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How to Optimize Procurement for SMEs

Whether it’s office supplies, software, or even furniture, every business needs a strategy for procurement. If you don’t set out a clear and thoughtful procurement process that all of your staff can follow, your procurements will inevitably end up being haphazard and inefficient.

It is common for smaller businesses to focus more on their macro strategies and less on specific functions, such as procurement. But, there are lots of benefits to a clearly-defined procurement process, not least of all the ability to better predict and control your business expenditures. The following strategies can help your organization implement a formal procurement process that will save you money and improve efficiency wherever your business needs to make purchases.

Leverage Technology

Investing in better technology for your business can help your procurements along in a number of ways. As your business grows, the effects of small gains and losses will accumulate. When you consider them on a company-wide annual basis, even a second saved on a common process can add up to many hours saved in total.

If you have faster computers and a faster, more reliable internet connection, the effect on each individual procurement might seem minor and even imperceptible, but it all adds up in the long run. If your goal is efficiency optimization, you can’t afford to give up any potential advantage.

Be Very Selective About Software

There was once a time when only a handful of developers accounted for the majority of enterprise software and services on the market, but this is no longer the case. Not only is the enterprise software market much bigger, but the rise of cloud-based services and software further expands the range of options open to you.

Whenever your business needs software, whether it’s general software like POS or business management software or something more specialized, you need to put some serious thought into it to get the best bang for your buck. For example, if your business is looking to secure the latest pcb design software, it is more cost-efficient to choose software that can be purchased on a perpetual license basis rather than a subscription.

Build and Maintain Your Strategic Partnerships

One of the most effective things you can do to keep your procurement costs low is make an effort to build and maintain relationships with people and organizations who can help you get the items you need.

Remember, a relationship is a two-way street. Prioritize relationships where you and the other party can both offer value to one another. If you work in a highly specialized field or niche industry, it is always a wise idea to make friends with the businesses that supply your industry. If you are only directly competing with a relatively small number of businesses, having a good relationship with key suppliers can give you a serious advantage.

Many SMEs approach their procurement on a case-by-case basis, and while this might instinctively seem like a good idea, it is a path that is fraught with difficulties. Effective business procurement requires thought, strategy, and consistency. Once you have optimized your procurement process, your business can make significant savings in both time and money.

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