Every entrepreneur wants their business to be profitable. But instead of working on the real goal of their companies, most of them end up working in their companies by adopting a hands-on approach for processes and systems. When it comes to scaling, the hands-on approach doesn’t work.
What you need is a sustainable and scalable way to handle business processes. That’s because as a business owner, you can only wear so many hats; it’s a good idea to automate some of the reins so that you can focus more on the business itself.
So what measures can you take to streamline purchases? Below are some detailed tactics to help you get started:
1. Invest in efficient inventory tracking
Inventory tracking is essential to streamline procurement, avoid wastage and, in an industry like restaurant, ensure you’re geared up for busy seasons. You can invest in one of the online ordering systems that is equipped with features such as management and monitoring of sales, shipping lines and inventory.
This way, you will automate inventory as much as possible, which should give visibility to your purchase department, assist in control of inventory, improve profitability, and enhance cash flow management. Some solutions will also remove the need to cross-check inventory whenever it is updated.
2. Gain control over document workflows
One of the most time-consuming processes when it comes to making purchases is to search for paper agreements and then asking the relevant personnel to sign the documents for approval. Apps that allow departments and personnel to utilize an electronic signature give businesses greater control over document workflows, as well as the ability to easily integrate signed and approved documents with other systems used by the company.
Some apps will also enable users to collect purchase form information easily, as well as validate data to match their needs. With options like SDKs and APIs, it would be easy to extend the functionality to existing applications and bring the data in a central location. If you’re already using SaaS, then look for a solution that can be integrated with your own-premise software.
3. Get help wherever possible
If the purchase process of your company has become too complex for you and the staff to handle, consider outsourcing some part of it. If you’ve been issuing RFQs and RFPs while making purchases, negotiating contracts with suppliers, and buying specialized goods, then it makes sense to outsource some of the process to another company.
If you can’t afford to outsource, you can take help from government-sponsored networks that help with certain business functions from sales and marketing to operations and purchases. Some nonprofit organizations may also be consulted when you need help with processes such as purchasing. Working with nonprofits and government networks also grants you the opportunity to build good business relations.
4. Use a cloud-based solution
Using a cloud-based purchase management solution enables users to access and track purchase information from any remote location quickly and easily. Because the solution is connected to a centralized server, updates to the software are only required in a single location, which saves time and the expense of installing updates across multiple systems of the company.
Streamlining purchases also becomes easier when remote purchase departments in a multinational can update entries in the cloud, removing the necessity to transfer documents and reducing the likelihood of discrepancies and delays in purchases.