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Selecting the right equipment for your business always takes careful consideration. Your purchasing software is no exception. When you’re choosing from the wide range of available possible programs, make sure you are looking to find all of the following five essential features your business will definitely need. Whatever you supply, however you deliver, make sure your purchasing software has all five of these important features.
While no two businesses are the same, every business has some kind of supply chain. Purchasing software will always be an essential core component of your company’s operations. The last thing you want is a system that requires weeks of work to grasp properly.
The more complex the system, the longer it takes to train new staff. Given the overall disruption caused by onboarding, staff replacement, possible growth, the difficult lag time with new employees this creates is one more headache to worry about. On top of that, you will see a further slowdown due to redirecting valuable working hours of your more experienced staff towards training and supervising.
You want to be sure that any computer program handling something so central to your business operation is simple and intuitive to use. You want to spend as little time as possible getting your staff up to speed with something as everyday and normal as purchasing software. You need an interface where the tyres hit the track from day one, at top speed.
Time is money in every business. You want to be sure that the purchasing software you pick is as streamlined and time-efficient as possible in everything it does. Simplicity in how you use it is one part of this equation, but another vital component is automation. How much direct input from your staff will be required? How much supervision does every step in your procurement sequence need? These are the important questions you need to answer when picking purchasing software.
A system that can automatically generate purchase orders, rather than requiring intricate manual processes each and every time, will offer real efficiency and immense value. Be sure that your purchasing software has features like back-to-back-ordering. This kind of process can generate purchase orders on the back of sales order demand, without direct manual control. At the same time, back-to-back ordering automatically allocates the necessary stock, ensuring it is reserved and ready from the moment it arrives.
Automation extends across a vast range of systems within your purchasing software that can make your business’s day-to-day operations much easier to deal with. Can your purchasing software automatically identify stock demands from every area of your business? Will this include outstanding sales, desired stock levels, and even future forecasted demands? Automated arrangements like this are the kinds of options that mark out the best from the rest. Ensure that the purchasing software you pick is definitely found in the first of those two groups.
When choosing purchasing software, you need to know it has the ability to provide full and complete monitoring. In business, as in every other field, knowledge is power. The more knowledge about your business operations you can monitor, the more control you will be able to exert as you progress. The right purchasing software will allow you to monitor and control far more than you may have previously thought possible.
Purchasing software should also be able to monitor supplier performance. Does their stock always arrive on time? Is it always in the right amounts and exactly what was asked for? How do their prices stack up against other suppliers? Your purchasing order should be able to monitor and analyse this kind of information.
To monitor your margins in the way your business-specific needs, ensure your purchasing software can show your costs spread in a variety of ways. Whether it is by quantity, value, weight, volume, or any number of other metrics, you need your purchasing software to be able to monitor your operations the way that is most valuable to you. Monitor your businesses’ margins your way.
Purchasing software may seem like an entirely functional aspect of your business, without much space for specific expression or clear delineation between companies. However, there are many aspects of the process that require specific adaptation and particular attention. Be sure that whatever purchasing software you choose can manage these details in exactly the way you need.
On the most functional level, you need purchasing software that can adapt to your specific sector. Do you need to know the cost spread by volume or weight? Do you regularly process multi-currency orders? There is also branding issues for your documentation. The overall presentation style of your company can tell clients a lot about your business. What quality marks should your documentation be showing? How will you display your company colours? Where will your logo go? Be sure your purchasing software can handle all these questions.
Your purchasing software should be part of a wider network of business operations. A system that is isolated and separate will only add more touch-points and more potential problems to be dealt with. If you have need of purchasing software, you will also be already using software to manage things like goods-in system, your business accounts, your credit control, and many other operations. Make sure you can integrate and interconnect your systems in a way that makes sense to you.
Asking questions about integrations between different systems can clearly separate out different purchasing software options. Can the software you are considering respond to Goods Received Notes? Can it handle information processed by WMS handheld terminals? Can it connect to Sage, QuickBooks, or your own in-house accounting operations? Be sure to check all these possible integrations, and any others you might need. Your business is a series of interconnected operations. There is no reason your purchasing software should be any different.
Purchasing software is only one part of the whole business management software picture. Perhaps the most important question to ask yourself is “do I really want a separate system just for this one function?”. At OrderWise, we believe that businesses work best when everything interconnects using a single system. When every part of the business uses one programme, operations become easier, faster, and much more cost-effective.
For more advice on how your purchasing software can be just one part of the digital solution for your entire operation, talk to OrderWise. At OrderWise, we build easily navigated and precisely tailored purchasing software as part of a wider programme suite designed to align with all your specific business needs. When it comes to purchasing software, and every other field of business management solutions, OrderWise is the ideal option.
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