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Developing a Purchase Order System for your Business

Solve your procurement management issues with Bellwether’s Purchase Order System. Book for a Free Demo on our Online PO solution or Sign Up for a Trial.

Purchase Order System for your Procurement Department

What is a purchase order system?

A purchase order system helps businesses manage and control their purchase orders and procurement process. Because managing procurement and purchasing can be a daunting task, it’s important to create a workflow that helps businesses manage their PO’s. Purchase orders are legally binding agreements between two parties, so it’s important for businesses to always deliver what was promised in order to prevent legal issues in the future. This can be difficult as your business grows and your manual purchase order process is no longer effective or efficient. An online PO system lets businesses easily automate and control spending to design a workflow that caters to their specific business practices.

Why use a PO system?

PO systems are easy-to-use and can improve productivity and efficiency among all team members of a business. While you may believe your manual process is currently working well, you’ll be astonished to see the benefits of a cloud based purchase order system. Here are the advantages of automating your processes with purchase order software:

Save Time

There are some issues that can cause a breakdown in your purchasing process, prevent efficiency, and may even pause the entire process. If you’re doing things by hand, it can be hard to read certain handwriting and trying to read it could waste valuable company time. Lack of authorization might also cause a pause when a certain person has to sign-off on a purchase order. PO software systems completely automate this process so that you no longer have to spend time waiting on another person to complete a PO and have it approved for another department.

Help Control Spending/Budgeting

With all of your spending right there in one procurement and purchasing system, you can easily track and control your spending. It will also come in handy for future budgeting so you can see just how much your company is spending and easily compare solutions to cut costs.

Enable Planning

A PO management system helps your business plan ahead. Because different departments will have access to the purchase orders in the system, team members from different departments can plan their workdays based on purchasing and procurement. For example, production can use tracking to make sure they’ve done their jobs correctly and efficiently without the need for supervision.

Eliminate Hiccups

People make mistakes, but purchasing software does not. Whether a number looks like a six or an eight when handwritten, using an effective PO ordering system completely eliminates these mistakes.

Legal Protection

Your PO’s are legally binding documents and can help provide protection against future litigation, so it’s important you have them in a safe space where nothing can be tampered with or destroyed accidentally.

Improve Inventory Management

While you may manage your inventory in a number of different ways, purchase and procurement software allows you to more readily see what’s available in your inventory so when a customer makes an order, you know you have those items in stock, helping to prevent any unhappy customers in the future.

Easy-to-use procurement software

How to automate your purchase order process system?

Whether you are new to the process altogether or plan to retire your current purchasing software, there are three things you need to do when automating your web based PO management system.

Define Your Purchasing Policy

When you set up a new system to automate your current system, you need to take a look at your purchasing policy. Because your automated PO system will enforce your policy, it’s important you understand your own policy and revise and refine where necessary to make sure you’re getting all that you can out of your purchase order software. Reviewing aspects like who in the company has certain permissions and how vendors are selected can maximize your current workflows and help integrate an effective online PO system.

Select Purchasing Software

Now it’s time to find the best purchasing software for your company. Most businesses will choose to go with e-procurement software because it is simply easier to manage and everything is backed up. This type of purchase order control system provides easier organization, more control on spending, and lower costs. When selecting your purchase ordering system, it’s important that the system you choose has a great customer service team behind it, especially if you’ve never used a cloud-based PO system before. While setup is usually simple, you’ll want someone to rely on when it comes to helping demonstrate the new purchasing system software to your entire team.

System Implementation

While it’s your decision to start with a completely new purchasing system software, it’s best to start gradually implementing the new software into your business by allowing the most important decision makers at your company to use it first. They’ll be able to make sure the software is doing exactly what you need it to do without disrupting the entire procurement process.

You can depend on Bellwether purchase order system to simply and easily implement into your existing PO process. Your team may need a simple demonstration, but after that you will be up and running with a fully functional system.

