Gone are the days when offices would primarily run on files, folders, papers and pens. Those were the days when technology, particularly computers had not invaded office environments – meaning, most of the work was still done manually and not digitally.
With the advent of computers, digitization of the office space has happened and to this day, a modern office is primarily digital. Having said that, the office supplies business is still vibrant as it has successfully evolved over time, taking shape according to the needs of the modern office.
A leading example which effectively showcases how the office supplies business has evolved is Office Crave. We recently interviewed them to better understand the evolution of the business and also to get a sneak peek into what the future looks like as far as the office supplies business is concerned. Read on to learn more.
Office supplies – key innovations
Below, we list out some of the key innovations and changes that we expect to happen in the office supplies business in the near future.
1. Focus on eco-friendly products
With the increasing global outcry regarding rising pollution levels coupled with the growing awareness amongst corporates for protecting the environment – office supplies will tend to become more and more eco-friendly.
This would mean that the paper that you use at your office might be 100% re-cycled paper. Likewise, you might notice the reduction in the use of plastic as more and more corporates pledge towards reducing the plastic usage globally.
2. Smart devices and vending
With the advent of technologies such as IOT, AI and ML, you will soon see these innovations reaching your humble office supplies. Imagine a scenario when you can print documents from your office printer while at home via IOT connected devices. Also, the printer would remember your preferred settings – color or black & white, etc.
Imagine cases in which vending machines become smarter. In a sense that they are stocked up automatically, avoiding any down time for the employees, thereby making the employees more productive.
Besides the product innovations, there would also be changes on how office supplies are getting distributed. It won’t be far-fetched to imagine a scenario when office supplies companies start delivering their products to corporates via drones. These drone deliveries would in-turn be linked to a central demand management system, which will automatically predict low stock value and trigger the drone deliveries. Imagine how interesting and fascinating that would be!
These are some of the major issues that we think would potentially be game-changers as we move forward. Usage of artificial intelligence would help in making Smart Vending Machines even more powerful and take the entire thing forward, and with the changes in the production and distribution channels, we are excited to see how the office supply industry moves forward in the new decade.
All in all, as technology gradually changes every aspect of how we live and interact with our environment, office supply companies would also catch up with the innovation and bring interesting products to us, delivered to us in innovative and personalized ways.