No matter what industry you find yourself working and competing in, there will be talk of best practices, standards of which you strive to meet and exceed. Are they just rules? Well, yes and no. Like the sign in this picture, you can choose to ignore best practices, but you not be happy with the consequences. Typically you see articles written specifically for your industry: Manufacturing Best Practices, Service Industry Best Practices, or Purchasing Best Practices. The reality is that the best practices across all industries are actually quite similar, therefore the best practices used in one industry can applied to the other one as well. In recent times, the worldwide economy has been less than ideal and companies are changing and evolving to survive. But it is also important not to loose that striving for success and operating at the top of your game; that is why it is important that best industry practices are followed for better results. Let’s touch on a few best practices in their general terms that would apply to manufacturing, service, and purchasing industries.Smart purchase decisions Buying products is never an easy task and requires a lot of understanding as well as knowledge. In order to make the right purchasing decisions it is very important that the individual has the right training. No matter whether you purchase products for the service industry or the manufacturing industry, one should be familiar with the purchase trends only then you will be able to take the right decision. Some of this you can do on your own through online searches and subscriptions pertaining to your industry. You will also need to seek out professional training and possibly certifications that will give you the tools and skills to really excel in this area. Good Relationships In order to achieve better results, it is important for the professionals to establish strong relationships. When dealing with the suppliers and the vendors, don’t forget they are people. It isn’t just about the bottom line and company x, y, z. It’s about John, Steven, Mary, and Christine… or whomever it is that you work with. Build a strong bond and relationship with the people behind the business and you will see big benefits for your business as well. So whatever industry, whatever interaction you have with other people both within your own company and with 3rd parties, it is necessary to adopt the best practices which are useful in achieving your objectives. Monitoring Performance It is not enough to just set goals, you have to go a step further and be sure to monitor the performance of those goals so that you can make any adjustments necessary to stay in line with best practices for your industry. Purchasing software makes the monitoring of cash flow activities much easier and efficient. The software will automatically track all the pertinent data and regardless of what specific items, products, raw materials or services that are being tracked and monitored, you can look at your individual goals and best practices that are important for your industry and evaluate the performance utilizing the data collected from your purchasing software. Software, like Bellwether’s ePMX:, will also allow you to run detailed reports with the click of a button making data collection, analysis, and evaluation all very simple.