Benefits of a highly efficient purchasing process

Saves Money

Because the purchasing system should be increasing your businesses productivity and efficiency in all aspects of the purchasing process, you’ll save money and allow employees to do more with their workday. Purchase order software also helps businesses reduce supply costs, cut administrative costs, and shorten the length of the entire purchase cycle.

Control Spending

Because the best purchase order software enables defined approval levels, your business will gain control of spending and make it easier for you to plan your budget. Managers will have greater transparency when it comes to spending at all levels and at every state of the procurement process.

Build Workflows

With purchasing software, businesses can customize workflows to provide controls for budgeting and thresholds, and create a more refined workflow for each level of the purchasing and procurement process. Automating the process and creating these workflows saves time so that management can use their time to create beneficial vendor relationships.

Cloud-Based PO Management System for your Business

With cloud-based purchase ordering software, business can access their system wherever they are so that they can review recent purchase orders at every step of the process while they’re on the go.

Why Are Manual Purchase Order Processes Inefficient?

All too often, we see organizations wasting money and time by pushing paper to process purchase orders. Manual processes seem effective when you are a small business. However, as time goes on and your organization grows, you may be losing time and money trying to make an old process work.

No Data

Data is important to every organization, and it is necessary to make practical decisions. The purchasing process is no exception; data must be available during every step. However, with paper-driven, manual processes, retrieving meaningful insights is nearly impossible. Even if you did manage to find a way to extract data, it would be time-consuming and difficult to understand.

Costly

Manual purchase orders complicate the procurement process. A recent APQC study suggests that manual purchase order processing can cost as much as $506.52 per PO. While this information depends on the industry that you are in, it means that you could potentially be losing money by processing a PO with a value of less than that amount.

Time

Time and money coexist in the business world. The reason why processing purchase order manually is expensive is because of all the time it takes the organization to complete the process. Your employees are probably paid hourly. Because of that, you don’t want them to spend their time waiting for a PO to get to their desk because your system is inefficient.

Error-Prone

A manual purchase order process is prone to human error. Because it depends so much on human intervention, it’s easy to input the wrong number in the wrong place. However, a simple typo can cause chaos.

For example, when you receive the shipment and an invoice, it may seem like the most efficient thing you can do is simply pay the invoice. However, without making sure that it’s the correct amount and quality products, you could be losing money.

Because you’re doing so many tasks in a day, it’s easy to forget how much the shipment was for and for which products. If you simply pay the invoice, you could be paying too much or paying for an incorrect shipment that leads you to make another purchase.

What’s the Solution?

If you want to save time and money when it comes to your purchase order process, then it’s time to retire the old system and move to a digital and modern approach: Online PO systems. The key here is automation. By automating workflows and improving on the time it takes to complete the PO process, you will save your employees time and your business money.

How Do Online PO Management Systems Work?

An automated purchase order system is efficient and effective. Here’s an idea about how they work so that you can see how simple it is to implement a new process and get rid of the old.

Initiate Purchase Order

As usual, you will create a purchase request. Your business performs purchase requisitions and sends them to your vendor so that they can make sure that they have the correct items in stock to ship to you. They will then approve your request to move on to the next stages in their process. Once that request is approved, it is converted to a purchase order by the purchasing team, and an approval process is initiated.

  1. Approvals

The PO will be matched with the purchase request automatically so that you don’t have to go looking for either in order to continue on with the process. Budget and document checks are also performed so that you will know whether or not you are over budget, what the budget is, and if this purchase is necessary for your business.

One important feature of an effective PO process is cataloging. You should have your vendors’ catalogs available in one system so that you can compare prices. If you find that you are trying to make a purchase that is over budget, you can compare similar items among your vendor pool.

  1. Dispatch POs

Now that the purchase orders are approved, they are sent on to the vendor. This is automatic so that you don’t have to worry about sending it yourself to make sure it got to the right place.

