How to maintain procurement control in the face of renewed restrictions

As colleagues across the UK are once again given the ‘work from home’ order, another mass shift to remote setup risks employee expenses claims spiralling – which could inflate organisations’ procurement costs by as much as 30%.

For some organisations, remote working has gone from a ‘needs must’ exercise when the outbreak of Covid-19 began, to an ongoing employment model – rich with benefits for colleagues and employers alike, not least cost reduction.

But, while some may take the latest round of restrictions in their stride – having been here before – a remote workforce can create hidden costs, regardless of lockdowns, particularly when it comes to the procurement of business supplies.

Last year, throughout our own customer based and beyond, previously watertight procurement processes started to slip – leading to 90% of businesses encountering spend leakage due to the overnight shift to remote working. That was because:

  • An estimated 40% of employees were defaulting to non-authorised ecommerce sites to purchase business supplies and services.
  • Purchases were being claimed back via employee expenses, which cost – on average – £27.20* to process – per claim.

And, while this is very much not ‘the first rodeo’ for many, the new rules coming into force with little warning means there’s a risk of spend visibility dropping once again – which could see already strained budgets spiralling out of control heading into 2022.

But we’re here to help. 

Our latest iteration of SmartPad retains the ‘self-serve’ functionality for homeworkers we introduced last year, and is designed to provide organisations with complete procurement management – wherever colleagues may now be.

With budget control and transparency front-and-centre:

  • Our Business Guest Checkout allows you to set every employee up as a home user, so they can buy pre-approved products and services from the usual business account, instantly, with minimal admin.


  • As an Office Depot customer, you keep a firm hold on the reins and supply chain, and remote workers have everything they need, exactly when they need it, and delivered straight to their door.


  • They’ll never be temporarily out of pocket either, which supports your duty of care as an employer.

Whether an existing customer or looking for an easy-to-implement solution, you can get started in three simple steps:

  1. We’ll assess your current procurement status and where things might have slipped
  2. We’ll set up your home users, with the order permissions and spend authorisation you want to give them.
  3. Colleagues simply log onto SmartPad through our home working area, enter their email for verification and they can order what they need!

Want to know more? Contact us for a 1-2-1 demo.

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