7 benefits engineering companies get from purchase order systems

Procurement Project controlling
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Managing purchases can be stressful. Spreadsheets and Word documents can quickly turn into a mess of numbers and notes, leading to wasting valuable time while chasing information. But what if there was a solution that could bring order to the chaos and free you from time-consuming administration? Purchase order systems have become a vital resource for ensuring efficiency and accuracy in the procurement process.

“…companies using a purchase order system are more efficient compared to those that don’t.” – PWC (2023) 

But what’s in it for you? Is it possible for you to save time, improve quality, and increase security? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the advantages you can enjoy by implementing such a system.

Your benefits:

1. You save time 

  • You want to ensure smooth project execution and healthy financial management. By using a purchase order system, you can save time in several ways: 
  • Time saved on data entry:
    Automation of data entry and electronic approval reduces manual work and frees up valuable time. 
  • Time saved on internal approval:
    Electronic approval simplifies and speeds up internal approval processes. 
  • Time saved on tracking past orders or outstanding items:
    Having a complete overview of previous orders, outstanding commitments, and invoice processing helps you avoid overruns and keeps project costs within budget. 
  • Time saved on invoice processing:
    Easy and quick approval of invoices directly in the system reduces the need for manual work and paperwork. 
  • Time saved on budget tracking (more on this below):
    A purchase order system provides continuous insight into budget tracking, allowing you to monitor expenditure, identify potential risks, and take necessary actions in time. 
  • Allowing collaboration around purchases to happen within the purchase order system ensures everyone has access to the same information at any given time. 

Checklist: 10 criteria for selecting the right purchase order system

2. You uphold a professional image 

With a reliable purchase order system in place, you present yourself better in future collaborations, to clients, and against your competitors. When you handle challenges professionally, you not only demonstrate your ability to manage difficult situations but also your dedication to delivering high-quality results. With the tools and information at your disposal, you can confidently take on new tasks and face challenges with trust and assurance. This not only maintains the efficiency and quality of your work but also helps build trust in you as a reliable and competent professional. And that’s a reputation you want!

3. You gain better control 

Having all information in one place is an important step for efficiency. You can decide exactly who has permission to view, edit, and approve data in the system. You have full visibility into who did what, including who received goods or services. This increases control and makes it easier to handle any questions or challenges that may come up in the procurement process. 

In a purchase order system, you can add vital data related to invoice processing. For example, account, department, and project details, as well as details about re-invoicing or cost handling. This information can be added as fields or comments linked to the purchase order, ensuring all relevant information is centralized.

4. You avoid having to rely on individuals 

With the system in place, you no longer have to rely on the internal IT expert or remember what was sent from each person’s email. 

Everyone has access to updated information in the purchase order system, ensuring smooth operation regardless of individual availability or knowledge. This provides security and efficiency in work, freeing up time and resources for other important tasks.

5. You get real-time budget monitoring 

In project-based companies, particularly in engineering, time is an important factor, and it’s vital to keep a close eye on the budget. With a purchase order system, you have this control in real-time. 

You always have an updated picture of planned costs, so you can make quick and smart decisions. This helps you catch any potential issues early on, so you can take necessary actions. It also lets you negotiate prices, explore alternatives, and consider the handling of costs BEFORE the purchase even happens. This means you can avoid any unpleasant surprises later on. 

Plus, the system makes sure that the purchase orders match up with the invoices, saving time on reports and giving you more time to be proactive with budget monitoring.

6. You increase security 

Are you using tools like spreadsheets and Word? It can be vulnerable and time-consuming to keep track of everything. For example, updating purchase order numbers, changing addresses, and other important information. 

In a purchase order system, this is taken care of by automatically assigning purchase order numbers and updating information, ensuring mandatory fields are filled in. 

It structures agreements to minimize the risk of errors and misunderstandings, providing quick insights into costs and commitments. With 3-way matching between purchase order, receipt, and invoice, accuracy and compliance between ordering and payment are ensured. 

And with additional security measures like two-factor authentication and regular backups, you can rest assured that your valuable data is well-protected even in the most demanding projects.

7. You achieve better quality 

For project-based work, reliability and efficiency are absolutely essential. 

With a purchase order system, quality control, which includes ISO certification, is carefully applied and documented. This guarantees a consistently high standard in the products or services you provide.
No more worrying about time-sensitive deliveries. With a system that ensures deliveries arrive on time and meet your quality requirements, you can maintain a strong reputation and have satisfied customers. 

Conclusion 

A purchase order system is not just a tool; it’s a key to increased efficiency, better control, and higher quality in your work. By implementing such a system, you free up time and resources that can be used for what really matters: delivering high quality for your customers while maintaining the trust as a reliable and professional actor.

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