Implementing a Purchasing Process – Seven Steps to Success

Implementing a Purchasing Process – Seven Steps to Success

Posted by Pete Loughlin in Purchase to Pay, Purchase to Pay Process, Purchasing Process, The Rest 03 Sep 2010

A solid purchasing process saves money, reduces risk and creates control. What is there to not like about it? But implementing a purchasing process successfully is no walk in the park. Many organizations have been persisting for years without success so we’ve formulated the “Seven Steps to Success” for implementing a solid purchasing process.

Implementing a Purchasing Process

  1. Back to Basics – Garbage In,  Garbage Out. If your supplier master data and your catalogues are not bang up to date and accurate you’ll never succeed. Don’t even start before you have this nailed.
  2. Approval Work Flow – Get this right first time, embed it and make sure that updates to your hierarchy filter through to the purchasing system automatically. As soon as requisitions get stuck in the system, users lose faith.
  3. Leverage the Suppliers’ Technology – Suppliers love it when their customers embrace their technology. Use Punchout and other collaborative tools – where appropriate – but take care. It can sometimes be difficult to untangle yourself from a deeply embedded relationship.
  4. Don’t overlook receipting. Build the receipting process as a can’t-avoid activity. The end-to-end purchasing process is only as strong as its weakest link
  5. No PO – No Pay – No Exceptions – Say it like you mean it and mean it like you say. Supplier soon get the message and they help police your maverick users’ behavior
  6. Exceptions – There are always exceptions and emergencies and you need to respect this. But remember, users will always follow the line of least resistance so make sure that the compliant process is the least painful.


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