More and more businesses are looking into ways of working more efficiently. The need to discover working methods that are able to streamline everyday tasks are inherent towards any productive organization.
One of the first steps towards better workplace efficiency is by having an activity log. Through jotting down the duration it takes for you to complete a task and the value it brings to your productivity.
If you have identified a lot of low-value tasks, review those tasks and evaluate its necessity. If it’s a must to conduct them, find alternative ways to execute them more efficiently.
These low-value tasks that take up a significant portion of time are known as time-wasters.
Time-wasters are unavoidable in each department in any organisation, procurement included.
With the intense nature of driving down a businesses’ costs and creating sustainable procurement processes, time-wasters can come in the way in achieving the department’s KPI.
Hence, it’s important to take a proactive approach in identifying and overcoming procurement time-wasters.
What are the examples of top procurement time-wasters?
1. Negotiating prices
Price negotiation is a key activity that could be a game changer when it comes to cost reduction.
With it’s crucial role in driving key procurement KPIs, it’s a task that is necessary despite its time consuming nature.
Coming to a consensus while taking into account the personal interest of all stakeholders involved would require a certain amount of effort and time.
How to overcome this time-waster: Preparation
Price negotiations can get lengthy if a stakeholder goes in unprepared. Never go into a price negotiation without doing your homework. Be sure to conduct price benchmarking prior to your negotiation.
Once your agreement has been reached, take note of the validity period of your agreed price.
When you’re approaching the end of the validity period, ensure to make the necessary arrangements with the other stakeholder on the next steps of renewal.
2. Finding suitable suppliers
Trusting an external party to help you source products and services can be difficult. It’s natural to be sceptical at first.
But if your scepticism drives you to extensively search for the right supplier, then it becomes a time-waster.
How to overcome this time-waster: Read reviews
Trust isn’t something that develops overnight, but scepticism isn’t something that should impede your decision making.
When it comes to opting for suppliers, do a bit of research. Read reviews of other customer’s experience with the suppliers and use that to steer your decision.
Certain platforms like Supplycart provide supplier vetting and reliability assessments for you to choose a suitable supplier.
The number of documents such as invoices and POs the procurement department goes through can get overwhelming.
Paper can be a very inefficient way of managing your procurement process. Filing, organizing and classifying paperwork are all tedious tasks.
In addition to being detrimental to the environment, paper has the potential risk of getting misplaced.
How to overcome this time-waster: Go digital
A lot of businesses are now adopting digital solutions like Supplycart when it comes to managing their procurement processes.
The onset rise of cloud computing and relevant technologies that enable digitization allow businesses to significantly reduce the amount of paperwork they have to deal with.
Additionally, going digital is a foolproof way to ensure your paperwork doesn’t go missing.
4. Data management
A common challenge faced by a lot of procurement arms is data management.
Gathering, analyzing and maintaining data can prove to be a handful, especially when the inflow of data comes from multiple different sources in the form of different suppliers.
Often, the most time-consuming tasks of data management stems from duplicate entries that cause syncing issues.
How to overcome this time-waster: Consistency
The key to avoiding duplication is having a consistent naming convention in your database.
Creating a consistent set of data requires establishing the set of parameters beforehand and following through regularly with the set naming scheme.
By practising a consistent naming convention mechanism in your data management, it reduces the margin for data duplication thus allows for smoother data syncing.
Reports are part and parcel of any business. For procurement, reports provide insights on spending, supplier performance and other relevant forecasts.
Though the importance of reports is clear, many employees find difficulty in generating reports and extracting the necessary data. And many are still resulting to using manual means when it comes to reports which costly time wise.
How to overcome this time-waster: Automated reporting
Similar to the solution of the third time-waster of paperwork, going digital can solve the time-consuming tasks of generating reports.
Automated reporting software eliminates the manual tabulation of data hence reducing the potential for errors.
Such platforms are able to generate multiple reports almost instantly, taking mere minutes or even less instead of hours of collating data.
Moreover, these platforms are able to generate presentable charts that can easily be utilised and sent immediately.
Supplycart is a one-stop e-Procurement platform that can help you eliminate these procurement time-wasters. By streamlining your procurement process, you’ll be garnering more efficiency in your workday.