Purchase Order Management System

Purchase Order System

Key takeaways

  • A purchase order system can be defined as an automated way of creating bulk purchase agreements between the buyer and vendor.
  • These systems monitor stocks, what products to buy, when, and how much to buy.
  • A purchase order management system and PO software can be beneficial to avoid this chaos. 
  • The software can automatically create searchable digital records of every purchase made by the company. This provides greater visibility and transparency over financial spending.

Although Purchase order management may not be a very exciting proposition, it is vital for the health of the business. is always not exciting, but it is vital for a business. Owing to its importance, it is best not to use the traditional pen-paper technique for managing purchase order systems.

The purchase order system enables a company to keep track of all the company’s purchases. The official documents maintained in the purchase order system ensure that every purchase is accounted for. The purchase orders are not just for recording every purchase but also for making simple returns in the event of receiving damaged products.

Table of Contents

Historically, purchase orders are facilitated by the pen-paper technique. But owing inaccuracies and manual errors, lead to non-compliance and inefficiency. This is where you will need a powerful purchase order management system and this comprehensive guide will help you with that. Inaccuracies can be time-consuming; this blog will help you understand the need for a comprehensive purchase order system.

The following sections will cover details on what is a purchase order, what is a purchase order system, why it is important for your business, and how you can set it up for your business and purchase order management software.

Definition of Purchase Order System

A purchase order (PO) can be defined as the official record initiated by the buyer to the vendor. The purchase order is typically the first official offer sent to the vendor. It comprises the required products, quantity, type, and agreed prices. The document is used to control and track purchasing of goods and services from external vendors.

A purchase order system can be defined as an automated way of creating bulk purchase agreements between the buyer and vendor. Purchase order systems are critical components of inventory management in any business. These systems monitor stocks, what products to buy when to buy, and how much to buy. Purchase order systems are based on economic order quantity models that are ideal for a business’s inventory management.

Structure of a Purchase Order System

Having a competent PO system is crucial for an organization’s inventory management as it can execute purchase orders and keep track of them. The figure below shows the structure of a purchase order system.

What is a Purchase Order Management System?

A purchase order management system is an internal procurement process that the organization adopts to optimize its purchases. A purchase order management system is an integral part of any business that is used to monitor a business’s financial commitment. The user can centralize the system, which improves visibility over order status.

The centralization of the purchase order management system can help an organization monitor global orders from a single location. Centralized access and control over purchase orders are critical benefits of an automated digital purchase order process. Teams responsible for managing the business can easily view the crucial moments of a PO process.

For instance, the purchasing team can easily monitor the approved and rejected purchase orders from a single location. Also, the user can set specific parameters within workflows using an electronic purchase order system to prevent overspending, especially within the financial budget workflows. A purchase order management system improves levels of accuracy and authority.

An electronic purchase order management system helps organizations maintain audit trails easily and improves supplier relationships and transparency. Increasing the flexibility of supplier management results in flexible purchase orders. There is no need to re-raise orders for incomplete deliveries, and the user can make multi-drop purchases with potential suppliers.

The purchase order management system automatically permits making additional deliveries, and stocks can be purchased easily as per the requirements. You will have better control over the supplier relationship.

As digitization takes the most significant leap across business areas, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, the online purchase order management system can help you automate your purchases. The purchase orders that the buyer sets as default will be automatically created and sent for processing. This increases the overall operational efficiency of the organization.

Why Do You Need a Purchase Order Management System?

When the company grows, the old way of doing things might reduce the company’s full potential. This holds when it comes to a company’s procurement process. It is time to implement the best practices of the purchase order management system. The following are some of the benefits of having a reliable purchase order management system.

  • When there is a massive amount of purchase orders, it becomes difficult to track the duplicate orders, and it creates confusion as to who ordered what and to whom the order was placed. Having a purchase order management system and PO software can be beneficial to avoid this chaos. The software can automatically create searchable digital records of every purchase made by the company. This provides greater visibility and transparency over financial spending.
  • With vast amounts of purchase order data, having purchase order software can provide useful insights into the financial spending patterns of the company. Analyzing this data will help a company to get a clear picture and alerts on potential waste. This creates ideal opportunities for saving and enhancing efficiency.
  • You need a purchase order management system as it can reign over maverick spending. Maverick spending is one of the worst enemies of procurement. It refers to the purchases a company makes outside its agreement. It is estimated that about one-third of all purchases happen without the knowledge of the purchasing department a year. On average, mid-sized enterprises spend around $402,500 on supplies, and 80% of it is maverick spending which is approximately $322,000 a year from the company’s budget. This is a substantial cash leak, and the purchase order management system can help your company to reign over maverick spending. You can bring most of the expenses under direct management control using this system. This will help reduce wasteful spending and keep the costs under check.
  • Purchase orders can act as an enforceable legal contract. The purchase order consists of a written agreement concerning the price and the quantity of the products. It serves as a legally binding record of the transaction between the buyer and the vendor. Any modification in the agreeable prices or if the wrong product is delivered can be resolved by referring to the PO.
  • Setting up a sound purchase order management system helps you understand your relationship with the vendors and suppliers. You can easily keep track of a list of potential vendors, store and sort vendor information, set up policies for purchasing items, etc. Maintaining and updating the vendor documents will provide useful insights that help choose the most productive vendor to work with. Having a purchase order management system can help you to track if the vendors have filled in the purchase information accurately and eliminate mistakes.
  • A purchase order management system can significantly improve inventory management. Since the purchase is the first step in inventory procurement, the purchase order management system helps you maintain accuracy, check invoices for errors, and track them easily. Also, it enables you to implement a 3-way matching system where you can create a Goods Received (GR) document to list all the products purchased from the vendor. The purchase department can send this list to the accounting department to ensure the PO, invoice, and GR match one another before approving the final payment.
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Purchase Order Management System Software

You can create a purchase order management software or app for efficiently handling your inventory and optimizing purchases. But there are certain things to be considered before making one.

