Many small businesses begin their procurement journey using manual processes. This includes using spreadsheets to manage their entire procurement process. While this may work originally, as your organization begins to grow, you’ll probably find yourself spending too much valuable time and money handling the procurement process manually.
Changing your spreadsheet-based procurement process might be right for you if:
Lucky, there is a solution: cloud-based purchase order software.
If you don’t know whether it’s time to make the change to more automated procurement processes, check out these signs that your procurement process is failing your business.
Spreadsheets are a great tool for organizing data, but when you need to use more and more spreadsheets to manage your data, your system starts to break down. You may have problems accessing data, organizing, finding information, and tracking it through multiple spreadsheets.
When the amount of data you need increases over time – which it does with every successful business – you reach a point where you’re simply unable to retrieve and track valuable information in the same amount of time. You also have to deal with security concerns and keeping information private.
Human error can also lead to inaccurate information, which can cost you deals, customers, and relationships with your suppliers. It can also affect your profits.
Businesses need transparency when it comes to their data. They need the ability to store, record, and find data, which can be difficult when using multiple spreadsheets. At the very least, you cost your business valuable time and money digging through files trying to find required information.
Investing in a web-based purchase order system is not a luxury for big businesses; it’s a necessity for successful businesses.
Your business has guidelines, especially within the procurement department, which will need to spend the most resources. When these guidelines aren’t followed, your purchasing function falls flat.
Inconsistency is very common with businesses who use manual processes. One employee may follow your organization’s policies when it comes to vendor relationships, but another employee may not. While focusing on individual tasks, employees lose sight of the big picture of procurement, which is efficiency, productivity, and financial goals.
When your employees use procurement software, there is only one way to do things: using the software to increase efficiency and productivity, ultimately saving your business time and money.
Manual procurement processes lack clarity. Each member of the procurement department is likely to make small errors or poor purchasing decisions. For example, if a procurement staff member makes a purchase that doesn’t require approval, it’s possible that another staff member already made that purchase order and sent it. Whether or not the financial department catches this mistake in time, you can expect time taken out of everyone’s day to resolve the issue.
Using an online PO system eliminates these risks and provides clarity for all of those involved in the procurement process. With real-time data, role-based permissions, and data accessibility, you can expect a more efficient procurement department.
Unsatisfied Customers and Vendors
An overly-complicated procurement strategy can affect relationships with both your customers and your vendors. You can expect missed deadlines, lost invoices, and many other mistakes to be made when you have everyone working with manual processes that aren’t centrally located.
Consider a lost invoice. If this happens, your vendor is not likely to want to continue working with you, or they will no longer follow the terms of their contract. Remember, the contract involves your business as well. Not paying an invoice on time could result in a breach of contract that will destroy your relationship with a vendor.
Your customers can also get caught up in this mess when you don’t have items in stock. Your customers rely on you to make sure you can fulfill orders and keep them happy. When this isn’t done, you can bet that those customers won’t be returning.
Automated purchasing systems allow you to keep track of everything that you need to without the hassle and mess of manual spreadsheets. Not to mention, it will be easier to ensure fluidity for your customers and vendors, which makes everyone happy.
Automation can drastically improve the procurement process of your organization.
Instead of digging through printed files or searching through computerized spreadsheets, you can access your data easily and instantly.
Online purchase order systems take care of the executions of the procurement system. That means that your employees can spend time on tasks that involve human interaction, such as building and maintaining supplier relationships.
Eliminate Human Error
E-procurement solutions have features like three-way invoice matching that help eliminate the potential for human error. Once the purchase order is created, purchasing software automatically creates an invoice with all of the correct data.
Procurement solutions ensure that tasks are completed based on your organization’s procurement policies and any government regulations.
Purchasing software provides you with all of the data that you need to make business decisions.
Join the thousands of businesses who are making the switch from spreadsheet-based purchasing processes to online purchase order management software. With increased automation, you can increase your bottom line, boost productivity, and save money simultaneously.
Wondering how much money you can save with procurement software? Calculate your procurement ROI now and uncover the benefits right now.
There’s no need for all of the stress that potential human error can cause. Consider all of the money that you are wasting spending time on processes that can be automated and more efficient. Your business deserves a procurement process that will take it to the next level.
Contact Bellwether and start saving today.
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