Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Memo to Tribune employees from CAO Gerry Spector

Memo to Tribune employees from chief administration officer Gerry Spector

Post-it notes, pens, notepads, files, folders… Did you know that Tribune spends about $3.5 million with OfficeMax on more than 10,000 types of office supplies each year? While office supplies may sound like small potatoes, it’s an area where everyone can contribute to the companywide effort to control expenses.

Beginning June 30, the number of items you can buy from OfficeMax will be reduced from 35,000 items to 1,000, all sold to Tribune at significant discounts. We’ll have about 250 best value items that will increase our savings even further. Making these changes will increase our buying power and help us save about $500,000 annually. (Not bad for toner, pens and notepads.)

But don’t worry, we’ll still offer a product mix that meets everyone’s needs. For example — when you wrote that memo last year asking your cube-mate to return your troll collection, you had 1,400 pen/pencil options from which to choose. Did you really need 1,400 options for this? Hmmmm…not so much. Going forward there will be 48 writing tool options — plenty to give you that personal flair while also reducing costs by about $30,000 annually. And that’s just one product line.

Finally, this is not just about office supplies. As you know, paying down our debt and making interest payments are our main focus. In the current business environment, we’re doing everything we can to drive cash flow and that means watching every dollar. As you can see with office supplies, small amounts quickly add up and make a difference. I’m asking each of you to keep this in mind. Consider every area you can impact, whether it’s staying at a less expensive hotel, choosing the cheaper airfare, or deciding whether or not to make a purchase. It’s as simple as Rule #1: use your best judgment. In the end, every dollar counts.

If you have questions related specifically to office supplies, send an email to officesupplies@tribune.com, a branch of Tribune’s Finance Service Center.

Gerry [Spector]

SOURCE: Jim Romenesko

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