Purchase Order Process | How Does it Work and How to Manage it?

The Extensive Guide to Purchase Order Processes

Shivasankari Bhuvaneswaran

September 25th, 2018 Procurement Process   purchase order  

Procurement is often like quicksand, sucking in employees with sticky processes and exhausting paperwork. The tedious cycle of manual purchase order processing is eerily similar to wading through a bed of silt—messy, slow, and exhausting. But is manual procurement really a danger, or just a hassle?


What happens if your purchase orders succumb to the sinking processing problems of multiple touch points, arduous document routing, time-intensive data entry, too many errors, and the ever-growing approval cycle? Unfulfilled purchase orders may lead to several operational challenges.

Unlike quicksand, which takes a lot of energy to get out of, purchase order struggles can be easily averted by just looking out for a few problematic areas and steering clear of them. Before you start trying to pull yourself out, let’s take a better look at the process itself. If your organization is really small to create a complete procurement system, start off with a simple PO system. Here’s all you need to know about the purchase order management process.

What is the purchase order process?

A purchase order process is the journey of a purchase order from creation through purchase order approval, invoicing, 3-way matching and order fulfillment. It also includes budget control, contract approval, quality checks, and more.

How e-procurement transforms purchase order processing and management

1. Auto-routed requests, PR-triggered POs, and more

A procure-to-pay solution like Kissflow makes PO processing much simpler.

It starts with simply entering the appropriate details of the purchase request into the system. Then, the requests are routed to all the appropriate stakeholders according to the path you’ve defined in advance. Once the final approval is sent in, a purchase order is automatically initiated. The purchase order gets routed through the system too, all the way down to invoice approval and payment.

2. Three-way matching, and other purchasing-focused features

Good procure-to-pay solutions offer more than cloud storage and auto-routing of approvals. Three-way matching is one such feature that compares purchase orders against their respective purchase invoices and requests, to eliminate the chance of manual error.

3. Insights into purchasing

This is where digital purchase order management offers a significant advantage over the traditional process. One of the best parts about taking purchase orders digital, reports and analysis help you understand what’s going well, and where inefficiency is costing you money.

Since purchase orders are a vital cog in the procurement wheel, it’s good to have process transparency and visibility. You can pull up the status of any order instantly, analyse vendor performance metrics, and more through custom reports and analytics.

Streamline Your Procurement Process With Kissflow

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Must-have features of a purchase order software

A digital procurement tool like Kissflow eliminates paperwork, reduces manual intervention, decreases human errors, ensures transparency in the process, lowers operational costs, and bridges process gaps. A digitalised purchase order process improves accuracy, speeds up execution, and enhances process efficiency.

In a recent Global CPO Survey, automation was deemed as the second highest priority of CPO’s around the world. They believe that an electronic purchase order process improves accuracy, speeds up execution, and enhances process efficiency.

These are some of the most important features a purchase order software must have:

Auto 3-way matching

Perform three-way matching of purchase orders with related invoices and requisitions easily

Easy integration

Integrate your procurement tool easily with accounting and ERP systems

Cloud-based storage

Store, access, and approve POs seamlessly with centralized storage

Role-based permissions

Maintain purchasing information securely with user-specific, conditional access controls

Automated notifications

Seek timely actions from the stakeholders by sending automated reminders

Real-time Reporting

Spot process bottlenecks and delays using actionable insights obtained from visual-rich reports

Kissflow can take over your purchase orders, and more

Procure-to-pay solutions digitally connect vendors, organizations, policy, and processes, unearthing new savings opportunities. Within the purchase order process, they can improve visibility, and enhance efficiency and consistent performance.

Kissflow’s Procurement Cloud leverages the power of workflows, digital forms, cloud tech, smart processes, and detailed analytics to help you derive more value out of the procure-to-pay process flow. It covers everything from purchase orders all the way up to payment.

With Kissflow, you can digitalise the entire procure-to-pay cycle, comprehensively improving not just purchase orders but all the processes within the cycle. Take a look at Kissflow a try and see how it can improve your purchase order process.

Streamline Your Procurement Process With Kissflow

Free 14 day free trial