Procurement Process Management
Rewind back in time and you might remember that every government office, banks, and organizations had bundles of files. They had a separate file storage room where one has to manually search for bills and invoices sent in the past.
When it comes to auditing period every year in March, it would become chaotic, to say the least. If your company still deals with manual invoices, e-mails, and spreadsheets, you are not doing it right!
Software programs like spreadsheets and e-mails can only do so much to the procurement process. If you want your organization to be ahead of the curve and adopt new technologies to save lots on cost and time spent in procuring items or services, automated workflows are the way to go.
What’s Involved in a Typical Procurement Process?
The term procurement process refers to the steps that employees or a team takes to fill up a requirement in the company. It is usually carried out using a purchase order and the invoice approval should be done by the operations as well as a financial team.
1. The Requirement
The requirement raised by an employee or a team should be justified. The need could be a new printer, an additional laptop or subscription services to store files on the cloud. While it could be an essential requirement, the operations and admin team will also verify the authenticity of the same.
2. The Verification
The verification process will be handled by multiple teams including the team leaders or the managers of the team which raised the procurement request in the first place. They have to ensure whether the product or service is needed before it gets its final approval from the finance team.
3. The Purchase and Paperwork
When a purchase has been approved, it involves a lot of paperwork and every step has to be documented so that it is easier to audit in the future. The bills will be stored manually and also online but most probably they will be saved in individual PCs making it difficult to access at a later stage.
An Overview of the Procurement Process Flow and its Simplified Version on Cflow
Requirement – A requirement for a product or service emerges in a company for a team or an individual
Placing request – The request will be forwarded to the team leader/ manager for approval
Requirement request review – Reviewal process will include justification of the request and its budget
Approval – If it is justified, they will forward it to the admin/operations team who has to complete the final approval
Request quotations & finalize vendors – Quotes will be acquired from different vendors and the best quote along with the reliable quality of product will be taken into account
Negotiations – The process will involve negotiating with the vendor to get additional services or components to make the purchase order worthy
Finance approval – The finance team is responsible for approving the budget and when they do so, the product will be purchased by paying either upfront or later after delivery
Receiving goods/services – The online subscription or the product purchased should be available in the office at this point
Invoice approval – The invoice if not paid till now will be approved and payment will be sent to the vendor or the service provider
Documentation – Every kind of purchase made in a company should be documented. The invoices, both physical and digital will be stored in servers to be accessed when needed during the early audit
Cflow Streamlines your Procurement Flow
The power of the automation software as Cflow will be evident when you can get everything done in a matter of hours and without any chaos of maintaining manual papers or having to wait for approval from the manager and finance team before purchases are made.
With Cflow at the helm of the procurement process flow,
- Experience automation at its best
- Requests can be made online and will reach all deciding authorities at once
- Once TL or Manager approves it, it will be notified to the admin/operations team
- Reduces errors made by humans
- Increases accuracy of the process
- Invoices and every other document are stored online for easy access
- Promotes transparency in the procurement
A series of features are a must-have in a procurement process management system.
- Controls expenditure (using custom rules and manual approvals)
- Approvals made possible on the go (Cloud access)
- Risk mitigation (Easy to audit using trials and conditional visibility)
- Third party integration (Supports third-party APIs and Apps)
- Detailed reports (Analytics, reports)
The procurement process, when done through Cflow, can help adopt newer technologies. It saves your time, makes documentation easier and allows all the teams in the office to work more efficiently as they can get their requirements met at the right time.