Procurement and purchasing are crucial processes for every company. Besides acquiring products and services that are critical to core and support departments, these processes involve several activities, such as:
- Request management. Receiving and processing purchase requests from colleagues and employees can be hard when they come from different channels and don't contain the complete information the team needs to start the procurement process.
- Supplier management. Asking for budgets, researching the highest quality products and services, and track pricing are among the finance team's responsibilities. This management is vital for maintaining a good relationship with suppliers, crucial to the company's success.
- Spend management. Planning and tracking spend also fall under the finance team's umbrella. The company needs to follow the planned budget and avoid waste, so enforcing its policies is also part of the purchasing department's responsibilities.
- Accounts payable workflows. AP workflows are an essential part of the procurement and purchasing operations. These workflows involve invoice matching, making payments, managing the accounting system, and ensuring that the company meets financial responsibilities on time.
There are many workflows to manage, and mistakes could cost significant amounts of money or cause bottlenecks in other departments. That is why technology and automation are allies to finance teams that need to streamline and optimize those processes.
In this article, you'll read about what a purchase order software is, what to look for in one and why you should consider digitalizing and automating your procurement and purchasing processes.
What is purchase order software?
A purchase order management software is a tool that helps finance teams organize, execute, and monitor their workflows for streamlined, automated, and seamless procurement and purchasing processes. Usually, software like that has features such as automation, customizable forms, integrations to other tools, and much more. Frequently, they are cloud-based solutions, so you don't have to worry about security and on-premise servers.
Implementing an e-procurement software and purchasing platform can be a game-changer for your company. If your team struggles with bottlenecks, errors, and missed deadlines, it's time to consider a solution like this.
7 Benefits of Using a Purchase Management Solution
By digitalizing and automating workflows through purchase and procurement software, your company will increase productivity, eliminate repetitive work, and minimize human errors. It is easier for requesters to send purchase orders, for the finance team to execute them, and for managers to track the budget and report results.
Below, you will read about a few of the main benefits of implementing purchase software.
Leveraging workflow automation
A purchasing process software is a perfect tool to automate finance department workflows. Automation is functionality that works in an if/then logic. If one action occurs, then another one happens automatically.
Therefore, you can create rules to optimize purchase approval flows, send automatic messages to suppliers, notify your team members when there is a specific task they need to do, sort the workload, and much more. All you need is to configure the automation rule once, and you don't need to think about these details and activities anymore.
Automation eliminates repetitive work, decreases the likelihood of human errors, and frees up your team to work on strategic and more meaningful tasks.
Structuring an end-to-end paperless operation
PO software enables you to digitalize your entire financial operation. Purchase orders, contract management, and budgets; when they are all in one place, it is easier to save and search for your data. In addition to creating an audit trail documentation, you will easily monitor the budget and share your team's results.
You can create a digital purchase order form with all the information needed to make the purchase and share it with your team members, employees, and other stakeholders. Thus, you will have everything you need to start the procurement and purchase process without exchanging several messages with people for more details.
Besides, structured phases and automation will help the finance team execute all of the process details in a streamlined, hassle-free manner. Once you digitalize your finance operation, you don't need to worry about losing information and frees up your team's time to work on strategic tasks instead of filing paperwork.
Making the approval process easier
The purchase order process is often delayed due to a complicated approval process and lack of communication between those involved. These delays create bottlenecks that can harm the entire operation of your company.
By adding software to the process, you can create a clear workflow from the purchase order to approval and invoicing. It's possible to adjust rules so that an order is automatically approved, set a minimum price when they need to be analyzed, and ultimately notify the person responsible for each analysis.
The software also allows you to send automatic notifications to the approver, so your team doesn't miss anything, even with a busy schedule.
Managing requests from different stakeholders
As mentioned before, receiving and processing purchase requests can be tricky, especially when you get a significant amount of them, and they come from different channels, without complete information. PO software that has good request capabilities can help you with request management.
The ability to easily create an online form to collect all the information necessary to start the process, automated data-entry on specific cases, and good visibility of all requests are examples of features that help manage a large number of orders.
Improving communication and reinforcing policies
The software will also help the finance team to communicate better, both internally and with other departments. If the software you choose enables communication within it, you can assign those responsible for specific tasks and exchange messages related to those tasks in a simple way.
You can also improve the relationship with suppliers by leveraging automatic notifications, the software database, and an efficient workflow that allows the team to pay invoices on time.
Due to automation rules and self-service portals, it is much easier to communicate and implement rules and procedures.
Gaining real-time spend visibility
When you register all purchase orders in one place, you can track spending in real-time. A purchase order software ensures that orders are on schedule and enables you to redistribute your resources, if necessary.
It can be a nightmare when finance accounts don't close at the end of the month. Use PO software to quickly analyze and report your results by leveraging the information recorded and extracted in the software.
Spotting bottlenecks faster
Digitizing your procurement and purchasing processes will also help you better track them and identify what makes them less effective and may be holding you back.
By structuring your workflows in a tool that allows you to see each step of the process, you can also easily extract data, analyze where resources are going and how long each activity takes in each phase.
When should you consider using purchasing software?
All major market players are investing in digital transformation and structured workflows to increase their operation's efficiency. But a few signs that you should start considering using a purchase order software include:
- The process is not working correctly, but you are unable to identify the bottleneck.
- Human errors are impacting your operation or relationship with customers.
- A slow approval process for purchases is becoming a bottleneck for other departments as well.
- Constant delays in payments are resulting in fines and a problematic relationship with suppliers.
- Your company's supply chain management needs improvements.
- Leadership feels that the finance department needs to improve spending control.
- To improve effectiveness and the company's results, you need to enhance collaboration between team members.
Pipefy helps you streamline and optimize your process through automation
It doesn't matter if you are a small business or a global enterprise company; now you know what procurement and purchase software can do for you and your team. By choosing Pipefy, you will be selecting a purchase order system that can help you increase your processes' effectiveness.
Pipefy is a Saas, no-code workflow management solution that helps you digitalize and automate your procurement process and purchase order workflows.
With Pipefy, you will improve:
- Requests. By leveraging customizable and shareable forms, self-service portals, and purchase requisition capabilities, request management will be more comfortable and practical. Pipefy also has a request tracker feature that allows requesters to track their order's status. This way, your team has full request visibility, receives all of them in one place, and won't have to follow up with every requester manually.
- Execution. Visibility, communication, and collaboration between your team members increase when you use Pipefy. Features such as automation and databases to store supplier information are also extremely valuable to enhance finance teams' efficiency.
- Reporting. Pipefy's dashboards help you track spending and stay on budget. You can easily extract data to inform and show your team's results. Also, reporting capabilities allow you to identify bottlenecks and continually improve your processes for greater efficiency and productivity.
Pipefy allows you to orchestrate all of your work from a single platform. You can integrate Pipefy to other accounting software, ERP systems, and inventory management tools, such as SAP, Oracle, Quickbooks, and more.
Pipefy gives you access to everything you need to build a strong and effective end-to-end operation, increase your company's bottom line, and manage the best purchase order workflows. Whether your company runs with Microsoft, iOS, or any other operating system; Pipefy is a cloud-based solution that you and your team can use anywhere.
If you are looking for a versatile, easy to use, and easy to deploy software, start with Pipefy's Purchase Process free template to hit the ground running and customize it as you go.
Intrigued? Start managing reliable, efficient finance processes today with a free trial of Pipefy.