Written by Jodie Pride
23rd October 2014 • 4 min read
If you’re a retail business owner, no matter how small your company is you’ll have some level of familiarity with the process of buying your goods from suppliers. When a supplier agrees a purchase, they enter a legally binding contract, solidified by a purchase order document which states the items the buyer agrees to purchase, and at what price. Traditionally, purchase orders have been completed using paper documentation but in recent years companies have used emails to suppliers.
Purchase order software has become very popular over the past few years, and with good reason. This kind of software can save your business time and money, but also offers a multitude of other benefits:
1. Manually sorting your procurement processes using a paper based system can not only be time consuming, but also costly and wasteful due to the amount of paper required, especially for larger businesses who process hundreds of orders a day. The average order produces up to 7 documents in one purchase cycle, so cutting out paper purchase orders can drastically reduce your spend (and it’s much better for the environment).
2. Sending emails remove the paperwork element, but orders are hidden among thousands of other emails and not shared with anyone else in the business. It also makes booking in stock harder as it will need to be checked against an email before entering into the stock control software.
3. You can access your entire order history. See who ordered what,when and see the full events of a purchase, such as when it was received, so everyone in the business can track incoming orders.
4. Purchase order software makes it quicker to create and send, as you can search for products to add to the purchase order or use a barcode scanner, then choose a supplier and the software will email the order automatically, no need to manually type everything out
5. They can effectively identify stock demands throughout the business, and provide details on the current supply chain situation, while also managing any future procurement needs.
6. Purchase order software can provide live updates and keep track of sales and orders, keeping your inventory up to date. They can also monitor sales and compare these in graphs, so you can see where your orders are coming from, and identify which sales channels are the best for your business – particularly useful for multichannel retailers.
7. Recording purchase orders enables you to look farther ahead when making your cashflow forecasts: purchase orders from this month will be purchase invoices for next month – which are next month’s payments.
8. You can set re-order levels for stock control. This means that when your stock reaches a certain level, the purchase order software will automatically order X amount of that product, so you won’t run out of stock.
Purchase order software has made the purchasing process far more efficient, allowing better inventory and payment tracking, and ensuring your order fulfilment operations run smoothly, making it fundamental to your business’s success.
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