Your suppliers affect the success of your business. How you manage your suppliers determines the resources expended in your purchasing department. This is especially important as your business grows.
What’s wrong with my supplier management?
To manage suppliers well, you need specific information readily available like:
How often you need to order.
How much you need to order at one time.
What you paid in the past.
Where you get the best price.
Who has the best service.
What vendors provide the same product or service.
If this information isn’t accessible, you and your employees may duplicate efforts to find products and pricing or waste time with an inefficient supplier. There are a few essential steps to curate supplier data:
Categorise vendors. Know who supplies what. This ensures good suppliers don’t go unforgotten and you always have a backup.
Track costs. You won’t know a good deal unless you know what the same purchase cost you last time. Avoid unknowingly paying a higher price and wasting time digging out old invoices for comparison.
Use purchase orders. A purchase order is excellent accountability. In the flurry of the day, you might not remember what you said to a supplier on the phone, but the purchase order doesn't lie.
Develop vendor criteria.Grade your suppliers on product quality, punctuality, customer service and price. Then you can easily pick a supplier that will meet your needs. Keep open notes on the quality of each vendor for easy reference when purchasing.
Abandon ship. If you use a supplier for the low cost, but they make you late in getting products or services to a customer, decide if the low cost is worthwhile.
Maintain relationships. When suppliers meet your expectations, recognise good service with customer loyalty and good communication.
Pick your person. It doesn’t have to be you, but someone you trust needs to review every order.
How can an upgrade help my purchasing department?
To streamline your purchasing, you need information. Think is sounds like a mammoth task to track all your supplier information? It doesn't have to be. A small business can upgrade supplier management without hiring an extra accountant. Upgrading saves you money on purchases and time for your employees.
Moving your purchasing to the cloud streamlines the process. The cloud consolidates all the information you need to better manage suppliers and makes it readily available to everyone in your business who needs it to do their job well. And, of course, if you need a place to start, Turbine is here to help.