Onboarding a new hire is stressful enough. Paperwork needs to be done, work area needs to be set up, et cetera. But no one remembers about supplies. Utilizing Lean Six Sigma methods and tools like 5S, visual management and Kanban to remove office waste is a great way to have a supplies inventory system that ensures all employees know where each item is kept and are aware of what is considered to be low inventory. This will ensure an order is placed in a timely manner to avoid any impairment in daily business operations or having to run out to your local supplies store and grossly over-pay.
When all supplies are cataloged, organized, labeled, tracked in Excel and this information is readily available to employees; waste is reduced in terms of time looking for supplies, productivity time wasted and money wasted. Ensuring employees know where all supply items are kept will significantly reduce time and productivity wastes. They should also be aware of what is considered to be low inventory (Zero is not acceptable) because this will allow immediate and timely replenishment.
For example, you would start by creating an inventory tracking Excel sheet like the one below (you can personalize it as you wish). You can set it up in Google Sheets and share with your team. You can encourage employees to make notes on whether items should be made more accessible to them (move printer closer to marketing team, et cetera) or add additional items to the list that will help them enhance their productivity.
In short, those that prepare and organize their office supplies inventory systems effectively reduce the most critical waste which is time and then of course, money.