  1. 3-way Matching

Once you receive the shipment and the invoice from the vendor, you can perform a three-way match to verify the consistency of information  across these documents:

  1. Purchase Request
  2. Purchase Order
  3. Invoice

This will help to ensure that no mistakes were made on either side. Many businesses make the mistake of simply trusting the invoice that they receive. Because manual processes are prone to error, it’s important to match these documents and make sure the order and the details are correct.

  1. Close Purchase Order

Once all of the information has been verified, and no discrepancies have been found in the invoice, the purchase order can be closed. The usual procurement process cycle will then follow.

How Does E-procurement Software Transform PO Processing?

Auto-routed Requests

Online PO systems make purchase requests easy. All you have to do is enter the details of the purchase request into the system. The requests are then routed to the appropriate stakeholders according to the defined path. Once the request is approved, a PO is automatically initiated without the need for human intervention.

The PO is then routed through the entire system, including invoice approval and payment. This completely eliminates the need for a paper-based system. You’ll now have instant access to any purchase order, and archived POs can be brought up whenever you need them. Also, you will never lose a PO again.

Automated Matching

In order to make sure you’re not overspending, you’ll need to compare the purchase request, purchase orders, and invoices. Make sure all of the information is correct across all three.

Three-way matching with online pos systems requires no human intervention and is done automatically to ensure that no costly mistakes are made. Manual errors are no longer a concern, so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary spending.

Insights

A significant benefit of switching from a manual to a digital purchasing system is that you will receive reports and analytics. This information will help you understand what is going well and where inefficiency may be costing you money.

You’ll have complete transparency and visibility so that you can make the important business decisions based on real-time data. You can also pull up the status of any order in real-time, analyze vendor performance, and create custom reports.

The Vendor-Buyer Relationship

The relationship you have with your vendors is important. If you have a negative relationship, they could raise your prices compared to their other buyers. When there is a problem between your business and your vendor, it’s ultimately your business who is the one that suffers. With purchase order software, you can have a smoother, mutually beneficial relationship with your vendors.

Even a mistake that was made on their end is your responsibility. For example,  you may receive an invoice that is less than the amount that was listed in the purchase order.  If you don’t inform them, they may later find it in their own paperwork. This could lead them to believe that you are no longer trustworthy, even if you didn’t realize it yourself.

You rely on your vendors to get you the products you need at the prices you need. An online purchase order system can help you maintain a strong relationship.

What Types of Businesses Need Purchase Order Software?

We believe that all businesses, large and small, will benefit from purchase order software. Some are less robust than others. These are ideal for those who want to make the switch to a digital system but aren’t sure just how comfortable they are making every aspect digital. Other software is robust, offering the full benefits of purchase order software and automation.

No matter what type of industry you are in or how large your organization is, you’ll be amazed about how e-procurement software transforms your purchasing process and saves you both time and money.

Bellwether Online Purchase Order Management System

Illegible handwriting, missing POs, hours of data entry, and human error are all eliminated with a digital purchase order solution. Purchase orders are now routed through approval workflows and validated against budgets when you use Bellwether’s purchase order software. In order to keep up in the busy marketplace, you need to keep up with the times. Businesses who don’t embrace the digital world are missing out on its.

Improve value, boost revenue, and deliver a higher ROI with cloud-based purchasing software. We’ve worked with thousands of businesses who, like you, were afraid to switch from a manual process to a digital one. Ultimately, we proved to them just how much money their organization could save by making the switch. If you have any questions about how purchase order management software can improve your daily business function, contact us today!

Topnotch All-in-One Purchasing Order System

For 32 years Bellwether has provided the best value in purchasing and inventory software. With Bellwether Purchasing Software, you know you are selecting a time-tested partner that understands your needs now and in the future.

Our EPMX Software is for companies looking for a robust, fully-functional purchasing solution. It can be used across devices and is perfect for busy business owners who are always on the go.

Bellwether Purchasing Software easily exchanges and shares data with your other systems (ERP, CRM, MRP, etc.) allowing for a more automated, streamlined, and productive business environment.

