Managing Business Procurement and Vendor Management Process in a modern business can be a headache, since you’ll likely rely on a range of products from a variety of vendors, creating complexity and in turn increasing the chance of confusion and waste.
This makes any step you take to streamline how you procure goods and services, as well as to overhaul vendor management, worth taking.
Here are just a handful of ways to go about this, giving you actionable options for improving the state of play in your own organization .
Following are the 5 best Ways to Streamline Business Procurement and Vendor Management Process
1. Lay down the framework to identify imperfections
To start, look at the current processes involved in procurement and purchasing and map out the route that’s usually taken when you need to acquire something
This is the best way to see where the current framework is holding up, where the bottlenecks and inefficiencies lie, and what you can do to optimize it.
Even if you’ve done this before, you need to recognize that your business has probably changed since then, and so its needs will also have altered. No procurement framework will work well indefinitely, so embracing change is key.
2. Use specialist procurement software
For Business Procurement and Vendor Management processes use special Coupa’s procurement solution. When it comes to procurement more generally, and vendor management in particular, software is your best option for streamlining everyday processes and giving team members the ability to use their time more effectively.
With the help of the likes of SolarWinds procurement tools, you can manage contracts, purchase orders and vendors within the same interface.
Better still, you can enjoy the advantages of automation which will reduce the workload you have to deal with manually, and make life easier for all involved.
Furthermore with modern procurement software on your side, it’s not just internal benefits on the table, but also swifter and clearer communication and collaboration with vendors and suppliers. In the past this could quickly get unwieldy when everything was taking place in a fragmented way across different communication methods, but unifying this workflow within a single ecosystem solves such conundrums.
3. Train your team appropriately
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a freshly tweaked procurement strategy and you’ve invested in cutting edge software to grease the wheels further; this will all be irrelevant if the employees who are tasked with taking charge of procurement haven’t had the right training.
Just because automation is being used, that doesn’t mean everything will run smoothly without human involvement. You need skilled and experienced people in core roles, and you have to educate them in the use of the tools, as well as in the best practices that you’ve chosen.
4. Keep spending in your sights
Having predictable expenses is one way for a business to keep an even keel. However, it’s not unusual for rogue spending at the procurement stage to unbalance a carefully constructed budget and leave you in the lurch.
Tracking spending and discouraging unnecessary indulgences that go beyond what you reasonably require is the answer. Indeed by drilling down into the data, you might spot wasteful patterns of on-the-fly splurging that need to be reined in, but might otherwise have flown under the radar.
5. Build and maintain good vendor relationships
Having the human touch in procurement is still important, because at the end of the day it’s your relationship with a vendor that matters in the long term.
As such you have to focus on the benefits that come with sustaining links to suppliers in the long term, rather than constantly jumping ship or forgetting to touch base.
Loyalty breeds camaraderie, and it’s in the interest of vendors to keep customers and clients content through discounts and an overall higher quality of service. So don’t be tempted to leave for greener pastures at the first sniff of a deal elsewhere, but take in the bigger picture and adjust your vendor management accordingly. Implementing a vendor risk management program that considers data security is a wise step to keep your third party relationships longstanding and lucrative.
There’s a lot to think about Business Procurement and Vendor Management Process and strategies are up for discussion, and while it can take time to strike the right balance, eventually you’ll be rewarded with a smoother experience and a slicker set of processes.
Don’t be afraid to automate, and also remember the value of retaining the human element to make up for what algorithms can’t achieve on their own.