Every business should strive to get as much efficiency and effectiveness out of every department under its roof as it possibly can. Of course, that's often easier said than done, but when it comes to the purchasing department in particular, there are some simple steps you can take to be more effective overall.
These include the following simple changes or tweaks to your current processes:
1) Put one department in charge of all purchasing
First and foremost, if you are leaving each individual department at your company in charge of its own purchasing, this is probably a mistake, according to Business Development Canada. With a centralized purchasing department, everyone else gets to drill down on their own expertise, and leave the purchasing efforts to someone who specializes in the field.
2) Look for local suppliers
One of the biggest problems many companies face in purchasing is they rely on a long, complicated global supply chain, Business Development Canada added. While that's sometimes unavoidable, it always pays off to find local or regional suppliers whenever possible, simply because it cuts down on headaches.
3) Build your relationships over time
Just like anything else in life, if you have a good relationship with your suppliers, they're more likely to want to help you out whenever they can, according to the Purchasing & Procurement Center. The longer your supplier relationships last over time, the better off you're likely to be when it comes to ironing out any hiccups.
4) Craft fallback plans
In the world of procurement, you can't expect every process to go exactly as planned every time you place an order, the Purchasing & Procurement Center said. For that reason, you need to have contingency plans in place any time something goes awry so you can quickly and easily pivot to the next step.
5) Train workers to refine their skills
No one in any aspect of business today has all the answers, even if they've been on the job for decades, the Purchasing & Procurement Center further advised. As such, prioritize regular training as a company-wide effort, including in the procurement department. That way, you can always be sure your employees are keeping up with the latest trends and setting you up for success.
6) Seek out the best talent and strive to retain it
In a highly competitive field like logistics, there can be serious competition for the right talent, and you'll start to feel the pinch quickly if you struggle to attract or retain great employees, according to Supply Chain Minded. As such, you need to make sure you offer the most competitive salary and benefits packages you can, especially when you've already found a great worker.
7) Measure everything you can
Key performance Indicators are everywhere, as long as you know where to look, Supply Chain Minded noted. The more you can do to keep a careful eye on every aspect of your supply chain and purchasing efforts, you'll be in a position to grow.