Purchasing management is one of the tactical functions within an organization that largely dictates the efficiency and productivity levels. Sourcing high-quality products, managing inventory levels, optimizing costs and vendor management are few of the many significant functions of purchase management that helps to define success for an organization.
As a result, a lot of organizations are implementing a Purchase Order Management Software in order to automate all sourcing and purchasing activities. With a competent software managing stock levels, monitoring vendor performance, forecasting future demand, controlling purchasing tasks and pinpointing saving opportunities has become extremely easy. This has brought about an increased level of transparency, productivity and collaboration in all operations.
In this article, we will learn about the significance and vital features of a robust purchase order management software and also look at the cost involved in developing such a software. Let’s begin.
Benefits of Purchase Order Management Software
Valid Purchase Order: If you wish to buy any product or service from a vendor, you need to issue a purchase order for the same. Once this purchase order (PO) gets accepted, there is a legal contract between you and the vendor which makes them liable for providing their offerings. With a purchase order management software, everything is well-documented, listing down all the essential details of the PO such as the item description, price, quantity, delivery details, date of ordering, etc. This information can be easily accessed anytime and anywhere in case of a dispute. This leaves no margin for errors and inaccuracies
Projects & Purchases: With purchase order management software, you can place the order for a single project or numerous projects, all at the same time. When you are ordering for a single project, you need to input the project reference code in order to assign the goods to the specific order.
When a PO is issued, it outlines the total cost before the commencement of the job. If you have agreed to a specific cost for the all the projects, the software will apply the same cost and calculate the total outstanding amount accordingly
Improve Productivity: When your vendor sends you an invoice based on your PO, your managers do not have to waste their time validating the authenticity of the invoice. Once your PO gets accepted, you will automatically receive an invoice in your accounting system referencing your original PO and updating your inventory levels seamlessly
Streamline Your Inventory: With purchase order management system, you can streamline your inventory to obtain improved efficiency in operations. You can easily monitor current stock levels, reorder levels, free stock and stock on hold to ensure you have the appropriate quantity of stock needed at all times.
Additionally, an automated purchase management system will help you determine your cost price and sales price with clarity, aiding you discern your product profit margins.
Differentiate Between Good and Bad Vendors
Having bad vendors is largely detrimental for the success of your business. With purchase order management software, you can evaluate the vendor credentials, vendor patterns and pinpoint the good vendors from those who constantly over bill and knock-back budgets.
Features of Purchase Order Management System
Purchase Order: This feature helps you to create purchase orders for different vendors, storing all the relevant details of the order such as item descriptions, quantity, payment terms, credit limit terms, delivery timeline and instructions, reminders, etc. You can even opt for an approval and cancellation feature with the PO system in order to evade errors and incongruities.
Email Purchase Order: This feature enables you to send your purchase order via email. You will also receive a confirmation email once your PO gets accepted.
Barcode Enabled Purchase Order: As most of the inventory these days is managed through barcodes, this feature enables you to create a purchase order using barcode readers. You simply need to scan the barcode of the product you want to order and a purchase order for the same will be quickly generated.
Material Inward: This feature helps you to record all the goods received under a purchase order meticulously. It stores all the relevant information such as the docket number, mode of shipment, name of the vendor, contact details, PO details and the invoice to ensure there are no miscalculations.
Goods Receipt Note: A Goods Receipt Note (GRN) is a document that confirms that all the goods under a PO have been duly received and matched to the PO, before the final payment is made.
Purchase Order Invoice: This feature allows you to generate purchase invoices with comprehensive order details. You can generate the different types of invoices such as service invoice, commercial invoice, applicable tax groups, etc.
Purchase Returns: In case there are any purchase returns, it should be effectively communicated to all the departments of the organizations namely inventory, accounts and sales. This feature helps in seamlessly communicating all information and coordinating with the various departments in case of purchase returns.
Customized Templates: With this feature, you can easily record every single step of the purchase process and record it in the system using custom templates. This information can be really helpful later on in case of any error or discrepancy.
