As a process that touches every organizational department and directly impacts revenue, the role procurement plays in an organization is crucial. That’s why it’s important to keep the procurement process running smoothly by regularly reviewing what’s working well and what may need some improvement.
There are many ways to improve the procurement process; some are narrow changes which focus on improving certain pieces of the process, like creating important internal documentation. Other improvements are more broad and focus on improving the process as a whole, like implementing software solutions. Here’s how these improvements add value:
Streamlining the procurement workflow
By definition, process improvements are designed to streamline workflow. For your purchasing team, this gives them the ability to save time when managing the details of individual RFPs and focus their attention on other strategic priorities.
Gaining tighter control over spending
Improving the procurement process can bring huge value to the organization by bringing more spend under management. For example, improvements like e-sourcing can help minimize maverick spending (in some cases, up to 39%) and give the purchasing team much more visibility.
Building internal knowledge
Making positive changes to your organization’s procurement process can also aid in your procurement team’s professional development. You can do this by building policies, creating process documentation, or providing trainings and making them easily available to the team (and any other internal stakeholders). Sharing this knowledge effectively improves process consistency and efficiency.
Enabling informed decisions
Process improvements that result in increased visibility and data availability can help procurement directors make more informed decisions regarding purchasing and operations. For example, by implementing a vendor management solution, you can see with which vendors you have built a successful relationship, making supplier selection more efficient in the future.
Improving communication with stakeholders
Nothing creates confusion like wading through a disorganized process involving multiple stakeholders. Improving the procurement process can help ease communications with both internal stakeholders and external vendors.
Decreasing procurement costs
Creating a streamlined process will ultimately lead to decreased costs related to procurement. Changes, like improving how RFP bids are compared, can help the organization achieve immediate savings on goods and services. Other changes, like creating documentation, can also lead to operational cost savings by decreasing time and resources spent on the process.
While making changes to a core function can seem daunting at first, improving the procurement process is beneficial to the organization. One of the most impactful improvements you can make in your procurement process is to implement an e-sourcing solution. An e-sourcing solution will help your organization realize all of the benefits listed above and produces a strong return on investment (ROI). If you're curious about the ROI your organization would see from implementing e-sourcing, download this helpful calculator.