What is the difference between office supplies and office equipment?

What is the difference between office supplies and office equipment?

On the surface this might seem like a strange question but actually, the difference between office supplies and office equipment is quite a big one.


What office supplies do you use?


Think about it, sitting there at your desk right now – some quite small and inanimate objects such as pens, pencils, printer paper and envelopes surround you don’t they?


Office supplies tend to be items that we would use daily. They’ve become so engrained in our processes that their usage becomes automatic, just like mirror, signal, and manoeuver.


What office equipment do you use?


Again, sitting there in your comfy wheelie chair at your sturdy desk, right now, have a quick scan around your immediate space and the office environment. Can you see a printer, scanner, filing cabinet or maybe a coffee machine? Ah the smell of fresh roasted beans…


Office equipment is also used on a daily basis, exactly as supplies are but longevity and size often separate the two.


So what exactly do these taken for granted items have in common and what distinct characteristics do they have?


Finally – the difference between office supplies and office equipment


Well, both categories help you to get the job done. Let’s not forget that important fact, but there are three key differences between office supplies and office equipment:


  • Depleting stock versus everlasting
  • Operational expenditure versus capital expenditure
  • Pennies versus pounds


Is this making any sense?


Let me unravel things a bit further for you.


Office supplies comprise smaller items used for a period of time but then need to be replaced. Provisions such as notebooks, Sharpies, ballpoint pens, tapes and adhesives are ideal examples.


These types of workplace provisions are an ongoing cost to the running of a business, an operational expense if you will, or the acronym OPEX if you want to impress your friends!


Writing instruments, paper and adhesives tend to be low cost items that can easily and quickly be reordered and tend to have a dedicated space in the store cupboard.


Office equipment on the other hand has a few more years in the tank. Think photocopiers, scanners, shredders and anything that you sit on, work at, open or close.


These workplace items are invested in by a business to improve efficiencies and can be classed as long-term capital expenditure assets or CapEx.


As a consequence this kind of kit is more expensive than their OPEX counterparts.


Like coal to a fire


They may be smaller, cheaper and replaceable but many office supplies can be the difference between office equipment failing or flourishing.


This is because many supplies fuel equipment such as:


  • Staples are needed for a stapler to staple
  • Printer cartridges or toner is needed for a printer to print
  • Batteries are needed for a remote or electrical appliance to operate
  • Coffee, milk and sugar are in needed for the coffee machine to produce your daily pick-me-up


And when a small, perishable office supply isn’t required to assist in the operation of equipment you’ll find an electrical supply close by.


Bulky robust items such as office furniture will also fall into the category of office equipment but that’s for another blog…


Remember this…


I will leave you with one thought that I know you’ll remember.


Think of humble office supplies as the superpowers or the techie gadgets that aid our superheroes – Batman and Robin or Spiderman and Antman – with their daily quest to save the people and the planet. Without them, our superheroes would be mere mortals.


And that includes your champion office cleaner needing cleaning materials to deal with the nasties that lurk in the cupboard.


“Here is a fantastic range of products available, but you can also request all sorts of items that might not be on the website. OPS give you peace of mind with your office supplies because everything is dealt with for you, quickly and efficiently.”


Help is on hand


Office Prime Supplies have an extensive online store with next day delivery options.


We can work with your business as a trusted partner and provide a valuable consultation service to discuss the benefits and differences in office products and office equipment, why not call us today on 01270 760713 and let’s take a few minutes to see if it would be of benefit to meet.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.