Obtaining goods and services for your business can be a fairly sophisticated and nuanced process, and with it can come a variety of challenges and problems. However, most of the common problems associated with procurement are easy to solve, with technology playing a big role in the solution.
Here are some of the most common procurement mistakes you can make and how to avoid them:
Jumping the gun — Keeping to a timeline is important, but make sure you give yourself enough time to look at different options before making major decisions. If you need to make a large order, be sure to check out which suppliers provide the best quality for the best price, so you are using your money to the best advantage.
Trying to reinvent the wheel — When it comes procurement, there are many software and programs that can help streamline your processes. If you aren’t using some kind of system to consolidate this information in one place and communicate with employees, it may be time to consider using one. Not only will it help your business be more organized, it will make the procurement process much more simple for you and your employees.
Spending too much — When it comes to money, overspending is easy to do, but a costly mistake — literally. Using a centralized procurement system ensures you can leverage the best contracts to get the best prices on goods and services. This way departments across the enterprise can have a simple, streamlined solution to get the good and services they need faster while the company maintains control and compliance.
Not looping people in on major decisions — If you’re making a decision that can affect several departments, loop them in on the options available. Be sure to communicate your progress along the way, and before submitting the final order, get feedback from each department involved. Over-communicating with these kind of decisions is always better than under-communicating.
Not developing a relationship with your suppliers — Paying more attention to your supplier can help your business in many ways. Keeping track of communications with your supplier can help you be aware of special deals, programs, and new products, which can help you save money. Likewise, you may be tempted to just take the price at face value, but if you are respectful of your supplier and their business, you may be rewarded with the opportunity to negotiate the price down. It’s also a great idea to have prices from a variety of suppliers to ensure you are always getting the best prices.
Not being flexible — While it’s important to have normal suppliers that take care of your business’s needs, there’s a chance that at some point along the road they might not have what you need right when you need it. In those cases, it’s important to be flexible and have other options available so that you can meet your own production deadlines. Similarly, if your supplier’s competitor comes to you with a better deal, and contracts allow, don’t be afraid to take it.
Procurement is a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you take advantage of all the resources available to you in order to make the process as painless as possible.