Happy Birthday to Us!

Well, ain’t no big thing, but Happy 23rd Birthday to Stock In Trade!

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OnAugust 11, 2013, posted in: Latest News by

Praise to the Paper Clip!

As you know here at Stock in Trade we’re just mad about stationery, and one of the most useful and under-rated bits of kit is the humble paper clip. Did you know the paper clip – or “paperclip” as some prefer – was first introduced into the office supplies arsenal in the 1890s. Yep, this little twist of metal has been around for over 120 years!

Invented by the Norwegian John Vaaler, and coincidentally worn by Norwegians on their clothes during World War II in support of the Jews. In 2004 a Tennessee school project about the holocaust had the children collecting 6 million paper clips to symbolize those that died. And that wasn’t even what they were invented for.

Apparently, the secret to a good paper clip is its’ elasticity and the torsion it provides to hold your sheets together. The size of the wad determines the size of the paper clip. Originally they were produced as loops of steel but nowadays they come in all sorts of designs: elongated oval, triangular and some very obscure shapes.

Unlike its sister product, the staple, paper clips can be used again and again making them one of the greenest of office supplies. Another rival to the paper clip is the Bulldog Clip – another piece of kit that can be re-used again and again – but unfortunately not as aesthetically pleasing as the paper clip. Especially when you have a pile of them huddled in your desk organiser.

Fortunately our little paper holding friends notoriety and usefulness has not gone unnoticed – it has been immortalised in film. No, not a Hollywood blockbuster like Iron Man 3, but a documentary about the story and history of the paper clip called “The Paper Clip Project”. So if you have a spare evening and really want to learn more you could try it out.

The usefulness of the paper clip just doesn’t stop at holding wads of paper, showing support or sitting pretty in your desk organiser. For years it was useful for prodding the little hole in your computer drive so you could get a CD out when it stopped working. And now that little hole is on your phone or PDA, so a bent out paper clip is the perfect reset tool for when you get that dreaded smartphone crash.

So next time you’re “clipping” some papers together, take 2 seconds to have a think about this amazing little device and appreciate the technological wonder of the humble paper clip.

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OnJuly 23, 2013, posted in: Banners and Information, Front Page, Our Blog by

Is multifunction the best solution?

A customer was considering multifunction printers and asked us to compare their current setup with a switch to an MFP. Asking us to do the assessment was quite natural as our unique Imprest system monitors their usage, not what was bought (and delivered) as traditional suppliers do, but what they actually used.

They do a lot of printing so it’s easy to understand why they were looking to reduce costs – and managed print services (as they’re called) seemed the logical solution. No asset management or maintenance costs, just a simple price per page (ppp).

When you’re not printing, you’re not spending.

So we prepared a spreadsheet for all their machines and toners and added in the quoted print per page costs – the result was absolutely clear cut. Don’t do it. Over the course of a year they would have saved nothing, indeed they would have paid almost £100,000 more. That’s a phenomenal figure in anyone’s language.

Why such a big number? Well colour printing was a big factor because the ppp is much higher than mono pages, so it had a big effect on the figures. But that wasn’t all. Even just considering mono printing, only one of the printers would have made a saving and a small one at that. Every other printer incurred extra costs.

So to really cut costs they would have to switch to the one economic mono printer – no more colour printing, which for them really wasn’t an option.

It surprised us all, but thinking about it we don’t see why it should have done. The ppp has to cover the initial cost of the machine – and they’re not cheap. Plus the finance costs as the supplier isn’t going to pay for it all up front. Then maintenance costs as they have to keep some engineers on the payroll to service various issues. And then they have to make a profit. That’s a lot to cover out of your little price per page.

Now this won’t apply to everyone, a key issue will be the kind of printing your business needs to do. What is clear is that there isn’t a simple answer to this question, the best option will very much depend on your circumstances. It’s not simply “multifunction = great”. Our best advice is do a proper cost comparison with your known usage costs.
And if you don’t know your actual usage costs? Maybe you should choose a supplier that does.

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OnJune 17, 2013, posted in: Banners and Information, Front Page, Our Blog by

Are you crazy about stationery?

It is amazing what some people collect.

The humble Post-it note? Yes, it’s true. Some people collect Post-it notes. With so many sizes, colours, shades of colours and even printed ones – such as (I kid you not) Michael Jackson Post-it notes.

What is the attraction with these? Do people treat them like other collectibles where they are more valuable if they are still in the wrapper? And of course the BIG question is, what do you call a Post-it note collector? Postitophilist?

Another collector’s item from the humble stationery cupboard is pencils, but unlike post-it note collectors, pencil hoarders are known simply as pencil collectors. There is an official American Pencil Collectors Society that was founded in 1958 with a dedicated pencil collectors’ website.

They have Pencil Officers. Seriously, Pencil Officers that are appointed for a term of two years – they even hold annual conventions. You can purchase books on the subject and buy, sell and exchange your pencils on various dedicated auction sites!

Of course collecting stationery maybe a turn-on or a serious hobby for some, but for businesses it can be a real pain in the stapler.  Especially with toner cartridges, inks and paper. The solution is to use experts to manage all your stationery and office supply needs (yeah, it’s a plug, but a good one).

Unless you’ve amassed such a large stock-pile you intend to appoint Paper Clip Administrator and Hole Punch Officers to set up annual conventions where crazy collector stationery businesses can trade.

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OnMay 28, 2013, posted in: Banners and Information, Front Page, Our Blog by

LED Supply & Fitting Service roll out.

Stock In Trade are pleased to announce our LED Supply & Fitting Service is now available to all UK customers.

Whether you have an office, café, restaurant, department store, showroom, estate agent, educational building or anywhere else that uses electric lighting. You can reduce your energy costs by 85% and cut down maintenance hassle simply by using high quality low energy LED bulbs.

Stock In Trade will manage the project from quote to finish, using only NICEIC approved electrical contractors. So to find out what’s involved and how much you can save then call us now for your free quote.

Stock In Trade Team

Call 0800 977 5688 now for your free quote

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OnApril 17, 2013, posted in: Banners and Information, Latest News by