Running any public administration represents a certain cost in terms of office utensils, furniture and other equipment like computers, tables, chairs and so on, without which the administration cannot function. The provision of these essential materials represents a very lucrative market for the business class. More so, most of these materials such as paper, pens stapling pins, files, chronos, calculators, toilet tissues, envelops ink for computers and photocopy machines have to be replaced at a given interval, which represents a constant market all through the year. It is worthy to note that the list is in exhaustive and may extend or be reduced due to the size of the administration and domain of activity.
Besides the perishables, there are other fixed items that have to be either acquired or renewed over time like tables, chairs, shelves, air conditioners, fridges, photocopy machines and even TV sets which are no longer a luxury to find in offices. All of these equipments are bought from private businesses. In addition to these physical equipment, there is also invisible or intangible sources of expenditure such as paying electricity bills, telephones and internet bills as well as subscriptions to cable television or newspapers. Some administrations may either run a canteen or infirmary thereby offering another opportunity for suppliers to do good business. “We proceed to win supply contracts through business offers but only about 2 per cent of them mature to fruition. The bulk of the business contracts are won through personal relationships,” an employee in one of the supply enterprises told Cameroon Business Today.
The supply of office equipment office equipment offers a big market that is often not taken into consideration by the big businesses. However, keen petty businesses take this opportunity to do lucrative business as they lobby for supply contracts either through business offers or through personal relations.