Whether your company is a worldwide conglomerate or a mom-and-pop shop, you’ve likely made thousands of purchase orders that are essential to your business. It can be difficult to tailor your purchase order system to fit the needs of your dynamic services. Learning the finer points of procurement can make your business run smoothly and effortlessly, saving you time and money over the life of your operations. As small a detail as purchasing can be, the process can make or break your success.
If your company is small or burgeoning, you might be passing on the task of procurement to one of your existing employees. Anyone from human resources or accounts could potentially handle the purchase order system. Remember to implement simple procurement protocol, nothing too time-consuming or detailed. Having this employee perform extra tasks could hurt your other employees’ productivity. When you scale up to more than 25 employees, you might want to hire someone as a dedicated procurement officer to handle the purchase order system.
To help your business thrive, you’ll eventually have to move into the 21st century and do away with paper purchase orders. Today, there are endless options for software and apps that can meet your needs. Many of those apps don’t require you to be particularly computer savvy to use them. Storing your purchasing history within the purchase order system or in the cloud can make your productivity skyrocket. You’ll be able to calculate finance reports instantly, budget and keep track of costs in real time. These databases also keep your employees in check and can hold all of your previous purchase orders which will help increase accountability across the board.
Growing businesses and mid-scale purchasing
If your company is growing quickly in size and number, it’s likely you need a more scaled-up process for creating purchase orders. In this scenario, a dedicated purchasing employee is invaluable. This person has to be immensely trust-worthy, as they will be making purchases at your discretion. You must first establish rapport with them. It might be worth your time to choose someone from within your staff that has a proven track record with your company to avoid any abuse of the purchase order system. You have to make sure this employee will spend as much time and care as your would in overseeing the process. The advantages of having this employee will be invaluable. The purchasing process will be much more streamlined with one great employee at the helm; he or she will prevent duplicate orders and can immediately catch any discrepancies in purchases. They will also make valuable connections with your suppliers over time. This person can spend time searching for suppliers with the best value, and handle aspects of distribution that might otherwise require your time.
If your business is thriving and your team is comprised of hundreds of employees, you are likely already checking your procurement process for efficiency. This requires a dedicated team of employees that is not only filing purchase orders but also working with software in their own department. These employees shouldn’t simply be procuring goods, they should be working always to raise productivity and ultimately create net savings for the company. A team like this will have its own management whose job it is to mitigate any problems that may arise. You will likely be hands-off in this approach, which gives you more freedom to run your business. The team will do extra work such as creating reports on the budget for you to approve through the purchase order system. They will also provide statements and benchmarks related to your goods. Still, as complex as the procurement process can be at this level of operation, your purchase order system should always be as simple and readable as possible. This is also handy for tax and audit purposes. Remember that purchasing should never get in the way of productivity and daily operations. Always choose a process that works for your business, as no two companies are the same.