Softype, We're Oracle NetSuite ERP Experts

Edit Content

Softype tips for streamlining the purchasing or procurement process

Procurement and purchasing are business-critical processes. A business can significantly enhance its bottom line by optimizing these processes. While many companies use the two terms interchangeably, purchasing is actually a subset of the entire procurement process.

Procurement is a process that involves several of the following activities: 

  • identifying the need for materials
  • sourcing materials
  • managing vendors
  • negotiating contracts
  • purchasing materials
  • receiving the items purchased
  • assessing product quality of purchased items
  • paying vendors
  • maintaining records of the materials ordered

Traditionally, a lot of these processes were done manually. Many companies still depend on email and spreadsheets or related documents to carry out these tasks. As a result, they face numerous challenges like:

  • Inaccurate data due to manual errors
  • Data silos across different departments within an organization
  • Large amounts of time and resources spent on monitoring and tracking these processes
  • Slower payments to suppliers than desirable
  • Communication challenges between internal teams and suppliers a commonplace problem
  • Loss of data to inform good supply chain decision-making

These challenges can be overcome with the help of a good integrated business system or ERP. A robust ERP helps streamline and automate the procurement and purchasing processes to minimize double-keying or inaccurate activity tagging that diminishes data accuracy and decision-making. Here are five major areas where the procurement process can be streamlined through the use of a cloud ERP that can bring significant impact to a business.

1. Purchase Requisition

The purpose of a purchase requisition is to identify goods and services required by a company. This can be used to identify purchasing of new items or re-ordering of previously used items that are infrequently bought.

For this, employees write down specifications/requirements in a document or a spreadsheet. Then starts the process of email exchanges, phone calls, maintaining multiple versions of these documents. For the person who uses a modern-day cloud ERP, automated workflows can define such processes which can be customized to account for budgets, locations, item types or projects. These workflows help businesses streamline the multi-step purchase requisition process that may involve multiple departments in a company and make it effortless and faster.

2. Approval process

Most companies use paper-based processes and emails for approval. In fact, in many cases, companies still depend on paper-based processes to store approval records even if they use emails or other electronic means for those approvals. Imagine the effort that goes into ensuring compliance with this way of working.

In addition, if there are different departments involved and if approvals are required from all of them, this can result in a long and delayed process creating a paper trail that can be confusing and complex. If a user needs to go through a previous order, the paper trail that needs to be checked takes time and decreases employee productivity.

All of these can be replaced with workflow-based digital formats where initiators and approvers are visible at all stages in the process. This makes things simpler and quicker, as stakeholders can digitally sign and approve while maintaining visibility on all actions taken or approved of prior to the approval request getting to them. In case of specific requirements, custom forms can be created to maintain simplicity and clarity in exposing the requirements of the purchase needing to be approved. These forms make it easier for stakeholders to review and approve with the minimum required information at their fingertips. The result at the end is speedier approvals and more streamlined procurement action.

3. Vendor management and selection

Companies frequently have multiple vendors based on the goods and services they purchase. In addition to this, they also meet with new vendors who are pitching their products or services to the company from time to time.

At times, companies might also need to float requests for quotations (RFQ) to multiple vendors, analyze vendor responses, select the right vendor, negotiate terms and conditions, create purchase contracts, track delivery schedules, make payments, and monitor vendor performance. Doing all of this manually is cumbersome.

A good ERP can help with the vendor selection and management process by providing a platform for managing the vendor accreditation process in a single place, linking products and services to one or more vendors. This can help streamline the request for quote or the canvassing process for products not purchased frequently. This can also track the vendor performance stats of each vendor based on their on-time delivery history, their fill rate history, or their billing history. A clear, easy to interpret Vendor Scorecard should be part of every good business solution.

4. Purchase order generation

Once the vendor is selected, a purchase order gets generated. It contains vendor details, items to be purchased and their quantities, the agreed-upon pricing, and requested delivery schedule. These purchase orders should ideally be made from approved purchase requisitions or canvass decisions with minimal new keystroking. The previously filled in data should already be available in the system by the time a purchasing agent gets to this process if there is a full-blown requisition process in place ahead of the purchase order generation process.

For companies that do not use requisitions, it is also possible to start with the creation of a purchase order also and build in an approval workflow for those purchases. Prerequisites to this are an up-to-date vendor record complete with vendor name, address, terms, and contact. The items or services to be ordered should already be ready and available in the ERP item master to ensure that the product description is complete with all relevant specifications and a purchase price of course.

