So what can your company do to ensure you have even a little more efficiency and flexibility when it comes to purchasing? The following tips should help, and in doing so, improve your operations more than you might realize:
1) Rely on your best suppliers
You have no doubt found that there are some suppliers you can always count on to get every order and shipment right, while others aren't quite so dependable, according to SpendEdge. While it's a good idea to give yourself backup plans, it's critical that you put your primary efforts into prioritizing the partnerships with the companies that have proven to be trustworthy.
2) Analyze your strategies
The ups and downs of the market, reliability of suppliers and plenty of other factors can come together at any time to make your old standby strategies a little less reliable, SpendEdge advised. For that reason, you should continually examine how your efforts have proceeded in recent months and, if any issues are spotted, change course so that you can minimize your risk in this regard.
3) Invest in new technology
Along similar lines, any technology you use to help with procurement should be evaluated every once in a while to make sure it's working as effectively as possible, according to Procurement Academy. Over time, you may find that software or hardware becomes less reliable and should, perhaps, be replaced. While this might require a bit of investment, it's likely something that will pay for itself over time.
4) Train your employees
It's always important to make sure all your workers are on the same page when it comes to processes and objectives, Procurement Academy added. A lot of that can be accomplished with training and team meetings that help direct everyone's focus in the same direction and ensure everyone has the best possible skill sets to meet your needs.
5) Build better relationships
Any time you can foster better connections with companies in your supply chain — or even just individual professionals working for those partners — you will likely both benefit, Procurement Academy said. A stronger relationship always helps one hand know what the other hand is doing, giving you more insight and opportunity to strategize.
6) Find new companies
Even if your group of most reliable suppliers have long served you well, it's never a bad idea to find new options for branching out your procurement efforts, according to Maven Vista. The more options you have as fallback positions when even your most dependable partners fall short, the better off you will be when it comes to avoiding a potentially costly disruption.
7) Centralize everything you can
Finally, it's worth noting that many companies make the mistake of siloing at least some of their procurement efforts off from other departments; this is inadvisable, Maven Vista noted. Instead, purchasing for all departments should run through a dedicated procurement team so that there's continuity and visibility at every step of the process.