Before you think about using Microsoft SharePoint for purchasing and procurement, you should remember: purchasing isn’t actually a primary function of SharePoint. And it shows.
What exactly is Microsoft SharePoint?
Microsoft SharePoint is a document management tool that is built as a solution and alternative to storing documents on a remote server. SharePoint actually does this pretty well, and integrates with other Microsoft applications to make your workflows easier and more convenient if you’re already a user of Microsoft Office.
Now, because so many people are familiar with Microsoft Office applications, it makes them inclined to use SharePoint for purchasing since it technically does have that capability. The catch, though, is that while SharePoint is capable of recording and tracking purchase orders. The software wasn’t actually designed to be a purchasing system, and because it isn’t a focus for the platform, the quality and functionality of it suffers.
This makes it extremely difficult to manage purchase orders in SharePoint, which many businesses find out the hard way. Think about using MS Paint to manipulate and edit layered graphics – while you technically could do this, it’d be much easier and more efficient with a system like Photoshop.
In fact, a quick Google search of the phrase “Why is SharePoint…” will present a group of auto-fill questions that are all less than flattering. “Slow”, “terrible”, and “complicated” are just a few of the top results.
The great migration
At Procurify, we’ve noticed a lot of users migrating from SharePoint to our system in search of a better solution. Paul Kazyak of Teton Resorts was one of those people.
“We use an in-house purchase order system using Microsoft SharePoint,” Paul stated. “It was a step-up from a spreadsheet, but with every PO, it would take over 2 minutes per purchase order. These extremely slow speeds affected our workflow. At a certain point I just felt it wasn’t intuitive enough, so we began searching for a solution.”
And the issues didn’t stop with purchase orders. SharePoint’s clunky interface, slow speeds and lack of true integrations had the request and approval process at Paul’s resort locations suffering as well.
“Everything is manual when it comes to requests. This involves dealing with physical pieces of paper every time and having to transfer that information onto e-mails.”
SharePoint is tedious, so Paul searched for a better way.