Magazine article Management Today

The Easy Way to Web Purchasing

Magazine article Management Today

The Easy Way to Web Purchasing

Article excerpt

DILEMMA: A friend keeps extolling the virtues of a-procurement. To be honest, I'm not really sure what she is on about but I'm too embarrassed to reveal my ignorance. She's normally such a cynic about new IT systems, so there must be something in it. How do I figure out whether it is relevant for my business?

ISSUES: E-procurement sounds hip but all it really means is purchasing goods and services over the internet rather than by mail, phone, fax or in person -- anything from a-mailing an order to someone to completely automated reordering and updating of your stock control and ledger systems.

How do you decide how far you want to go? Start by asking your finance director what proportion of your costs are represented by purchased goods and services. If he or she doesn't know, you've got more fundamental problems to solve.

Savings may arise from reduced purchase costs, administrative efficiencies, the opportunity to buy in smaller quantities or collectively with other smaller companies. Once an e-procurement system is set up, purchases are usually made direct from suppliers without complex internal approval processes or involvement from a purchasing department. …

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