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Is Managing Procurement via Email a Waste of Time?

May 29, 2014 by Hillary Ohlmann

Managing procurement in mail - DeltaBid

The simple answer: Yes, it is.

Don’t believe me? I’ve got five points that might convince you otherwise.


1. Searching for information in old emails is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Cliché, yes. And maybe I’m exaggerating. But not by much. The search function can be a lifesaver, but I’ve had to read through entire email conversations to find the information I need. Plus, many people spend all of two seconds filling in the subject line of their emails, meaning you may have to spend your precious time sifting through loads of emails with descriptive headings like “important information” or “bid details.”

2. Organization, shmorganization. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

An organized inbox is like the Hope Diamond – a rare and beautiful thing. At best, you manage multiple email accounts set up to segment your communications, and you dutifully file each email you receive into an appropriate folder. But if you’re the average person, the flood of emails you have to deal with on a daily basis threatens to overwhelm you several times a day. You’re just happy if you can tread water and keep your head from going under. And if you’re treading water, it means you’re probably spending several hours a day just reading and responding to emails in a timely matter. Forget about organizing.

3. There is absolutely no direct oversight unless you’re allowed to hack into your colleagues’ email accounts.

Or even worse, they’re Cc’ing you on all their procurement email. That would be a nightmare. To successfully manage a multi-person procurement department, oversight is key. Of course, you can call meetings every so often to ask for updates or write an email requesting information from your colleagues, but talk about a waste of time! Any decent online procurement platform could easily solve this problem for you. For example, DeltaBid has dashboard that gives you an overview of your entire procurement process.

4. First impressions are everything. Don’t blow it by using email.

Regardless of the size of your business, you need to look professional, especially if you want to form relationships with the top suppliers in the market. Imagine, if procurement via email is causing you problems, it’s going to cause your suppliers the same problems. An online procurement platform will make it easier to form relationships with well-established suppliers since you’ll be able to provide them with an easy-to-use system for communication and bid submissions.

5. Like in Vegas, what happens in procurement stays in procurement.

Email is never 100% private or secure. It’s too easy for people to make stupid mistakes or malicious decisions and send something to the wrong recipient. If you really want to have control over the privacy and security of your procurement process, you must be able to control who exactly has access to which parts of the process. This is where an online platform comes in handy. For example, you could allow the procurement department director to access all procurement activities on the entire platform – the RFPs submitted by each buyer all the bids received, any messages from suppliers, etc. But then you could limit the access of each procurement assistant to only the RFPs he or she manages.

Switching over to an procurement management software can be done in a matter of minutes, so why waste any more time with email? Check out DeltaBid and get started today.

Hillary Ohlmann

Written by Hillary Ohlmann

Hillary is DeltaBid's resident writer, copy editor, researcher, and all-around procurement enthusiast. She holds a degree in Journalism and Spanish from UW-Madison.


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