Procurement & Purchasing: Four Tools for Success

Samantha Luc
October 12, 2022

Today, it’s less important to have an all in one solution, with priority going to those that can be the “fits with all” solution. Many companies simply can’t afford both the financial and operational investment needed for the largest “suites” of modules designed to handle everything across procurement, purchasing, and beyond. That doesn’t mean that smaller companies can’t harness capabilities for driving success in these areas in the same manner, integrating their products and workflows in the ways that work best for their business needs.

Vendor Management & Pricing

One of the biggest tools in your belt is keeping accurate vendor pricing lists, and having clear and transparent price lists from your Vendors. Take advantage of potential price breaks and set primary vendors for your inventory items so that everyone involved with purchasing knows which vendor has the best price, what the best options are when purchasing certain quantities and why you might choose to use different or backup vendors.

Wherefour can assist with all of this using our Vendor Management and Vendor Price module. The Vendor Price module can include price breaks, primary vendor designations and price lists, all managed in one screen. You can also filter for specific vendors or inventory items on the list for easy comparison between prices to help you choose the best possible price when purchasing.

MRP & Forecasting

Having trouble knowing what you need to purchase? Using a Material Requirements Planning (“MRP”) system allows you to enter in data from all different parts of your business, and automatically calculate your raw material needs to help determine purchasing. A robust MRP can consider things like your current and scheduled production, incoming purchase orders that have already been placed, current and outstanding sales orders that require fulfillment, as well as your current on hand inventory levels, raw material expiration dates and other factors as well.

Wherefour’s MRP allows you to look at daily, weekly, monthly or even annual sales forecasts to project your raw material needs over time. Use historical data from within the system and add a projected percentage increase, or enter in manual forecasts to compare different projections as needed.

Automatic Purchase Order Generation

Using a “smart” system to help automatically generate your purchase orders and trigger reminders to order inventory can be a really useful tool, especially if your purchasing manager is also juggling a number of other hats! We recommend using attributes like reorder points, low stock alerts and forecasted needs to automatically generate your purchase orders.

In combination with Vendor Prices, you can have a powerful tool where the system can automatically suggest purchases at the best possible price, all ready for your approval to send onward to your vendor. Wherefour can be configured to generate purchase orders on a regular interval (a particular number of days), or directly from your sales forecasts in the MRP and forecasting module.

Purchase Order (PO) Integration

Finally, let’s talk about managing the other side. Your POs have been created, you’ve gotten the best possible price. Now you have to pay the vendor. Having a system that integrates with your accounting platform is the easiest way to eliminate back and forth between your purchasing or receiving team and your accounting team.

When considering ERPs and inventory management systems, there are a few things to consider when it comes to an integration with an accounting system. Does the integration maintain a single list of vendors between the two systems, keeping all of your information synced and up to date? Does the integration eliminate the double data entry of having to enter your POs in both systems?

Ideally, an integration should smoothly align your vendor lists and keep your vendor records synced between the two systems, and remove any need for double data entry. Enter your purchase orders in one system, sync, and everyone is on the same page when it comes to purchases, bills and inventory to receive.

Bringing it all together

Being able to integrate and maintain these activities, without the headaches of doing it manually, is important for ongoing digital transformation across manufacturing. More results with less data work is just one of the benefits of bringing your procurement into modernity.

If you’d like to chat about any challenges that your business may be facing, or would like a free inventory strategy session, let’s talk! You can book a meeting through the chat window on this page, or visit our contact page here.