The purchase order should contain an expected date of delivery so that the supplier knows this upfront. Because this purchase order is in digital format, it may be sent out by email with a requested acknowledgement from the supplier. If these parameters and procedures are followed, the company will have a better handle on their purchases, expected delivery dates, vendor acknowledgement of the requested delivery date, and purchase costs. Vendor scoring will also be easier to maintain, making it easier to maintain good vendors and use less of those who are less reliable.

5. Billing Management

Once the vendor is selected, a purchase order gets generated. It contains vendor details, items to be purchased and their quantities, the agreed-upon pricing, and requested delivery schedule. These purchase orders should ideally be made from approved purchase requisitions or canvass decisions with minimal new keystroking. The previously filled in data should already be available in the system by the time a purchasing agent gets to this process if there is a full-blown requisition process in place ahead of the purchase order generation process.

For companies that do not use requisitions, it is also possible to start with the creation of a purchase order also and build in an approval workflow for those purchases. Prerequisites to this are an up-to-date vendor record complete with vendor name, address, terms, and contact. The items or services to be ordered should already be ready and available in the ERP item master to ensure that the product description is complete with all relevant specifications and a purchase price of course.

The purchase order should contain an expected date of delivery so that the supplier knows this upfront. Because this purchase order is in digital format, it may be sent out by email with a requested acknowledgement from the supplier. If these parameters and procedures are followed, the company will have a better handle on their purchases, expected delivery dates, vendor acknowledgement of the requested delivery date, and purchase costs. Vendor scoring will also be easier to maintain, making it easier to maintain good vendors and use less of those who are less reliable.

After order receipt and ensuring that the delivery meets all quality parameters, bills need to be posted and approved and vendor payments eventually need to be made based on pre-agreed terms. If bills are maintained in physical form, they can be misplaced, damaged and so on. Best way is to get physical paper bills in as rapidly as possible after they are received from the vendor.

A good ERP system will allow all transactional documents to be linked to the original document in the system, in this case the purchase order. This will eliminate the need to track which purchase orders have been received against and which ones have been billed. Be sure to check whether your system can accommodate this very time-saving feature which is usually called three-way matching.

If you give your vendor access to a vendor center login, they can even deliver the vendor bill electronically to you, eliminating yet another step. Automation can help companies save a lot of time and energy and streamline the procure to pay processes. If you want to enhance purchasing and procurement processes within your business or discuss how this might be streamlined, reach out to us at Softype.

Softype is a global provider of cloud business automation solutions and an experienced enterprise consulting provider to medium and large enterprises. We have more than 15 years of successful experience with ERP system implementations, business process consulting, and integration. We have offices in the US, Philippines, India and Kenya.

We have been a Solution Partner for Oracle NetSuite, the original and leader cloud ERP, since 2004. We have successfully assisted more than 400 clients across 25 countries and four continents over the past 17 years. Besides NetSuite, our company has expertise in workflow automation and integration for the WD, Retail, Education and Light Manufacturing industries. We are partners of StoreHub Cloud POS and Workato for integration and automation for different enterprises.

We do not just build things/spaces or create software. Our focus is practical solutioning coupled with expert service delivery of software projects to maximize our clients’ investments in business automation solutions that they undertake. We partner with them to deliver the promise of success.

For further information, reach out to us at info@softype.com or call us at +1 650 488 4412 (Global), +63 917 173 6625 (Philippines), +91 2240871095 (India), and +254 720 940 174 (Africa).

About Author

About the Author
^
close slider

REOUEST A DISCOVERY CALL

=

Ms. Juliana Luz

Co-Chairman and Co-Founder

Juliana (Nana) holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Stanford University.

The first development of cloud computing found Nana working in this area with her own start-up. Understanding the benefit of consolidating data and systems into a single version of the truth, she then partnered with NetLedger (now Oracle NetSuite) to offer a fully functional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system built exclusively on the cloud.

Nana’s expertise includes envisioning change and delivering value to growth-oriented businesses. Utilizing ERP technology and her advanced skills in process optimization, she streamlines processes, eliminates redundancies and manual processes, and facilitates digital transformations for Softype clients.

A ‘hands-on expert, Nana has, since founding Softype, participated in dozens of projects across 26 countries in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and all over Asia. Nana serves on the board of La Proteccion de la Infancia (Gota de Leche) and United Success Global.

Mr. Hugh Klesch-Sawyer

Digital Marketing Specialist

Hugh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management from Old Dominion University.

