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. Any business will agree that procurement is very critical to its survival. This has driven businesses and organizations to have entire departments handling the duty of procurement. The processes involved in this sector are numerous. This process commences by planning for what the organisation needs, taking care of whatever the organisation has procured and disposing it after it has accomplished it’s 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.
Integrity and transparency are the core values of a good procurement process and the system of practices you use must ensure you adhere to these values. It is your procurement systems that will determine if you can take advantage of what the market has to offer. You need to be smart and efficient during any kind of procurement. You can simply have an edge over your competitors just by having the best practices in your procurement processes.
Market research and analysis is the first thing you need to do. 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. This allows you to do strategic sourcing of the resources of the organisation. You may be surprised to find that the closest is not the cheapest. This research makes aware of the pros and cons of all the suppliers in your market. You also need to do standard determination to ensure that everything you bring into your organisation meets the required standards.
Having a system of software to manage your procurement processes is also a good practice. 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. It is advisable to get ERP consulting to help you understand the system well and how to get maximum value out of it. You procurement processes will most definitely run faster and smoother if you take advantage of the ERP tools.
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. If it is cheaper to outsource then you will have the opportunity to relieve the resources of the organisation from the task of procurement. The resources that you free from doing the procurement can be used elsewhere.