Reports and Analytics: Detailed reports can be easily generated to comprehend buying patterns and make periodical purchase forecast. These reports can further be analyzed to examine the various purchase order transactions, material inward trades, invoices, etc.
Blanket Orders: Purchase order management software helps you to create and manage blanket orders, where the companies can decide upon a specific price for specific products and issue purchase orders over a period of time, based upon the same agreed pricing.
Incoming Products Tracking: This helps you to track all the goods received from vendors of confirmed purchase order. You can schedule delivery timeline and even receive notifications about late deliveries. Lastly, you can integrate the software with warehouse management system for hassle-free movement of goods across warehouses and for producing stock valuation.
Multi- currency: With multi-currency feature, you can easily set your home currency as well as the default currency for each of your vendors. When it comes to accounting, the amount is automatically converted to your home currency, based upon the exchange rates on that particular day. This leaves no room for ambiguity.
Track Average Landed Cost: This feature helps you to calculate your profitability. You can easily evaluate your price per product, the shipping and handling charges and sales tax. From this data, you can calculate your average landed cost based on which, you can effectively price your products.
Set Reminders: You can set reminders to notify you when the stock levels get low to create new purchase orders.
Streamline Accounting: With this feature, you can export your fulfilled purchase orders to QuickBooks Online and update accounting.
Multiple Approvals: You can set up multiple approval levels for purchase orders within one department or several departments. You can also retrieve all the approval history from the system at any time in case of any inaccuracies.
Select Warehouse for Purchase Order: If you have several warehouses, using this feature, you can select a particular warehouse for sending the inventory.
Purchase Order History: You can go back in date and retrieve your entire purchase order history. This can help you in tracking your expenses and demand for a particular product.
Supplier Performance: Complete access to supplier historical data such as supplier published price, delivery timeline, last cost paid, etc. help in evaluating supplier performance as well as establishing new supplier expectations. This supplier performance analysis will lead to improved decision making and cost cutting.
Manage Supplier: You can easily manage the various supplier profiles with contain relevant information including the supplier name, contact details, supplier code and status.
Partial Replenishment: With this feature, you can go in for a partial replenishment of your stock at a time, eliminating the problems of stock shortage as well as scarcity of adequate working capital.
Send Quotation: This feature enables you to send pricing quotations to the suppliers with a simple click.
Purchase Order Management Mobile App
Take your purchase order management to next level by adopting mobile platforms as purchase order management mobile applications enables staff to access required information on the go that results in fast decision making.
The Process of Developing Purchase Order Management Software
Developing an adept and all inclusive purchase order management software requires the skilled expertise of a renowned software development agency. The process involves various stages and each stage should be closely monitored in order to ensure positive outcome. The various stages of purchase order development software include-
- Market Research & Analysis
- Wireframing& Designing
- Final Deployment
- After-sale Maintenance
Required Team Structure
The team structure required for developing a reliable purchase order management software includes-
Project Manager – A person having smart and shrewd managerial skills and well versed with the industry canons and practices.
Developers– Android App Developers, iOS App Developers, Web Developers, Front-end Developers, Back-end Developers
Designers– Graphic Designers, UI/UX Designers
Testers– A smart team of testers and skilled Quality Assurance experts for extending a unified user experience
If you are planning to purchase a robust and comprehensive purchase order management system, then the foremost step is outlining a budget. It is imperative to understand that the exact cost of developing such software directly depends upon the type and complexity of functionality integrated into it. Another factor that controls the cost of development is the area or region in which it is being developed.
Every region has different labour costs per hour that dictate the cost of software development. A comparative study points out that India, in comparison to USA and Eastern European countries, offers the cheapest and the most skilled labour.
Although, the cost of a full-fledged purchase order management software might be a little high, it is certainly worth it. Integrating the software with other departments, i.e. the inventory, production, sales and accounting can further boost a company’s operations and ensure success.
All business organizations require a purchase order management system to effectively control their business operations. With a well-designed purchasing system in place, companies can easily monitor their existing stock, determine what to buy and when to buy. This is instrumental in ensuring customer satisfaction and company’s growth. Therefore, having a reliable and powerful system is a must for business’s overall wellbeing.