The action of obtaining things is how someone can define procurement. In the business world it is defined as the act of obtaining or buying goods and services. It is one of the most vital processes in any business. This has driven businesses and organizations to have entire departments handling the duty of procurement. These processes can be quite elaborate. They will range from planning for a purchase doing the actual purchase, controlling what has been purchased and disposing it after completing its intended purpose. Therefore every property of the organisation will be acquired through the procurement department and will be disposed through the same department. This area of the organisation is very important and should always have high standards governing how everything is done.
The practices of a good procurement department are those that ensure that values like integrity and transparency are embodied in the entire system. It is your procurement systems that will determine if you can take advantage of what the market has to offer. Being smart is how to go in procuring anything for the organization. You can simply have an edge over your competitors just by having the best practices in your procurement processes.
The best way is to begin by doing a market research and analysis. This gives you proper knowledge of the market dynamics. It gives you knowledge of all the suppliers and the best ones to use for all your needs. Strategic sourcing is the main aim here. This market research may even reveal that the closest supplier is not necessarily the cheapest. This research makes aware of the pros and cons of all the suppliers in your market. You should also do standard determination as a practice so as to make sure what you bring into the organisation is over and above the minimum standards required.
Because of the elaborate nature of procurement it is good practice to have a system of software to manage the processes. A good ERP software can help in this regard. But it is important to know the right kind of ERP software and how to use it. For you to make the best use of the software it is good to get ERP consulting so as to get the proper direction and guidance on matters relating to the software. The ERP tools available to you can make the process run faster and more efficiently.
You have the option of going for procurement outsourcing if you don’t have the muscle to run your own department. A quick spend analysis of the department will tell you if it is cheaper to outsource the service. This way you don’t have to stretch the resources of the organisation to run the department. You can engage the resources that were previously doing the procurement in other areas.