. It does not commit much capital or funds to a particular equipment. The cost of maintenance is borne by the lessor.
5. Purchase From The Open Market
This is possible for small or minor office equipment which may be bought say in Ariara Market, Aba. The advantage is that no time is wasted in procurement. Also, choice can be made from variety of machines available in the market.
6. Auction Sale
This method is used when a company desires to purchase used office equipment or machine if it cannot afford to buy a new one.
7. Internet (Online)/Website
This is a modern way of procuring office machine through online service. The buyer has to consult the website of the machine seller who may be the manufacturer or the agent.
It gives opportunity to know more about the machine as the website will post information about the machine and the terms of delivery. Payment can also be made online.
Inventory Of Machines And Equipment
Inventory means taking stock of office machine and equipment. The keeping of inventory of office machines and equipment procured and stored and those currently in use is a very essential administrative functions. It helps to control and keep track of such machines. Office machines/equipment can be controlled by:
A. Maintaining an up-to-date file of the information on office equipment and trends.
B. Setting of comprehensive inventory system or register that will show the following information:
1. Date of Purchase: actual date the equipment was purchased in the company for use. Date is vital in case of reference to the manufacturer.
2. The cost price of the machine.
3. Name of Machine e.g. typewriter or photocopier.
4. Model and serial number.
5. Number issued out i.e. the quantity given out for use.
6. Balance on record i.e. Number left after issuing (No. 5).
7. Name of recipient, The name of the person who signed for and received it. Generally it would be received by the user department or section where it will be used and the recipient is merely receiving for office use.
8. Date of receipt: The date the recipient received or collected the machine for use.
9. Signature of Recipient: The receiver signs for it.
For efficient performance and longevity maintenance of office machines is vital.