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Testimonials
  • “Since centralization and implementation of Bellwether Purchasing Software, employees cannot simply buy what they want. Now they are more informed. We have tools. We have better contract com- pliance, and we know what we spend. Bellwether Purchasing Software is a small investment, considering the ROI. A small financial investment upfront pays for itself many times over in the long run.”

    Louis Nicolosi,
    St. Anns Community

  • "The reports that Bellwether provides for inventory, receiving and purchasing are invaluable tools, like the PO status report. Anyone looking to save time, paper and labor should invest in Bellwether Purchasing Software. Tower has been a customer for over 20 years."

    Kathi Weldon,
    Tower Federal Credit Union

  • "We have very good experience with Bellwether Purchasing Software to control all our inventory products! Simple to use, and very accurate"

    James Muir,
    Arbella Insurance Warehouse (Insurance)

  • “When we implemented Bellwether Purchasing Software, the first thing we realized was a huge time savings. It cut our processing time in half. For example, the Lawson purchasing package required 12-15 clicks to get a printout of a PO. PMX requires 2 clicks. With 30-40 thousand purchase orders per year, the time savings were very significant. JNL first purchased Bellwether as a stand-alone system, but when new programmers came on board, they recommended that we upgrade to the new version. I don’t know how we functioned before Bellwether Purchasing Software."

    Lynn Arnston,
    Jackson National Life Company

  • "With two campuses and state laws requiring procedures for purchasing, Bellwether Purchasing Software has made my life easier."

    Denise White,
    Benton County School of the Arts (Higher Education)

  • "Our purchasing system was a manual excel spreadsheet. Very time consuming and not very user friendly. Bellwether Purchasing Software saves us time and makes purchasing much easier."

    Anna Couto,
    Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (Higher Education)

  • "Bellwether Purchasing Software has provided a revolution int the manner in which our company procures support material. We haven't been using this software very long, but i am sure we will realize additional benefits as we continue."

    Gary Sutton,
    Cincinnati Thermal Spray (Manufacturing)

  • "We immediately realized at least a 25% reduction in processing time when we implemented Bellwether Purchasing Software"

    Betty Trainor,
    Budget Motels, Inc

  • "The reporting features have helped me greatly. We have a report called Unmatched receivers that we did not have anything like it in our old system (MP2)."

    Shannon Ritter,
    Cincinnati Thermal Spray, Inc (Manufacturing)

  • "Adding Adhoc items to purchase orders is as easy as it gets with Bellwether!"

    Robert Sunday,
    CTS (Manufacturing)

  • "Has made the approval process easier by auomatically forwarding on to the next approver and providing notifications when a req is approved. Saves time by not having to constantly check to see if your req is approved."

    Kevin Kendall,
    CTS (Manufacturing)

  • "We use the Purchasing module a great deal as we generate a lot of ongoing purchase orders. The blanket PO is great, and the ability to track PO’s really helps. Now, I can put releases against a blanket PO and generate a concise, accurate report that accesses the history of the PO and supplies all the information that I need. The Requisitions module and the Receiving modules are also excellent and easy to use. The reports and historical records that all of the modules generate are invaluable tools for our organization."

    Lee Lee Raley,
    St. Mary's County Metropolitan Commission

  • "It makes purchasing so much easier."

    Amber McBride,
    CTS-Texas (Manufacturing)

  • "It has helped the company stay organized. We're very close to our budget because of Bellwether Purchasing Software, and for that, the company is very grateful!"

    Elizabeth DeLuca,
    Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (Healthcare)

  • "It has made me more efficient with running reports and researching solutions to various Procurement functions"

    Lisa Lee,
    Digital Risk (Financial Services)

  • “Watching vendors used to be impossible. Now, it is easy. Bellwether Purchasing Software can easily manage all the data flow, and this frees up managers’ time to look for competitive vendors.”

    Michael Allen,
    Allen Management

  • "Bellwether Purchasing Software has simplified our purchasing program"

    Paul Walsh,
    MA Dept of Public Health (State Government)

  • "The Bellwether Purchasing system has helped me orginize my quotes. It has also saved me time reviewing the quotes since I can export all the information in to into excel."

