Procurement is the unsung hero of your business – and the untapped opportunity for boosting your ROI. It may not be the most glamorous side of your organisation, but without it, you won’t have the goods and services needed to operate as desired.
There are two ways to view the hundreds, or even thousands, of moving parts across the procurement lifecycle – as hundreds of potential headaches, or hundreds of potential opportunities.
Getting strategic about your procurement won’t just improve efficiency for your procurement team, it’ll flow onto your entire organisation, offering up more time, energy and money to invest in value-adding projects.
Our top 10 proven effective procurement strategies
Procurement can be a tangled web of disparate moving parts – here are 10 ways to detangle the web and make procurement work for you.
1. Gain full visibility over your procurement pipeline
With so many moving parts, the procurement process can easily become fragmented – and that fragmentation can be a huge drain on efficiency. By creating a centralised procurement hub where you can view procurement activities by department, status, staff members and procurement type, you can gain visibility over the entire procurement process. This visibility means greater transparency – and accountability – across the entire procurement lifecycle and vastly reduces the chance of time-consuming and costly delays.
2. Enable seamless collaboration
One of the biggest roadblocks to efficient procurement is collaboration. Waiting for feedback from another stakeholder, needing approvals from a co-worker or losing track of which is the most up-to-date version of a document. The easiest way to enable collaboration is through purpose-built collaborative coworking software which allows both internal and external stakeholders to access, view, and edit documents, records and communications with ultra-clear visibility.
3. Automate procurement and sourcing workflows
Identify any procurement tasks which can be automated by procurement software, such as RFP, contract awarding and approvals. Ditch the endless email chains and create an automatic workflow that prompts stakeholders to take action as needed – no more missed deadlines or important information getting buried deep in email threads! Automation not only reduces the chance of data loss and double-handling, it also frees up more headspace for big-picture thinking and valuable strategising.
4. Consolidate and categorise your supplier lists
Keeping track of your suppliers, their capabilities and their contact details in a centralised hub is invaluable in streamlining your procurement. Create a centralised hub for your suppliers which can be accessed by your entire procurement team. Spend less time chasing up suppliers and more time matching the right vendor to the right project by categorising suppliers against different purposes and projects.
5. Pre-qualify your leads
Sifting through leads can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of procurement. Getting halfway through the vetting process only to discover the lead doesn’t meet a crucial requirement isn’t just frustrating, it’s costly! Set parameters for different procurement needs and pre-qualify your leads by setting barriers for entry to applying for the tender, such as ISO certification, location, availability or capability.
6. Streamline your onboarding process
Onboarding a new supplier is a common bottleneck point in the procurement process. Waiting for suppliers to complete their onboarding paperwork and provide all necessary evidence can cause irritating delays. By bringing your supplier onboarding process online with custom-built supplier onboarding software you can all but eliminate those delays. Remove the need for cumbersome hard or scanned copies of paperwork and avoid redundant administrative tasks with a simple, streamlined digital vetting and onboarding process.
7. Standardise your procurement process
If different departments or branches of your enterprise each have their own procurement process it leaves your company open to slip-ups. If processes, policies and procedures are done in completely different ways staff can easily fall down, not knowing what they should be doing and double handling tasks unnecessarily. By implementing a universal procurement process across your organisation you can ensure all team members are completely competent in procurement and ensure you avoid costly delays and mistakes.
8. Identify and eliminate administrative redundancies
A clunky procurement process can seriously impede efficiency. Whether it’s requiring multiple sign-offs for every decision, chasing down a vendor’s contact details or losing important information to a clunky paper trail, redundancies and inefficiencies can wreak havoc on your procurement process. Identify administrative redundancies such as double handling, illogical document filing and cumbersome approvals processes and replace them with modern, updated workflows. For instance, move to electronic documentation for easier version control and keep all communications in a central hub to avoid losing vital contact details.
9. Go paperless
A physical paper trail can be incredibly time-consuming. From forms and contracts to checklists and onboarding documents, the more paperwork is completed on paper the more likely it is that something will go missing. If you’re still having contracts, agreements and workflow documents filled out manually, you’re sitting on a procurement efficiency gold mine. Bringing all your paperwork online saves countless hours of manual paperwork and filing and reduces the risk of something going missing, with secure online storage.
10. Use data to your advantage
The old cliche of knowledge is power is true even in something as everyday as procurement. By gathering and visualising valuable data in an accessible way you can make data-driven decisions around procurement that drive better results for your enterprise. With the right data and analytics, you can instantly assess how each of your suppliers is performing including how fast they’re delivering a product or service, for what cost and what ROI they’re delivering for your business.
11. Bonus! Make steps 1-10 happen in an instant with Portt
Portt is the one-stop effective procurement strategy you’ve been searching for. Our revolutionary procurement, supplier management, risk management and analytics platform puts centralised, automated collaborative data and tools at your fingertips to enable smarter decision making, better procurement and enhanced ROI.
Ground-breakingly efficient procurement at your fingertips
Stop putting up with inefficient procurement – with Portt, you can remove administrative redundancies, streamline your procurement lifecycle and gain valuable insights into your procurement performance at the touch of a button.
We’ve helped everyone from town councils to federal government agencies, fire and rescue services and large enterprises to take control of their procurement. We’d love to help you too.