The trend toward leanness and agility has plenty of companies looking to whip their procurement processes into shape. This week, Supply Management offered some excellent tips for boosting company compliance with procurement policies and maximizing the procurement process for everyone that comes in contact with it. Nearly every company could stand to reduce maverick spending, and streamlining procurement goes a long way toward reducing that budget liability. Improving interdepartment communication and taking buyer preferences into account are both excellent ways to limit disparate procurement and get everyone on the same purchasing page. Technology can positively impact procurement in ways that some may not even suspect.
Some of the suggestions resonated most particularly because Apptricity frequently addresses several of them for our customers, including the points about low software/process adoption and supplier volatility. The best way to solve these frustrations is through an automated e-procurement system that can be accessed organization-wide. Purchasing software can serve as an invaluable link between branches and business units, particularly solutions that allow the ability to automate catalog management and supplier interaction.
Catalog management and purchasing software enforces spending limits and allows for purchases to be limited to select vendors. Combined with increased order accuracy, it can go a long way toward solving the maverick spending problem that frequently plagues businesses. Consistent purchasing and policy enforcement across an organization allows employees to feel confident when they buy. Backing that consistency with automation creates a simplified, streamlined process that promotes widespread adoption. People can be inherently stubborn when it comes to change, but simplicity tends to win out.
As for the issue with supplier volatility, software solutions such as our own Supplier Connect increase communication with vendors and enable competitive bidding between suppliers. Automating interactions with vendors saves money through lower prices and maximized discounts while providing a drastically increased level of visibility for the entire ordering process.
Supply Management suggested we can’t know what procurement will be like 10 years from now and that is true. However, we’re willing to bet it’ll involve more software than paper shuffling, and businesses can only benefit from that.