Use of Custom Software Development Tools:

While creating new software, it is best to pay attention to the type of development process first. A developer uses Custom software development tools to develop efficient software with all the needed critical features and security tools essential for protecting your information.

Rudimentary Features of a Purchase Order Management Tool:

There are certain fundamental features that a purchase order management tool should have. It includes:
The purchase management feature is a crucial feature where it enables you to generate accurate POs for different vendors. The feature should consist of monitoring order quantity, product description, payment details, other vendor details, etc.

  • Managing material inward by keeping track of all the relevant information about a specific order, such as mode of shipment, date of delivery, docket number, etc., is another essential feature.
  • Invoice and tracking are other essential features that enable the seamless generation of invoice details and tracking of all the orders from a specific vendor.
  • The software should include a seamless feature to support multiple currencies to enable overseas transactions. Furthermore, a well-developed online accounting feature should be added.
  • Warehouse, manager, and quotation management should be added to monitor vendor information and other valuable inventory information safely. Moreover, quotation management is a robust feature for purchase order management software as it enables you to send quotations to selected vendors with just a simple click.
  • Access roles need to be considered while developing a purchase order system. For instance, not everyone would be given access to operate purchase order management software by several hundred employees. So, it would be best to decide which roles should be granted access to software accordingly.
  • Finally, the user interface (UI) is a crucial functionality. A simple and user-friendly interface should be provided as per the customer’s needs. UI is especially vital for surviving in today’s competitive business world.

Developing a Purchase Order Management Software

Now that you have decided on the features to be added to your software, the following steps would help you to develop a robust purchase order management software or app:

  • After deciding on the features, you must analyze your company’s goals. Creating software is no simple task, and you need to have a clear picture of what your company wants. Will the developed software help your business to grow? Will it help to achieve your target and provide a competitive edge? Once you get a clear perception of these things, you will be able to plan better and identify all the relevant features that your software needs and that would be suitable for all your company’s purchase order system needs.
  • Upon deciding on the features for your purchase order management software or app, you need to ensure that your software or app is designed as per regulatory compliance and state laws. Your tool should have all the necessary security features to secure your business-related information. Besides, it is better to mention all the compliance information on your software documentation.
  • You should be aware of the costs involved in developing a purchase order management software or app. The price of development includes the team structure, features to be added, type of technological platform, and customization. You need to figure out the financial costs while selecting the developing team, choosing the right cost-effective technical platform, adding the inevitable features for the software, and optimizing customization.
  • Have a strong developer team as it is crucial for developing the software the way your company needs it. It would be best to have mobile app developers, software developers, testers, project managers, UI/UX engineers, etc., in your development team. Having a development team with a good number of experienced candidates goes a long way in developing out-of-the-box ideas for tackling common issues in PO processing. Innovative ideas in software development enable businesses to gain a competitive edge in the market.
  • Finally, it is essential to run several tests and quality analyses to ensure that your custom-developed purchase order management software or app can run across various platforms. Running quality tests helps you know if your software is ready with all the desired functionalities. Finally, deployment. Deployment is another important thing since your employees are the first to reap the benefits of the developed software. Before final implementation, ensure that all the concerned employees are aware of the functionalities and the usage of the app or the software. It’s because they are the one who directly deals with the software and the customers.

Here is How Cflow can Enhance your Purchase Order System

According to statistical data, by 2021, the automation industrial software market is expected to be worth 43 billion U.S. dollars. The global market is transforming drastically with technological innovations being implemented in businesses. Purchase order management software can be a tactical solution that has transformed itself with time to adapt to changes.

With this exponential growth in purchase order management software, it is essential that you have the best one to manage your external vendor records, details of the change of costs, purchases, and delivery status. Having a purchase order management software will ensure nothing goes out of hand, and there are no surprises.

Moreover, when you Integrate with Cflow you can eliminate double handling of data. The double handling of data refers to the process of mishandling data where it is processed more than the required times. Double handling of data reduces the efficiency of procurement. Here is where Cflow comes to your rescue.

It is a powerful no-code workflow automation software that helps you easily automate your business workflows. It comes packed with all the critical features for PO automation. With Cflow, you can easily create forms using simple drag-and-drop options. Cflow has automated purchase order templates as well as options to create digital PO forms from scratch to gather necessary information such as vendor details, product details, purchase cost, etc.

Moreover, you can easily streamline your purchase order workflows using Cflow. As each workflow is unique to each industry, Cflow enables you to create workflows accordingly. The stakeholders can also review the workflows, therefore. Once you create workflows, you can quickly provide access and permissions to the relevant stakeholders. Cflow provides a secure way of handling data ensuring confidentiality. Cflow also enables you to have real-time monitoring of the online workflows and helps the procurement team quickly implement the automated PO system.

Furthermore, Procurement KPIs are vital for any purchase order system, and Cflow enables you to effortlessly track all your company’s KPIs from a centralized dashboard. It has automated dedicated tools to streamline all your procurement functions such as purchase order management, purchase request management, vendor management, compliance management, invoice, and contract management. The robust KPIs enable you to do effortless data management with minimal human intervention.


Now that you know what a purchase order management system is, why it is essential for a company’s procurement activities, and how you can create a purchase order management software, it’s time to choose the best tool available. Reasons why you should choose Cflow: you can stay on top of your spending, you can handle bulk purchase orders effortlessly, derive detailed purchase costs, eliminate double entries, and seamlessly automate workflow integration. This comprehensive guide would help you to have an impeccable purchase order system.

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