Better Purchasing

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

For a new company, buying office supplies is as simple as going down to the nearest superstore or filling an order on their Web site. ...

For a new company, buying office supplies is as simple as going down to the nearest superstore or filling an order on their Web site. However, as your business grows, you'll need the efficiency that a more detailed procurement program brings. Here are some key things to consider when moving to the next level:

  1. Evaluate current practices and identify areas that can be improved.
  2. Formalize a procurement policy that spells out who is authorized to buy what and from whom.
  3. Work with preferred suppliers who can fulfill many of your procurement needs and offer better pricing for bulk purchasing.

Define priorities

Look at where you are spending the most money and which suppliers are getting the highest percentage of your spend. Streamline processes, examine how orders are placed or what controls need to be revamped.

Hone your skills

While small business owners typically wear many hats, perfecting purchasing practices means bolstering organizational, business analysis, negotiation and a host of other skills.

Think about adding staff

If you don't have enough time to take on the work that comes with implementing a procurement strategy properly, it may be time to boost your head count and hire folks who can manage this portion of the business.

Automate your purchasing practices

Technology and the Web now make it easier to roll up these activities, track spending and manage suppliers.
  • Benchmark progress. Set deadlines for reaching certain goals, and as those deadlines approach, look at what the impact has been on your business. How much money or time have you saved? How are your suppliers meeting customer service level agreements? Where improvements are still needed?
  • Monitor the market. Some industries are more susceptible to changes in the broader markets, so it's a good idea to stay on top of changing business conditions. for example, follow current supply and demand trends.

Login to Business.com

Login with Your Account
Forgot Password?
New to Business.com? Join for Free

Join Business.com

Sign Up with Your Social Account
Create an Account
Sign In

Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Community Guidelines, and Privacy Policy.

Reset Your Password

Enter your email address and we'll send you an email with a link to reset your password.

Cancel