    Trevor Mentink,
    Manitowoc Cranes (Manufacturing)

  • "With a number of regional operating facilities our previous PMX setup required working through a remote setup. This was incredibly slow and we were limited to the number of users that could be logged in at a given time. New Bellwether Purchasing Software has increased our productivity and given us greater flexibility with writing purchase orders and preparing RFQs. We don't take full advantage of all the Bellwether features but what we do use has been bettered dramatcially."

    Adrian Domek,
    Natgun Tank Corporation (Manufacturing)

  • "We have been pleased with Bellwether Purchasing Software and are in the process of upgrading our current version to the newest version. With the new version, we won’t have to be dependent on local network reliability and traffic, and we will be able to use Bellwether Report Writer for all kinds of special reports. Also, as we grow, we have more Bellwether users. Currently, we have about 200 employees that use the Bellwether system, so the higher-octane version of Bellwether will allow us to process large amounts of data in a more efficient and timely manner. For the future, we may look at integrating Bellwether Purchasing with our accounting software, which Lawson provides.”

    Richard Karstensen,
    Detroit Newspapers

  • "Makes quoting a lot easier to our customer."

    John Weber,
    Ottenweller Company (Manufacturing)

  • "Bellwether Purchasing Software has allowed Precon to streamline the purchasing process through their easy-to-use menues. The cloud hosted access by Bellwether always ensures us that our data is backed up and the support in this area is fast and resolves any issues promptly. Love Bellwether Purchasing Software !"

    Deborah Dupree,
    Precon Tank Corporaton (Manufacturing)

  • "We moved from the application server based PMX software to Bellwether Purchasing Software recently. The hosted solution has had a great impact on the amount of time our Technology department has spent on support of this application. A great move and suggested for anyone who needs to lessen the internal support burden."

    Adam Rozek,
    State Employees Federal Credit Union (SEFCU) (Financial Services)

  • "Bellwether Purchasing Software has helped use streamline our purchasing process. The software was easy to implement and we have been able to reduce printing costs now that we are no longer using a paper based system. Thank! Belllwether"

    Phillip Morris,
    Thomas Road Baptist Church (Non-Profit)

  • “Being from a small university, Bellwether Purchasing Software is priced right for a small budget, but with the feel of a high-priced system. The modules have more check-offs to avoid double entries than other bigger packages.”

    William Agosta,
    St. Francis University

  • “Bellwether Purchasing Software is an affordable system that doesn’tcompromise on functionality or ease of use. Our department can now do twice the work in half the time. Bellwether has saved us thousands of dollars in administrative costs and bargaining clout. That’s money that goes straight to the bottom line.”

    Terry LaRock,
    Silicon Valley Bank

  • “Warehousing used to be a big problem for us. Our warehouse was overrun with supplies. With Bellwether Purchasing Software, we can order  according  to usage. It’s a good product. We made the right choice.”

    Tammy Vogel,
    Arizona Department of Veterans Services

  • “Because we are a state-funded college, we are required to conduct business in a certain way. For instance, we are required to bid out all goods and services. We have many repetitious items from year to year, so the material file, which contains all those items and their descriptions, really cuts down on the amount of work required to put a bid together. Everything is already set up, so the bidding process is greatly simplified and the time involved is minimal. The reporting capability of Bellwether Purchasing Software is also a great benefit for us because we have to submit reports regularly to the State of Idaho; for example, the activity report is generated monthly for the State."

    Sandi Dingman,
    Eastern Idaho Technical College

  • “I would recommend Bellwether Purchasing Software to any company that wants to save time and money. It’s a small monetary investment that yields huge returns by way of time and money saved.”

    Denise Robertson,
    Water and Electric – Carthage, MO

  • "We love Bellwether Purchasing Software– not only for the benefits of the software, but also because the technical staff is outstanding. Whenever I have a question or problem, they  are  there. The customer service is excellent!”

