Misplaced purchase orders. Improper 3-way matching. Unfulfilled customer orders due to unseen emails. Impossibly complicated procedures to retrieve older, archived POs. Inefficient order processing. A suffering procurement department.
There are so many reasons to use purchase order software. Most organizations get this right, and scour the internet for a good, affordable PO software tool to take care of purchasing-related business.
As important as it is to get PO software, it is crucial that you pick the right PO software. Here’s how to make sure you make the best PO software choice.
The types of purchase order software tools
A quick search online will show you that there are a ton of tools out there. You have three kinds of PO tools to pick from.
For instance, Kissflow Procurement Cloud takes care of all the tasks and functions within procurement, namely purchase requisitions, purchase orders, invoice and contract management, and vendor management. Kissflow can digitize all your purchasing efforts, meaning all the data from each function is connected contextually to make purchasing on the whole, a whole lot easier and more efficient.
A common feature of most businesses, ERP software usually has a ‘procurement’ module. This is meant to cover all the functions of a dedicated purchasing tool, but the reality is often a less functional module primarily focused on working together with the other parts of the ERP tool.
There are two issues with using the procurement module of the ERP tool you may be using already. One is that you simply don’t get ‘all bases covered’–some niche functions may be missing a dedicated solution. Two, ERP tools simply aren’t as user-friendly as dedicated Procure-to-pay solutions which offer contextual dashboards, and tools designed for specific procurement-related functions.
You can also choose to use a dedicated purchase order app that caters to a specific function, maybe vendor management or PO approvals. Using dedicated interfaces and approval-based workflows, you can take care of procurement using an app per function.
Features you should be looking for in a PO software
Rule-based computation engine
A procurement software like Kissflow Procurement Cloud takes care of things like three-way matching by incorporating logic-based business rules to make decisions and route the payload accordingly. This offers additional advantages like three-way matching and automated routing, where data is sent to the right stakeholder at the right moment with minimal manual intervention required. For instance, an approved purchase request can be set to auto-trigger a PO with all the right details pre-filled out.
As mentioned earlier, the matching of a PO with the invoice and goods receipt is a crucial part of procurement. With a software tool taking care of this function, you boost efficiency and speed, and achieve consistent results in PO processing.
Rule-based computation engines like Kissflow’s help you execute POs and other procurement functions in line with organizational spend policies and the legal landscape. Because this is a cloud-based tool, all functions have interconnected data for a smooth purchasing experience.
Whether you’re using a stand-alone app or a comprehensive P2P solution, you need a tool that works well with other solutions your business may be using. This could be about accessing data from an external source, or triggering an action in response to another software connected through an API.
Every organization has its own way of doing procurement, and this extends to POs. You want a tool that can be tweaked to follow PO execution the way your business does it, and not something that forces you and your team to bend over backward just because its workflows are rigidly built a certain way.
Know yourself before buying a PO solution
Before getting into purchase order software-choosing mode, understand how knowing the kind of buyer you are should influence your decision. It’s simple: just answer the following questions.
Are you working in direct procurement?
If you’re in direct procurement, buying raw materials or other goods for production (not for sale), then you can try an ERP solution with a tacked-on procurement module. This is because you’ll need your software to take care of non-procurement functions like vendor-managed inventory.
These systems work when you need to take care of procurement as a part of a larger list. If you’re looking for a procurement-focused tool, read on.
Do you handle both direct as well as indirect purchasing?
In this case, a P2P product is what you need. It gives you the added functionality to cover a broad range of procurement-related functions.
Do you handle purchasing for a department? Are you trying to control expenses in one key area?
For both these motives, a function-specific tool, like Kissflow’s purchase order approval tool, is what you need.
Kissflow Procurement Cloud and purchase orders
Kissflow offers function-focused tools within its comprehensive procurement solution, called Kissflow Procurement Cloud. This is an easy-to-use, cloud-based interactive software solution. Equipped with a rule-based computation engine, it offers functions like auto-routed payloads, auto-assigned responsibilities, and an easier way of executing POs in general, and then some.
Fluid forms collect relevant purchasing data. Easy integration capabilities mean that you can use Kissflow in tandem with finance or accounting tools you may be using. Purchase order management becomes a whole lot easier with Kissflow Procurement Cloud. But don’t take our word for it–try the free demo today!