Philip Ha, Customer Success Manager at Procurify, explains why it’s essential to use Purchase Orders in any growing business. In this video, Philip reflects on his experience in helping companies around the world implement a streamlined purchasing process to establish better controls and visibility over their spending.
I’ve seen people come from kind of retail stores, all these different industries where they used to do things. It was just a massive paper trail. People running over it actually physically walking or running depending on the time as to try and to figure out why they just received invoice or where’s the reference. Where’s the PO for something they don’t have this.
Question 1: So what really is a Purchase Order and why is there so much confusion around It?
A lot of the organizations that don’t use it, they’re just you know they have a great relationship with their vendor. Don’t get me wrong, you know my words like gold. I’m gonna give you a call and shoot you an e-mail and then you have my word down, send it over within the next day or next week. The thing that happens is you’re not really holding, you don’t have anything physical to hold that vendor accountable. So if they do send you say three more than you’ve actually asked for, you don’t have to say. I mean, you don’t have the legal documents, you don’t have anything, you can fight your claim saying hey I only ask for one but you gave me four. It’s then again it gets all messy because then that relationship… It’s starting to hinder a little bit so having a purchase order is definitely the way to go.
Question 2: Then why do companies still not use purchase orders?
I think that’s a thing… like you said, it should be something that they should be very much coherent with; being able to create purchase orders, making sure that they’re holding their vendors accountable for what they’re ordering especially something like huge manufacturing company for example or biotech company. I think that just comes with growth. I think you know your initial small team that you start off with once you’re growing, your focus is on your core responsibilities. If you’re a scientist, you’re a scientist, you’re not a procurement specialist by any means. You’re listening to other people and how they do certain things. Hey, I had this fantastic vendor that gives me a good deal or hey, why don’t you go on the Fisher Scientific website or just buy from that website. You’re not, kind of instilled with the best practices of how to actually order in bulk or how to really you know have a reference for what you’re actually purchasing for your organization. You’re just in the ad hoc when you need something you just buy it because that’s just how it is. It’s a rapid lets go I need it, come on give you phone number or give me a website.
Question 3: How do you solve these problems for your clients?
If you want to use a software like Procurify, you’re really basically saying hey, let’s really dig deep and be visible across the playing field of what we’re actually purchasing as an organization. Who’s doing the purchasing? Where’s it all going? Is it heavy on the Marketing? Maybe not so heavy on the office admin related things or maybe it’s vice versa, maybe it’s in other departments say you have Human Resources that’s just spending way too much on you know going out, events all that stuff and maybe a Marketing team could actually balance out. So it’s not always about cost cutting, it’s about being able to see where your money’s being spent, at any given time.
Question 4: But Purchase Orders get lost so often. How do you manage them?
If you have an electronic purchase order management system. Somewhat like Procurify, essentially you have an easy way very easy, search it just like typing in the PO if you know off the top of the head, search by the vendor, search by the date, filter out that information. I mean just thinking about that like a as an impartial third party moving in, even if we’re not talking about Procurify, you have any other kind of system or software that helps you manage the POs, that’s like a world of difference. You know being able to just easily find what your purchase order is and then look at that as reference when an invoice comes in, attach that to a packing slips.
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