    Aaron Hagen,
    Tyco Plastics

  • “If a company is concerned about the cost of Bellwether Purchasing Software, it shouldn’t be. The software is reasonably priced, and it pays for itself right away – about three months for us. The time and money savings are great. It cut our purchasing cycle time in half. We wouldn’t be without it."

    Joe Tardi,
    Cole Taylor Bank

  • “What I notice is the big difference with Bellwether software, it is written by people that were apparently in purchasing, they were hands on, and get how it works.”

    Carol Meador,
    Lexington Health Network

  • "The Bellwether program has been very dependable and has many options to suit our business. This is easy for users to learn. Best program for the money. Support is great and people are wonderful. Great company to do business with. "

    Dawen Allen,
    WSFS Bank

  • "Bellwether works great for purchasing controls. Great Support staff that is willing to find a way to make a good fit. This is a great tool to help managers realize their budgets. I would recommend this to companies that want to get their spending under control."

    Toni Ballla,
    Tel Hai Retirement Communities

  • "We chose Bellwether Purchasing Software because of its ease of use and its affordabilit."

    Michelle E,
    City of Seward

  • "As a fundrasier, I have to keep track of a myriad of details for our fundraising events, and it has to be PERFECT! Bellwether allows me to look back and see EXACTLY what was ordered and from what vendor, which not only aids in my tracking of expenses but helps tremendously when planning recurring events."

    Jeannie Robinson-Pownell,
    Tel Hai Retirement Communities

  • Compared to our old software, BellwetherPurchasing Software is so much easier to use for tracking, running reports and even making purchase orders.

    Bill Cunningham,
    Cincinatti Thermal Spray

  • "With Bellwether Purchasing Software, ordering is so easy- it only takes a about one minute to place the order, which is a big benefit compared to normal ordering where we have to fill the PO, ask for prices, etc. I really love Bellwether Purchasing Software!"

    Shrirang K,
    Discerna Pharmaceuticals

  • "Bellwether Purchasing Software has made our purchasing process more fluent and flexible. Submitting requisitions has never been easier!"

    Gage P,
    Eastern Idaho Technical College

  • "Bellwether Purchasing Software has streamlined our requisition system and helped in eliminating unnecessary steps in filling supply orders".

    Frank Petrillo,
    The Denver Post

  • "Being new to the company is always a challenge and when presented with Bellwether Purchasing Software along with my job I was a bit anxious but I was pleasantly surprised at the ease and ergonomics of this product. I would highly recommend this to new and advanced users."

    Stephen Dilworth,
    Transdev Busselton (Services)

  • "Bellwether's convenient SaaS model integrates with many AP applications enabling you to pay your vendors while working through the ePmx system."

    Jody Shoop,
    Integrated Systems

  • "Bellwether Purchasing Software works for us Punch-out capability. Very reliable web based- nothing to deploy on servers or desktops. It's low cost, it works, it doesn't break as software goes - what more can one ask for?"

    Timothy Allen,
    Integrated Systems

  • "This (Software as a Service, SaaS) perhaps provides one of the most compelling reasons to investigate the Bellwether offering more than the posted accolades from satisfied clients, or the well thought-out and detailed solution specifications provided in their decision-support material. Specifically, and even more so than their enduring (albeit humble) market presence, is that they recognized a trend 30 years ago and acted upon it… … And while the majority of vendors (both large and small) are all heralding their versions of this “new” pricing structure (for SaaS), Bellwether is not rushing to jump on the bandwagon. The reason of course is quite simple, they built the bandwagon."

    Jon Hansen,
    Purchasing Insignts

  • "Bellwether Purchasing Software helps us to be more effective in producing our POs and Requisitions. It has streamlined our operations all without compromising quality".

    Oliver Nava,
    Tecnon Supply

  • “It’s hard to quantify in dollars and percentages how much money, time and efficiency we gained with the implementation of Bellwether Purchasing Software."

    Vicky Hopf,
    Quick Chek Food Stores

 

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