The action of obtaining things is how someone can define procurement. In business however it is the act of obtaining or buying goods and services. It is one of the most vital processes in any business. As a matter of fact there are departments dealing with procurement in all the big organisations. These processes can be quite elaborate. They will range from planning for a purchase doing the actual purchase, controlling what has been purchased and disposing it after completing its intended 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. Through your procurement system you are able to take advantage of the best offers in the market. Being smart is how to go in procuring anything for the organization. Good practices will give you an edge in this competitive market.
Market research and analysis is the first thing you need to do. By doing this you get to know your market better. It means that the best suppliers become available to you. This allows you to do strategic sourcing of the resources of the organisation. This market research may even reveal that the closest supplier is not necessarily the cheapest. This research makes aware of the pros and cons of all the suppliers in your market. You should also do standard determination as a practice so as to make sure what you bring into the organisation is over and above the minimum standards required.
Having a system of software to manage your procurement processes is also a good practice. A good ERP software can help in this regard. It is however important to have knowledge of the best software for your organisation 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. The ERP tools available to you can make the process run faster and more efficiently.
Procurement outsourcing is also another way of doing business if you are not in a position to do your own procurement. You can do a quick spend analysis to determine if it would be cheaper to engage an outsider to help you with this duty. This way you don’t have to stretch the resources of the organisation to run the department. You can engage the resources that were previously doing the procurement in other areas.