The Problem With Today’s Purchasing Processes
When it comes to purchasing, vendor management and other complicated, often paper-driven and manual processes, there’s a whole host of inefficiency. Even worse – all of that inefficiency can easily snowball the faster an organization grows, and the higher the number of stakeholders involved.
After all, the bigger the organization, the more data to draw from, paper to push, and parties to be involved in the process. Take all of that together, and you’ve suddenly got an enterprise-level headache…that’s quickly escalating to a non-stop migraine.
If that sounds troubling, then there’s even more of a headache: the associated expenses of manual, inefficient purchasing processes. Unless these are cloud-based, integrated and centralized, then all of that paper will make things only far more complicated and sluggish, not to mention expensive: work out the resource costs, and multiply it by the minute-rate cost per resource, and you could be looking at anywhere from between tens to hundreds of dollars per purchase order. That’s a staggering, wasteful amount – and it doesn’t need to be that way.
Amazingly, there’s a super-effective (both by way of cost and time) automation-powered process that could save your company all of the headaches, and wasted costs, energy and time: a solid, cloud-based purchase order management system.
PO Management Systems, Explained
What is PO management? Businesses need an effective way to streamline and control the many purchases they make as part of the procurement process. This can mean working to improve efficiency by automating their purchase order process to support secure and smooth operations.
Purchase order management systems are an integral part of any mid-sized and enterprise-level organization. Taking into consideration all of the documents, workflows, people involved and other factors, a cloud-based purchase order management system can save you valuable budget, boost productivity and even prevent legal issues from raising their head…or falling between the cracks.
A working, purchase order management software system will centralize and automate the tasks that have been slowing teams down, on the little things that add up over time (for example – illegible handwriting, ruined or misplaced documents, absent team members, or other types of human errors across emails, spreadsheets, Slack, generic ticketing programs and more).
It allows you to easily keep an eye on all expenses and revenue throughout the entire supply chain, and quickly narrow down on any unnecessary expenditure, or areas for further revenue potential.
As we mentioned previously: you really can’t afford not to have a purchase order management system!
The Moving Parts of a Purchasing System
The most effective PO management systems will keep things simple and effective:
- Request – Initiate a purchase
- Approve – Get approval from relevant stakeholders
- Monitor – Send data to relevant systems
Request: Initiate a Purchase
Employees need to create purchase requests. With automated purchase order management systems, most of the fields within the purchase orders will be automatically populated, with the remaining few being intuitive, as well as customizable according to the organization’s needs and existing policies.
Most of these details will be automatically applied each time an approved purchase request leads to purchase order creation, while others – such as names and even payment information – can be entered in just a few seconds, or even selected from a dropdown menu – meaning fewer issues, fewer mistakes, and quicker PO creation.
Approval from Relevant Stakeholders
By far one of the most frustrating bottlenecks in the purchase order flow, waiting to receive approval from a variety of stakeholders can become much, much quicker. Expediting your standard operating procedures (often with automation) throughout the entire purchasing life cycle – from issuing purchase requests and purchase orders, to ensuring vendor and supplier payment, will alleviate those bottlenecks and silos for all users.
The best purchase order management systems allow you to easily define the approvers required, and they’ll receive an automated notification, with timely reminders if they’re taking their time. Stakeholders can even send their approval in just one click – et voila!
Purchase order management systems will allow even the most complex of approval processes to become much more streamlined, with custom flows, the ability to add comments, assign specific issues and items to certain stakeholders and more.
Monitor: Send Data to the Relevant Systems, and Easily Keep Everyone in the Know
Save yourself time, emails and more: you can easily use Approve to update every single PO across other workflows, all from one intuitive dashboard.
Requests can easily be tracked, commented on and managed, complete with the ability to drag and drop documents. That means, no more bottlenecks, no more lost documents, and happy stakeholders all around.
What You Need to Consider When Looking for a New Purchase Order Solution
If all of this sounds good, then it is – but there are some pretty important features you need to be on the lookout for when it comes it choosing your own cloud-based purchase order management system:
As with anything cloud-based, it’ll only be as useful to you as its UI allows it to be. Approve’s purchase order software allows you to unify every PO and associated document, from one intuitive dashboard: making searches across POs, vendors and documents just a click or two away. A more intuitive interface drives the adoption of better practices, without any backslides to ‘how things used to be done’.
No two enterprise-level companies are the same, and that means you need a customizable purchase order system for your company’s needs. From creating custom approval flows, to syncing with your existing systems, all while retaining the utmost in simplicity!
Digital services would not be complete without a side of automation, allowing you to intuitively and effectively automate your repetitive, manual processes.
From vendor onboarding to vendor approval and contract management, you can easily delegate to vendors, allowing them to submit their own quotes and invoices, update their business information and more. Submitted documents can be automated to fall into the right hands and approval flows, and notifications can be set up to push along the approval process for anyone taking their time to respond.
The most important aspect of any purchase order system has to be its ability to fit in seamlessly with the company’s existing financial systems and processes. From budgeting and reporting software to bookkeeping and ERPs, you should be able to securely sync your different financial considerations to work around and with your purchase order management system.
You’re Wasting Time and Money Without a Cloud-Based Purchase Order Management System
Time is money! From human error, to bottlenecks, to stakeholder syncing and more – you can’t afford not to have a purchase order management system for your enterprise-level company.
A PO management system is something put in place within the larger procurement team. It can be automated, and is a way for users to manage purchase orders in an organized way, creating visibility into the purchasing and approval processes.
An automated PO system, or PO management software will centralize and streamline all the components of the purchasing process that can slow teams down. Documents, ticketing and messaging, insight into the budget, and approval flows will be organized and visible so nothing gets lost or causes a bottleneck.