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Creativity Still Exists. Are You Buying It?

By Guest Author On January 29, 2011 Under Improve Your Life

One would think that an office supply product show is boring and a complete waste of time.  And yet, one would be wrong to assume that.   After all, we’re talking office supplies here, is there anything more stale?  I have been fortunate enough to attend a number of these events and can tell you that an office supply convention is far from boring but is in fact extremely dynamic.  Office supplies for seemingly such a basic item offers a wonderful example of ingenuity. 

Here you have a company that has taken something as basic as presentation binders and created a plastic “eco-binder” that is not only 100% recyclable but has an ingenious locking mechanism that allows for documents to remain fastened even while the entire is placed flat on a copy machine.  

Of course you have those old stalwart products   like ave 5160 (Avery’s best selling label), but you also have the incredible “Kapture” board by Quartet (see video).  This technology enhances communication in and out of the office.  

I write these things about these awesome products to demonstrate that even in this microcosmic industry sector (office supplies) one can see that American creativity is indeed alive and healthy.   

Products designed to make work easier and more effective are everywhere.   Unfortunately much of this creativity that exists so plainly within the manufacturers does not reside within the typical short sighted office manager.  Why so harsh?   Because I have seen it time and again where an office manager opts solely for the cheapest item with little or no consideration to efficiency enhancements.   During my near 13 years as part of the office supply industry, I have witnessed first hand the utter failure of buyers and office managers to effectively evaluate the clear benefits of new and better products.  Instead, they simply gravitate to the least expensive item and pat themseleves on the back for being so savvy.  

Rather than improving work flow and task completion, the supposed “savvy” office manager saves .25 on one binder over the next.  Again, the truly smart buyer understands that testing, and input is an essential aspect of the job.  How can the office be improved for the right price is a much more intelligent decision than can I keep buying the same junk for less.  


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