Happy New Year! We hope that you had a restful holiday season, and are looking forward to a fantastic 2015.
To help make sure that this year is your company’s best year yet, we’ve compiled 8 purchasing and spend management resolutions to help you control company spending and gain visibility into every dollar that your company spends (so your company budget doesn’t end up like the holiday budget, whoops!). The key is ensuring your processes are effectively setting your team up for success.
And don’t worry, it’s easier than hitting the gym.
1. Put an End to Maverick Spending
This is one of the most common issues faced by companies that can cause money to fall through the cracks. Without proper procedures and approval routing in place, you run the risk of having items purchased from the wrong suppliers. If a purchase needs to be made and the purchaser isn’t in the office, the staff probably aren’t aware that there are better deals available or negotiated with another supplier. This can be avoided by allowing all staff access to a central catalogue or preferred vendor list. This should be updated regularly and stored electronically to allow for easy search and access.
2. Stop Chasing Your Budgets
So, you’ve created budgets for your projects or departments – great, but somehow it seems that whenever you go back to compare budgeted costs to actual costs, you end up having gone over budget without really knowing how. This is a bad habit that is costing you money and stressing you out. This problem can be avoided by ensuring that your budgets are updated in real-time as money is being spent, so that you will know whether or not you have room to approve particular items or to look for alternatives.
3. Use Purchase Orders (Properly!)
Have you even placed a verbal order with a supplier and received something different than you had hoped? When you don’t use purchase orders, you have no way of proving the details of the purchase that you had intended on making. This leaves you stuck with no option but to deal with the fact that you need to pay more than expected, or need to re-order the appropriate goods, putting you behind schedule. It is also important that the purchase orders are created prior to the order, rather than created afterward merely to supplement a three-way-match.
4. Stop Using Your Inbox as a Filing Cabinet
Stop needlessly stressing yourself out by making your inbox your to-do list and your filing cabinet. While it may get the job done, it’s inefficient and does not allow you to obtain and measure data that can be easily analyzed for better decision making. Your inbox is optimized to be an inbox, nothing more.
5. Cut Down the Time it Takes to Get Approvals
Whether you are running a project or simply making requests for items, a bottleneck in the purchasing process slows down your ability to stick to your deadlines and deliver for your clients. Create a workflow that allows for clear and speedy communication. Implementing electronic approvals instead of signatures on paper can alleviate much of the slowdown by eliminating the need for everyone to be physically nearby. Also, if changes need to be made, they can be done on the online document, rather than printing version after version out for approval.
6. Ditch Paper
Beyond moving the approval process online, keeping all budget and purchasing data in a central place on the cloud as well helps to keep everyone on the same page and allows for seamless, fast communication. This also allows for record keeping so that old communications can be referenced quickly and easily from anywhere.
7. Do Some Spend Analysis to Find New Savings Opportunities
Figure out where you spend the most by analyzing previous expense and purchase reports, you will typically notice some patterns and discover opportunities to negotiate volume discounts or more favorable terms. You will also identify opportunities for consolidating items you buy into single purchase orders to simplify payment and receiving.
8. Give Your Team the Tools to Succeed
No matter how hard you try or how many benchmarks you set, your team is going to be much more likely to succeed at improving it’s spending process with the right tools. Cloud e-purchasing solutions like Procurify will help to set your team up for success in 2015. Easy to use, fast to implement and pay as you go are key features to ensure for a low-risk and high-return tool deployment.
Procurify is committed to helping you save time and money by helping you to manage and control your company spending in the simplest and most streamlined way possible.
Happy New Year!