What's the best procurement software?
There are a range of solutions available, some being part of existing accounting systems and procurement processes. However, if part of an accounts system, these Purchase Order modules tend to be limited and not customisable. A key factor in getting the solution to meet an organisation’s specific needs, is the ability to tailor the software. Today, UK cloud based software from procurement software vendors, is the direction of change for most, giving 24 x 7 access to full functionality, via the internet, critical with the increase in home or remote working.
How does goods receipting work in procurement software?
The procurement process allows users to upload Goods Received notes and to associate them with relevant open PO’s. The system intelligently remembers when goods are only partly delivered so allowing further deliveries to be booked to a Purchase Order. When complete, the procurement software will automatically close the PO and move it to the relevant status.
How does Procurement Software work?
Procurement software is designed to avoid the delays and mistakes made with paper or spreadsheets, or even telephone based processes. Procurement software will also add transparency to the organisation’s procurement process, both internally and for suppliers. Being an on screen computer based process, with workflow to designated relevant approvers internally, the system will ensure that due audit and controls are enforced within the company. For suppliers it will mean getting fully completed PO's with all the correct and relevant information including delivery details, as well as terms and conditions, as a PO is a legally binding document.
Will procurement software let me import supplier price lists?
Yes, it should have this capability. Many organisations have price arrangements set with suppliers which they would want to be used by all those raising purchase orders. An import facility to the system will mean additional information such as catalogue or part numbers as well as prices are included, making raising a Purchase Order, faster and more accurate. This facility is useful for vendors where you have fixed or contract prices. The software system should also allow users to override price list information, with the exception where you have fixed contract prices with a supplier.
Can we run searches and export a range of procurement information?
Yes, searches and reports are all based on the meta data available in your procurement software system, and are customised to meet your needs. Filters allow a wide range of ‘drill down’ to relevant data sets, and information results can be exported as Excel, PDF, CSV or Word format. A separate report function gives even more custom data, for example, by supplier, nominal code, cost centre, project and much more, again customised to your reporting needs.
Can Procurement Software have budget controls built-in?
Yes. Having proper fiscal controls is a critical function of procurement software. Being able to set budgets by company, department or project will ensure overspends are a thing of the past. Budgets are usually set and monitored by the Finance department, in conjunction with other management, to ensure that those raising PO's are advised of current budget availability, even before they look to raise a Purchase Order. And if funds are not available, they will not be allowed to raise a purchase order, although the finance department, having budget admin control, would be able to extend budgets if financially relevant, allowing the order to progress for approval.
Is there a financial based procurement dashboard facility as an opening screen?
All users can elect to have a dashboard that shows relevant (to their function and role) information including budget spend and status, tasks, PO status and more. Administration power users will have access to procurement system wide data; other users will have only access to information they are granted permission to access.
Can procurement software monitor supplier performance?
Keeping track of supplier performance can be key to well controlled purchase management. Whilst on screen procurement software will issue only approved PO's, with full information, the performance of the supplier, in terms of keeping to delivery dates and times and agreed quantities or other related issues, will be important in maintaining a good relationship. For example, if a supplier consistently delivers late, the software system should allow users to rate the supplier performance by each and every order, with an audit controlled supporting comment. In this way reviews can be carried out periodically that may lead to the need for corrective action, by the supplier. A dashboard option, when logging in to the system to see overall performance – low and high performers- would be ideal to highlight potential issues.