No matter the industry, every business has some kind of purchasing process in place. If an employee needs something — be it stationery, a new laptop, or branded merchandise for an upcoming trade fair — then it needs to be bought and acquired. This usually involves logging a ticket with the procurement manager, who then looks for a suitable vendor, makes a decision, and then places the order.
For startups and small businesses with only a handful of employees, this system works just fine. But when the procurement manager works for a large company with offices around the country and the globe, things can quickly become overly complicated and simply unmanageable. Before you know it, the wrong order is arriving late and being delivered to the wrong person in the wrong country. Ugh, what a nightmare.
Thankfully, there’s an effective solution to all your purchasing woes that doesn’t involve hiring a hundred and one new procurement managers: automating key parts of the purchasing process.
What is an automated purchasing process?
If you think of a purchasing process as driving from point A to point B, let’s say from your apartment to the office, then the traditional way is a lot like going through the back roads and stopping at all the red lights. An automated purchasing process, on the other hand, is the equivalent of taking the highway and breezing directly to your destination. By automating the repetitive and time-consuming parts of the process, you’re eliminating the need for so many stops along the way. This offers a number of key benefits, such as reducing unnecessary paperwork, facilitating quick and effective communication, and shortening the time needed for each order to be approved.
What’s the best way to implement an automated purchasing process?
There are a number of ways procurement managers can implement an automated purchasing process in their organization. For example, vendor selection can be automated with software that stores vendor information in a centralized location and suggests those most likely to deliver high-quality materials on time. Another effective way is to allow employees to order materials directly, such as through an online company store. This removes the bottleneck of procurement managers having to manually approve and place every single order that comes their way, and additionally boosts efficiencies throughout the company. An online company store has the added benefit of ensuring the same high-quality materials are available to every employee in the company — no matter how far they are from the head office.
If you would like to discover the value of an online company store in your organization — and to see first-hand how it streamlines and empowers your purchasing process — get in contact with us or book a free demo.