Everyone who uses an inventory management system is familiar with purchase orders and receiving procedures. The purchasing business area allows you to manage the operational purchasing life cycle. This covers activities such as, controlling and managing the purchase requests, collaboration of purchase orders, and goods and services receipts for delivery of products.
The purchasing business area is relevant if you need to purchase stock for manufacturing or for direct sale to your customers. It’s also relevant if you need to purchase non-stock materials or services for daily operations of your company, and if you want to manage your purchasing costs centrally.
It’s essential within your business to manage the area of purchasing in an effective manner, so that the operational costs associated with this area can be controlled. Streamlining the PO and receiving process can provide the following benefits:
- Improved decision-making and accountability
- Better real-time material and inventory visibility
- Faster response times to customer demands
- Higher profitability
We have listed down five tips, which can help you to streamline your PO and receiving process.
1. Automate Your PO Process with Purchase Order Processing
Purchase Order Processing (POP) allows for a more automated system to manage PO’s, which in turn reduces the time spent on this process. Managing complex relationships with your suppliers and maintaining control over ordering and supplier payment are vital components to the success of your business. If you process your orders quickly, and arrange payment efficiently and correctly every time, you will develop rewarding relationships with your suppliers, and hopefully obtain and secure preferential rates.
2. Improve Sales Order Processing
Efficient processing and management of sales orders is vital to customer relations and business growth. Sales orders can arrive via fax, post or email, and processing them can be a costly, manual, time-consuming process. If you process your orders efficiently and accurately every time, you won’t only generate revenue more quickly, but you’ll also promote better customer satisfaction, leading to repeat business.
3. Use of Bar Code Scanners at the Receiving Dock
It’s possible to use mobile computers with bar code scanners or RFID readers at the receiving dock to immediately identify products upon arrival. This helps to remove product from the dock quickly and eliminates nearly all errors associated with manual receiving, including: identification, counting, and data entry errors. With the use of this technology, errors that are associated with inventory accuracy are avoided.
4. Suppliers Provide Bar Code Labels and Advanced Ship Notices (ASNs)
Ensure that your suppliers provide bar code labels or RFID-tagged packages and ASNs for all incoming shipments. This is so when the materials arrive at the receiving dock, they can be prioritized, proactively, for unloading and receiving. By making it easy for your staff to identify each item and associate it with a valid PO, the process will move more quickly with the elimination of excessive back-and-forth in the procurement department.
5. Use Skuvault to Streamline Your Purchase Orders and Receiving Procedures
SkuVault is a user-friendly, web-based inventory & warehouse management system for eCommerce retailers that helps you take control of your inventory. When you create a PO within SkuVault, all information that your Company and your supplier require, such as terms, pricing info, shipping info, products, etc. should be input into the system. Ideally, upon receipt, your supplier will follow the parameters set down by the purchase order, and ship out your requested product, accordingly.
Receiving is intrinsically related to purchase orders; when receiving, you’re receiving the product as specified in the purchase order. You check the purchase order number (PO#) from the original PO against the shipment, and scan the new product into SkuVault. SkuVault automatically checks the items received against the purchase order, and from there it’s possible to analyze discrepancies, move products to and from locations, set attributes and more.