As the son of a grocery store owner’s parents, Hugh started his marketing education early, beginning at around 10 years old. After beginning his Softype career in Sales, he discovered that additional marketing knowledge would be beneficial. He began to immerse himself in marketing education and in 2021, Hugh started a 6-month Digital Marketing certification course through the Digital Marketing Institute and American Marketing Association. After 4 months in the program, Hugh earned his Digital Marketing Specialist and Professional Certified Marketer certifications. In January 2022, he accepted a position  change from Sales/Business Development to Digital Marketing Specialist.

Hugh’s mantra is: “If you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you’re right.”

Mr. Terence Michael C. Rena

Customer Success Officer

Terence holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines with a major in Tourism Management.

Terence’s experience includes sales and marketing roles, particularly creating marketing strategies, promotions, and retention programs in the travel and tourism industry. Since joining Softype in 2021, Terence has been a prime driver of marketing insights and a facilitator of key marketing initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. Event management is his specialty, including both online and in-person events that attract potential Softype clients to engage with the brand. Additionally, Terence is the face of Softype to our clients in Asia and Africa, ensuring they receive optimal service.

Personally, Terence enjoys basketball, cycling, guitar playing, mecha (robot) modeling, and video games. His daily mantra is as follows: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Mr. Ebenezer (Ebe) Mutungwa

African Sales

Ebe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ebenezer (Ebe) Mutungwa earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Ebe combines outstanding communication skills with expert knowledge of NetSuite ERP (5 years in pre-sales for NetSuite Africa). Although, as Softype’s Sales officer for the African continent, Ebe works with organizations in various industries, he has a soft spot for nonprofit organizations. A previous
NGO manager, Ebe understands their challenges and demonstrates how they can leverage the Oracle NetSuite ERP and NetSuite’s Social Impact program to support their mission.

When not working, Ebe enjoys traveling, jogging, playing the guitar, and spending time with family and friends. His words to live by are “Through it all; all is well.”

Mr. Jack V. Lazo

North American Sales

Jack attended the University of the Philippines, majoring in Hospitality Management.

Jack’s experience includes 4 years in the broadcasting industry and more than 33 years in enterprise information technology solutions sales. In the broadcast industry, Jack learned to match his style to anyone’s; he uses this skill today to communicate in a manner his clients appreciate. Jack combines empathetic listening skills with IT solutions knowledge to understand the finer points of what his customers require, need, and want.

Jack prizes spending time with his family. When he has time, he enjoys listening to music and watching soccer and mixed martial arts.

Mr. Chris Beecroft CPA

Vice President of Sales

Chris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University, an MBA from Florida State University, and is pursuing a DBA degree from AMA University.

Chris has more than 16 years of software sales experience, including 13 years in ERP sales with Oracle and SAP. Combining his ERP and accounting knowledge (CPA), Chris finds the right solution for our clients. He dives headfirst into the details of his team’s engagements, ensuring that Softype’s solutions are always the best fit. Others describe Chris as action-oriented, hands-on, and accountable.

Personally, Chris enjoys tennis, squash, badminton, biking, and reading. He also enjoys leading others to change their lives by providing personal guidance. His words to live by are “Who Dares Wins.”

Mr. Upendra Rabde

Solutions Architect

Upendra holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Indus Business Academy in Bengaluru, India. His credentials include the academic specialties of Information Technology and Marketing.

Upendra’s experience includes business consulting and business process re-engineering. He brings more than 17 years of technical solution development experience to Softype. He counts experience in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) integration projects in the manufacturing, telecom, healthcare, retail, banking, and insurance industries. He is proficient in procurement solutions and complex regulatory and compliance areas. Upendra also counts additional product management experience in the health care industry.

Joining Softype in 2021, Upendra brings a capability for hyper learning and an outstanding attitude, two traits in the Softype DNA, and is always a pleasure to work with.

On a personal note, he enjoys HAM radio operations and watching cricket matches. Upendra’s philosophy of life is summarized in his daily mantra: Past is history, future is mystery but today is a gift; that’s why it’s called present.

Ms. Pooja Manudhane

Product Manager

Pooja holds a degree in Engineering from the University of Mumbai. She has also completed an MBA focusing on accounting and business processes.

Pooja’s association with Softype began in 2012. She joined Softype as a Junior Functional Consultant. From the beginning, she was engaged in working with clients, specializing in training clients to undergo digital transformations successfully. Pooja developed a knack for visualizing ERP solutions to inefficient processes and communicating her vision to clients.

