Long seen as a simple administrative task, the purchasing function was relegated to a secondary role within companies. However, it has been in place for many years in large companies, most of which have a purchasing department. The purchasing function is a real competitive advantage. It is the source of a large proportion of the revenues of major European companies. And the lessons can be applied to the smaller companies that make up the market. That’s why we’ve chosen to share with you 5 tips for making your corporate purchasing function simpler and more effective
Be flexible and adaptable
Agility is the secret of good purchasing management. In fact, qualities such as understanding, responsiveness and adaptability to any possible changes are first-rate assets in a company’s organisation. This applies both to the company’s internal customers and to stakeholders such as suppliers and partners. This means that no matter how difficult or challenging the environment in which you operate as a buyer, you need to be able to support your organisation and respond to your new needs.
If you are not flexible enough in the face of change, this will have an impact on your strategy. You could miss out on certain opportunities. It’s best to avoid this scenario if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
Working as part of a team
Having the agility to optimise your purchasing means, above all, attaching importance to collaboration. The purchasing process, taken as a whole, involves a large part of the company. That’s why it’s vital to takeadvantage of everyone’s strengthsand skills to improve efficiency.
This considerably improves the production of value and theidentification of new opportunities. Collaboration with the company’s various players, both internal influencers and external partners, becomes a real driver of innovation. And it does so by bringing together different areas of expertise. In addition, fostering collaboration creates favourable conditions for achieving common goals.
As we’ve already mentioned, if you want to make your purchasing function simpler and more efficient, you need to be an agile buyer. To optimise your purchasing, you need to be able to turn to your internal collaborators as well as your suppliers. The aim is to acquire new skills and build lasting relationships. Innovation therefore plays a vital role. You therefore need to rely on your interpersonal skills to facilitate the deployment of new developments in your company, particularly digitisation. So, as well as being a buyer, you become a real business partner and fine-tune your supplier relationships as you would a customer relationship.
It should be noted that to be innovative and deliver value to your organisation, you need to be open to new horizons and experiment with new approaches. Surrounding yourself with strategic suppliers and implementing an effective purchasing strategy takes time,energy and foresight. Before you can move forward successfully, you need to be able to accept failure and learn from your mistakes. But above all, you need to look to the future and seek innovation within your company.
Think ahead and be proactive
As you will have realised, in order tooptimise your purchasing, you need to become an agile buyer. However, to be an agile buyer, it’s not enough to have in-depth knowledge of the market, suppliers and customer needs. You also need to be able to anticipate fluctuations and trends so that you can put the right action plans in place. In other words, you need to be one step ahead of your competitors.
To make your purchasing function simpler and more efficient, good contract management is one of the best purchasing practices. This is not only good for suppliers, but also for your company. That’s why you need to keep a close eye on the commercial terms and conditions negotiated for this strategic stage. Among other things, using a supplier contract allows you to better anticipate needs, avoid nasty surprises and secure the supply chain.
Staying connected to your environment
To make your purchasing function simpler but more effective, there are still other techniques to put into practice.
- Of course, we’re talking about buying here, and you’re the buyer. But you also need to take account of your customers’ expectations. You need to find out what their needs and interests are. Your production process is closely linked to your purchasing process. You need to know the best product or service to offer them. So keep an eye on your ecosystem: supplier intelligence, competitive tendering, corporate social responsibility. Taking an interest in the world around you is essential if you want to keep your risks and costs under control.
- The ability to question yourself in order to improve efficiency is also an asset. You need to be able to take a step back from your business and the products and services you offer. Optimising your internal processes, such as the purchasing process, depends on it. This is all the more important if you are to stand head and shoulders above your competitors and meet the changing needs and expectations of consumers. So you need to be able toconstantly improve your strategy.
In conclusion, the purchasing function is one of the most important components in driving a business forward. As well as perfecting risk management, it reduces overall costs and injects performance into your organisation. That’s why so many companies today are opting to digitise the management of their internal processes. Management software offers a host of advantages and meets today’s strategic challenges. Would you like to make your purchasing function simpler and more efficient? Rely on Weproc’s expertise.
Want to learn more about our procurement management software Weproc? Contact us or request your free 15-minutes demo below!
Weproc is a SaaS software specialized in digitizing the procurement process of companies. From purchase requests to supplier invoicing, through the validation process, Weproc is designed to simplify the purchase management of SMEs and mid-sized companies by centralizing all purchase-related activities.