Procurement Management: The Best of the Old and the New

By CorexpandCX on June 24, 2013

Today’s business is largely electronic and internet-oriented.  What was once procurement is now e-procurement. Embracing the growing trends in automation is becoming an increasingly important strategic approach to staying profitable and relevant in today’s hyper competitive market. Yet, even with this trend an old piece of wisdom still applies: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Despite all the innovations, advancements, and developments in business, the cores of success remain the same: good analysis, good systems and procedure, good execution and efficient implementation.  These are core practices we have always adhered to ourselves, and also share with those willing to listen.

What does that have to do with your business?

Companies rarely get to where they want to be by blind luck or random hits and misses.  We help thousands of businesses thrive by helping them implement the best practices that are tried, tested, and reliable. By combining best practices with the technology and innovations of today, you take more control of your success.

Because we’re ‘plugged in’ to the front lines of e-procurement management, we’ve learned to refine our technology and systems to streamline processes, identify and eliminate potential problem areas before they can arise, and address key areas that need attention.

Along the way, we’ve discovered that reviewing key areas in e-procurement management can make your entire process more efficient, problem free, and strategically sound. Here are two that are relatively simple to focus on:

Pick through the accounts payable data

If you are into any business or process that involves any type of procurement, then there is a good chance that you have more than one supplier.  Having more than one supplier affords you the benefits of greater product choice, greater ability to meet demands, and leverage in getting the best price.

There is a great need, however, to pick through the particulars of these suppliers, and then ask yourself a few pertinent questions, such as which suppliers have a tendency to regularly charge more than others?  Ideally, you have automated systems that track, check, and collate the data from all of the transactions done in your business. But data does little good if it’s not scrutinized.

Consistently higher prices is an obvious red flag for any purchasing manager, but here’s another question to ask when looking at your processes that may have a surprising impact: have you considered the cost of doing business with a particular supplier? That is; how complex, time-consuming, and/or problematic are your suppliers ordering methods?  Time spent by buyers on those things can cause a serious bleed in your margin.

Both of those elements of supplier analysis can help you identify trends that may be going on regarding a particular supply or procurement item.  Getting a “bird’s eye view” of what is going with both buyers and sellers can mean the difference between success and failure to reach your procurement goals.

Pore over your procedures

We would all like to think that we have a fool-proof system in place, and this could very well be the case, but it never hurts to more carefully examine what is happening from time to time.  This is, after all, what good management is all about; being on top of things, particularly those that matter the most.

Knowing the important questions is the first step towards knowing the right answers.  How is communication working between you, the suppliers, and your buyers?  Are all procurement needs being met on time, with good quality? Is the technology and system in place still reliable, efficient, and suitable for your operations?  These are but a few questions you really need to ask and address so that you may see what is going on, before any issues become actual problems.

There’s always room for improvement, and we take pride in seeking out what we can do better ourselves as well as how we can help our customers improve. We not only can help your businesses implement new technology painlessly, we can help you make the most of your existing systems, processes, and methodologies.

Contact our e-procurement specialists today for a free consultation. You might be surprised at how much a simple conversation can change things for the better.

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