It’s no secret…internal departments have always hated having to “go through Purchasing” to buy stuff. In my work as a purchasing leader prior to starting Next Level Purchasing, part of my work was dedicated to making the purchasing process as user-friendly as possible.
From where I sit now, I have an interesting perspective on the problems that persist today.
Purchasing departments buy from us, not on behalf of their internal customers, but for their own consumption. And it’s funny when they tell us it how long it will take to get a PO to us because of all of the things that have to be done to generate a single document. They are not happy about it, yet they have a great degree of control over it.
It makes me think that every purchasing department should have to buy something for itself to “walk a mile in the moccasins” of their internal customers. If the process is painful for Purchasing, then it is obviously in need of repair because it will only be more painful for your internal customers.
So “eat your own cooking.” How long does it take to create a purchase order? How long should it take? What is preventing you from completing the process more quickly? What would it take to change the process?
These are questions every purchasing department should ask itself regularly. If your purchasing department isn’t exploring these questions, chances are high that there is a great deal of improvement that is possible.
If you think that increased P-card use is the answer, check back later in the week when I’ll be exploring potentially unforeseen limitations in P-card growth.
On a side note, the process mapping section of our online course “14 Purchasing Best Practices” can help you learn how to identify what is wrong with a process and how to fix it.
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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