United Stationers: Empowered User

Office purchasing has long been the realm of purchasing agents and administrative staff, but this is changing. Empowered users are purchasing 61% of what a company buys.


Employees are emerging as the new purchasing force. Purchasing agents and administrators now share responsibility for purchasing workplace products with other departments and individual employees, with each area now purchasing approximately 1/3 of the total company spend, according to primary research conducted by United Stationers.

Most surprising is that 61% of consumers feel “empowered” to make purchases for their own or their department’s use. While departments in all sizes of companies demonstrate flexibility in spending, the departmental trend to make purchasing decisions for products used within the office space increases with company size. “Traditional” purchasers in United Stationers’ survey acknowledged this trend, while also seeing purchases of products for mobile and work-from-home employees going largely unmonitored except through expert reports. The “empowered user” is not purchasing “outside the system” offsite, but is most frequently located in the office, and is purchasing what he or she needs to do their job at hand.


Click on the link below to download the full version of the Empowered User white paper.

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