Pooja automated manual processes using the NetSuite ERP solution, thereby improving worker productivity. As her experience grew, Pooja received promotions to Senior Functional Consultant and Product Manager. She mentors junior colleagues in technical and business processes and, in so doing, helps evolve and propagate the Softype company culture.

Pooja understands that NetSuite ERP is the cloud ERP provider of choice because of the ease with which it can be adapted to different industries, its intuitive User Interface (UI), and the speed with which Softype can successfully implement it (a few months).

Pooja delights in working with customers in different countries. Her patient approach to managing change and guiding subordinates has won her praise from clients and co-workers
alike.

Ms. Prachi Shende

Program Lead, Education Vertical

Prachi has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics from the University of Mumbai and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas.

Prachi began her working career in the US (California). Over the years, she has moved from a purely technical role to a techno-functional role. As a techno-functional consultant, she can work with business, functional, and technical teams. Her specialty is implementing and customizing systems aligned with industry best practices. During her tenure of service, Softype promoted her five times in five years, culminating with her current position. Versatile and dynamic, Prachi cherishes a fast-paced work environment that allows her professional skills to grow. Her work is in the K-12 and tertiary education domains. She oversees the Softype education ERP (edERP) product development and management. The edERP product continues to evolve and expand due to new requirements in an ever-changing education sector. This gives her a chance to grow by constantly reinventing herself.

Prachi’s passion is to help educational institutions grow by migrating their enterprise-wide resources to cloud based systems. She believes that “Given new situations, the market for edERP, i.e., education on the cloud service, is here to grow. It’s about how we best serve it.”

Ms. Manisha Hule

Chief Operating Officer

Manisha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Mumbai.

Manisha is the delivery manager for Softype’s ERP services. Experienced in project planning and execution, she provides leadership for all Softype’s solution consulting and implementation activities. Manisha began her career at Softype, working in all of its various departments, culminating in her selection as a member of the Executive team. Manisha has experience in all aspects of project organization and delivery. An excellent team manager, Manisha ensures that customer projects get the optimum resources required, facilitating minimal risk implementations that meet delivery schedules. Manisha’s expertise and guidance are significant factors in ensuring, that, unlike many ERP vendors, Softype implementations are delivered successfully and on time.

Mr. Moses Rajan

Global Finance Officer

Moses holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Mumbai, specializing in Accounting and Economics.

Moses has more than 15 years of experience in ERP implementations and rollouts in a wide variety of industries across multiple geographies. He has engaged with clients across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Building on this experience, Moses helps Softype’s customers manage the financial complexities of multi-books, multi-currencies, multi-exchange rates, landed costs, and the myriads of tax regimes such as sales tax, VAT, GST, and others that impact businesses. Working with Softype’s customers, Moses brings his experience to bear on their challenges of dealing with budgets, cash flows, currency revaluations, and financial controls.

Mr. Nikunj Shah

Chief Executive Officer

Nikunj holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Mumbai, specializing in Audit and Finance.

Striking a balance between theory and practice, Nikunj helps clients through solution consulting and implementation work. Working at the nexus of accounting and technical change, his wisdom and insights are invaluable in steering the digital transformation of Softype clients. With extensive technical awareness and expertise, he is particularly adept at juggling multiple stakeholder interests that manifest themselves during the journey, always mindful of the client’s interests while fostering the teamwork and trust needed by all.

Nikunj’s portfolio includes designing an accounting solution and implementing best practices for the order to cash, procure to pay, and cost accounting processes. He has enabled ERP solution implementations across many countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Japan, Thailand, and the United States of America.

Nikunj professes that “Digital Transformation requires People, Processes, and Technology to be in harmony. Where this synergy exists, success will follow.”

Dr. Arvind Khilnani

Chairman and Co-Founder

Dr. Arvind holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering (MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts), a Master’s degree in Management (MIT Sloan School) and a Ph.D. in Engineering Economic Systems (Stanford University).

A dedicated teacher and mentor, Arvind believes in Leadership through inspiration. Trained as a mathematical modeling and optimization analyst, Arvind focused his early career on developing tools to enable company growth. He worked with Fortune 500 companies to adapt their use of technology for growing new, evolving markets. Presently his efforts seek to expand these tools to small and medium enterprises.

Since co-founding Softype, he has channeled his energies to help international organizations grow by leveraging the benefits of technology, including process optimization and automation.