To streamline your company’s purchasing process, you have to create particular steps to reduce the time between order requests and receipts. Depending on your existing purchasing process, you could streamline it by following the guidelines below.
Figure Out Weaknesses
Are you overspending? Does the work of your employees suffer because they need to wait for materials or equipment to arrive? Or perhaps your process lacks efficient forms or paperwork? Finding out what’s causing bottlenecks would help you evaluate your current purchasing process and deal with the issues. For instance, if it’s inefficient paperwork, you might need to implement an automated purchasing system moving forward.
Make a List of Pre-Approved Vendors
This way, your team won’t have to research and verify vendors every time they have to make a purchase. This would also help foster great vendor relationships and in time, discounts. Just make sure to inform your vendors of key people they could deal with regarding purchases or give purchasing codes to select people in your team.
Consider Increasing Purchasing Authority
Another way to streamline your purchasing process is to give your staff more purchasing power. To avoid overspending, set parameters like what services or products a specific employee could buy, which vendors he or she could use, and how much he or she could spend on individual purchases. You could likewise consider giving key employees credit cards for company use and authorize them to make phone, physical, or online purchases so they won’t have to request a credit card or check purchase from your accounting team. Just make sure to have strict policies in place for credit card usage.
Schedule your Purchases
If you already anticipate that you’ll need to buy certain supplies in advance, schedule these in advance and purchase them during slow hours or times. This could greatly help reduce the chance of purchase orders getting lost in other paperwork, requiring thorough inquiries, and rush requests. Require department managers to provide quarterly purchase requests and related details and assign someone to make a calendar for your purchasing schedule.
By introducing safeguards and allotting ample time to organize your purchasing system properly, you could save tons of resources that you could put into your actual operations. You also develop lasting relationships with vendors and reduce the risk of running into issues later on.