Procurement is a key part of any business. As a procurement manager, you are responsible for keeping the company running by ensuring all key supplies, services, and equipment are provided, whether it be something as mundane as an office’s stationery supplies or as vital as a manufacturing plant’s hydraulic power pack.
However, procurement isn’t just about picking a random supplier from a list and buying from them. Part of the job is to guarantee that you’ll get the most cost-effective deals for every purchase. For those looking to lowering procurement costs for their business, here are three tips for you.
1. Utilize competitive bidding
Competitive bidding is essentially asking vendors to compete for the right to partner with your company. Usually used for large-scale deliveries or long-term partnerships, the process starts with sending different companies a request for a proposal containing the details on the product or service you require and waiting for them to make an offer. Through this method, you can identify the most qualified vendor for your needs. It does not always have to be the one offering the lowest price. You can also consider the vendor’s qualifications, history with your company (if any), and other important criteria that may impact their ability to fulfil your needs.
2. Don’t be afraid to negotiate
To a certain extent, you can still negotiate prices with a supplier, especially if you’re making a large purchase. However, before doing so, research on average industry prices for the product or service you need. Knowing standard prices will allow you to avoid being overcharged and keep you from making unreasonable demands. If their prices are higher than the median, there must be a reason, be it their company’s prestige or an additional service. Don’t hesitate to ask these questions if the answer is not immediately clear to you. A reputable supplier should be able to give a convincing answer. Remember to maintain a respectful stance throughout the negotiations. Generally, suppliers will be willing to give discounts to repeat or bulk buyers, but they might just backtrack on giving you a good deal if you are too demanding.
3. Streamline the procurement process
Lowering procurement costs isn’t just about negotiating with suppliers and vendors. It can also be done within the company. Having an inefficient procurement process costs your company more than you think because unnecessary steps often mean hiring additional personnel and eating up precious time. Convert your procurement method to paperless approval and automated processes for maximum speed and efficiency.
Effective procurement practices are key to lowering your business expenses. These are just three tips, but there are countless ways you can cut costs without compromising your business. Stay updated on standard industry pricing for your desired products and services. Take advantage of automation and digitization to keep your procurement process organized and efficient. Polish your negotiation skills and maintain a good relationship with your major suppliers. If you take these tips to heart, you’re bound to get the best results.
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