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BES (Brown Enterprise Solution) Core and Non-Core Item Savings

March 30, 2021

As the University prepares to launch the Brown Enterprise Solutions punchout catalog in BobcatBuy we would like to share with you some of the cost savings you should expect to see when you start shopping. 

Core Item Pricing

You will find throughout the catalog, that there are items identified as “preferred”.

Preferred Item flag in BobcatBUY

These are items that were identified as IUC top items (based on feedback from IUC schools across the state).  Additionally, Ohio submitted to BES, what we identify as our top 100 (most purchased) items from FY19 and FY20.  We dug into the pricing analysis and based on our top 100 purchased items found the following when compared to our current catalogs with Office Depot or Staples:

  • 60% of our purchased items will cost LESS with BES. These differences can range from a few cents to up to $6.93 per item. 
  • 15% of our purchased items will cost the SAME with BES.
  • 25% of our purchased items will cost MORE with BES; however, there are often cheaper alternatives available (different brand but equivalent quality).  These differences can also range from pennies to dollars.

Based upon items and quantities purchased in FY19, we would save 9.7% or $15.5K with BES; using quantities purchased in FY20, the savings would be 7.5% or $8.6K (due to lower spend in FY20).  BES carries all our top 100 items or an acceptable substitution item.

A word about copy paper… One of our largest areas of savings is on copy paper: the copy paper which we most regularly purchase is standardly $26.99 per case (this is a savings from $3.99 to $6.93 a case).  For copy paper that is 30% recycled the cost is $30.90 per case (a savings of $5.51 a case). Unfortunately, for paper that is 50% or 100% recycled, our cost is $48.60 per case (difference is $12.08 more per case); however, it is still a savings over Staples’ list price of $81.99 or $90.89, respectively.  This is due to the way that Office Depot choose to implement their pricing:  they generally charged us $31 or $32 per case for paper up to 30% recycled and $36 for the 50 and 100% recycled paper.  Staples chose to give us better pricing ($26.99) for the paper we buy the most, and $46.80 for the higher recycled content, which we buy less frequently.  You may see some of the same differences with composition books, binders, and other families of products.

Non-Core Item Pricing

For all other items, the agreement with Brown has negotiated discounts for various categories of items.  These discounts range anywhere between 30% and 56% off the manufacturer’s list price.  All Non-Core items will be assigned to one of the following discount categories and prices will be determined by the applicable discount from the manufacturer’s list price as follow:

Non-Core Item Discount Category Description

Non-Core Item Discount from Manufacturer’s list price

Audio, Visual & Meeting Room


Art & Crafts Supplies


Breakroom & Foodservice


Business Cases


Calendars, Books & Forms


Cleaning & Janitorial


Furniture & Accessories


General Office Supplies


Health Care Supplies


Ink & Toner


Mailroom & Shipping


Office Machines & Equipment


Other Paper


Safety & Facilities Maintenance




BES will also offer price matching for exact items in stock at typical office supplies competitors, with a few caveats:

  • Price matching is not offered for preferred pricing items
  • BES will not sell at a price that is lower than their cost to procure the item
  • Must be exact item # and unit of measurement, in stock, and must not be special pricing, closeouts, tiered pricing, or bulk pricing

The price match only pertains to the shopper requesting it.  To request a price match, the details can be found on the BobcatBUY Systems Page.

Questions?  Contact