Is your internal procurement procedure full of controls? How long does it take to turn your requisition into a purchase order? How can you speed up the requisition-to-order process without affecting the balance between efficiency and control?

One of the key strategies is to make your approval chains as short as possible. You can do this by leveraging technology and extending trust to your employees. Here are some tips you can put in practice to improve your approval flow and make your internal customers happy:

  • Make deals with your suppliers to have the best prices for frequent-purchased articles. In that way,  you can classify them as “pre-approved” items in advance, and the requisition process is accelerated from the beginning.
  • Promote transparency and accountability. Set budgets and make them visible to employees, so they can see how the department is doing against budget. That helps them make good purchasing decisions and share the responsibility for the spend.

Re-evaluate your internal approval chain and consider the following fine-tuning:

  • Try to default everything to the lowest possible approval level, including self-approvals. Provide self-approval limits to your team and empower them to purchase with their own budget.
  • Dismiss those approvers that don’t add value to the process. Ask yourself whether her contribution is more of a watcher or –effectively- of an approver role.
  • Create a custom approval flow for capital expenditures, rather than forcing operating expenses go through the same extensive chain.
  • Let approvers participate when needed and according to their budget responsibility. Managers in charge of a multimillion budget should not be bothered with a-couple-of-thousands approval.

Monitor the process regularly. Focus on the spent over time, rather than reviewing every requisition in detail. Check the timing between employee requisition and purchase order.

Having Coupa in our solution portfolio, let us offer you the possibility to adjust your approval chains, to have reports in real time and to have a budget -and spend- overview of your organization.

“Requisition to Order Time” is one of the process efficiency metrics that is tracked in the Coupa Benchmark. In 2018, the findings indicate that the top performing quartile of Coupa customers can convert employee requisitions to purchase orders in the system in 11.6 hours.

Source: Coupa 

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