Organizations still use paper purchase order books to complete purchase orders. Paper is so irrelevant in the workplace that I have a hard time finding a notepad to write on. So why are documents as important and sensitive as purchase orders still completed on paper? Shouldn’t this aspect of business, like every other tangible aspect of the modern organization be digital?
Think of e procurement as if your antiquated purchase order book jumped into the modern era, was given a makeover and told that mingling with accounting software, budget planner, and inventory control is now cool. Along with being much simpler to keep track of, purchase order software allows you to marry your purchases with every other aspect of your all in one purchasing solution. Gone are the days of purchase orders not making it back to your accounting team because the fax machine broke or you weren’t able to scan, email, and send a copy back to the head office.
With a digital procurement solution, you allow your employees to request a purchase from virtually anywhere. Whether they are working at a satellite office on their computer or they are in the field on their phones, your employees will be able to quickly and accurately tell your central purchase controller what they need and when they need it. Within your dashboard you are able to set a budget planner which will keep track of all your procurement processes throughout every department in your organization. The lag time between when your financial controller would receive the paper PO and cross check it with your budget is usually pretty lengthy meaning things could change. With an electronic purchase order you are able to quickly and concisely communicate your desired purchases with the vendor without anything going missing.
Although relatively new, e procurement software allows for a multitude of advantages over its archaic ancestor, the paper purchase order book. Namely, the ability to track what is being bought, even if you fail to find a pencil, or for that matter, run out of paper to write on. I recently spoke with a potential client in construction who told me that they generate around 1000 purchase orders per month, all paper based. Usually, these books have around 50 pages at a price of $12.59 per book. That means 20 PO (purchase order) books per month at a price of $12.59 which comes to $251.80 in PO book expenses alone. If your organization is running through PO books at this pace for the entire year, you are looking at spending $3021.60 annually… On sheets of paper.