Why you should implement Guided Buying in your organisation and some Best Practice tips.
As an organisation you want to make best use of your skilled procurement people but may be wary of opening up purchasing to other users in the business. Guided Buying is the solution which enables you to free up procurement specialists from handling day-to-day purchasing activity, whilst maintaining control of spend and ensuring policies are enforced.
There may be significant numbers of people across your business who either make purchases infrequently, or when they do they buy similar items regularly. Ideally these individuals should be empowered to make purchases without the assistance of buying professionals. They also need to be guided to preferred suppliers for these items and be subject to the policies that govern purchasing.
Guided Buying makes buying in a controlled way the preferred channel for your users.
SAP Ariba provides the tools to create an easy-to-use portal for a wide range of Casual Buyers, who typically make less than 5 purchases a year, usually of 1 item, and Functional Buyers, who spend a good deal of their time making purchases for their departments, but are not professional procurement staff.
Guided Buying empowers buyers across the organisation to easily procure the goods and services they need, whilst ensuring that controls are automatically applied over who buys what, from whom and at what price.
Follow these steps to implement Guided Buying in your organisation:
Buying is made easy by presenting users with catalogues of items that are appropriate to their role within the organisation, and pointing them to the preferred suppliers for each type of spend. Rules can be tailored for the Countries or Regions which you operate in.
Users are led through the process of making a purchase, with different channels applicable to different ways of buying, for instance direct purchase from an internal catalogue, punch-out to a supplier web site, or a requisition process for non-catalogue items. The portal presents users with recently-purchased or popular items, as well as allowing browsing or searching for specific products or services.
Buying is as smooth as cart shopping on a web site.
When a user creates a Purchase Request the policies that control the spend for the relevant item are applied and the user is;
Users therefore know immediately whether a policy has been violated, rather than finding out after a request has been submitted. Approval thresholds are automatically applied to the request, routing the Purchase Request to the appropriate approver(s).
Guided Buying can be applied to all the procurement activity in the organisation. From simple self-service facilities for casual and functional buyers, where goods or services are available from preferred suppliers’ catalogues or fixed-rate cards, to purchasing requiring some involvement from your procurement specialists.
For purchases where the supplier list is not extensive enough, forms can be used to request quotes. Complex procurements where there is no approved supplier, and new contracts may need to be established, can also be accommodated.
Behind the scenes the accounting is handled by SAP, with costs being captured to the appropriate General Ledger codes and Cost Centres. Spending can also be linked to projects, enabling budget monitoring of actual and planned spend on projects.
If you want to make best use of your procurement specialists and empower buyers in your organisation to get what they need whilst maintaining control of your spending, book a Guided Buying Workshop with Xoomworks.
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