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Purchasing Managers: Are You Thankful?

Thanksgiving! The Pilgrims and Native Americans joined together for a harvest feast at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. The pilgrims had been taught how to crow corn, catch eel and lobster.. . essentially some very early forms of procurement. Having stored up food for the winter they were celebrating their first harvest. Today we celebrate Thanksgiving in America with some of the same foods, but some have changed over the years. People take time to stop and give thanks, travel to be with family, watch parades and football. You see people on Facebook and social media doing a daily “I’m thankful for…” throughout the entire month of November. As a purchasing manager, what are you thankful for?

Are you thankful for smooth operations within the various departments? All of whom work together for the good of the company, putting the business needs ahead of their own?

Are you thankful that the recent economic difficulties have propelled purchasing and procurement into the limelight, drawing attention to a much-overlooked profession and bring more appreciation and respect for the job purchasing managers do?

Are you thankful for vendors who remain above reproac, delivering you superior quality goods and services in a timely manner?

Are you thankful for new technologies that continue to bring improvements to the industry and help make your job easier and more efficient?

Are you thankful for company owners and managers who understand the important role of a purchasing manager and in turn give you the support, freedom, and latitude you need to make decisions that benefit the company and the bottom line?

Are you thankful for blogs, social networks, and other resources that keep you up to speed on purchasing best practices?

When you read this list, did you nod in agreement, being thankful for all of these things or did you find yourself mumbling under your breath about one or more of these. Maybe you even laughed out loud or read one to a coworker commenting that you wished you could be thankful for that, but it is the furthest thing from the truth of your situation in your business place at this time. We have another month before you start hearing about new year’s resolutions, but why not take some initiative. On that one that really bothered you above, what can you do to change it? Don’t push off the blame on someone else saying you can’t be thankful for understanding managers and try as hard as you have, they just don’t get it and you can’t do anything to change it. Is that really true? Is there something you could do or say, or maybe not say, that would start some change. Remember, even the smallest speck of snow can end up a monstrous snowball. Why not be the one to start pushing it? Even if it means pushing it up hill before it crests and starts building volume and momentum going down the other side? Then next year you can be thankful, truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2013
BY Bellwether
How the ePMX: Punch-Out Module works for SMBs

Small to mediums sized businesses, or SMBs, are always on the lookout to find something that can help streamline their day-to-day functions and increase profits. The two main ways to increase profits are to cut costs or increase sales of goods and services. On the cost cutting side of the equation this often goes to the purchasing department, reviewing how money is spent and where it can be saved. As a result, adaptable ecommerce technology is becoming increasingly popular among purchasing directors, managers and other decision makers. One way to streamline processes among e-procurement users is the ePMX: Punch Out Module. Forward thinking suppliers and vendors are creating powerful opportunities by adapting the way they present their products to buyers within e-procurement environments that all work to enhance the profits of SMBs. 

Increased demands on purchasing departments to improve their spend management have created more opportunity for suppliers. These purchasing systems allow purchasers to consolidate all supplier catalogs into one central location and manage spend more effectively. And this is where ePMX: Punch Out Module steps in.

Basically, the ePMX: Punch Out Module is a cloud-based module that makes up one part of entire eprocurement suite. The ePMX: Punch Out Module connects to your vendor’s online catalogs and databases through transfer protocols that you access through the ePMX: system. This process streamlines everything into just a few clicks. First you select your items and software brings the data back into the ePMX: system with appropriate pricing and quantities thus creating a requisition. After obtaining the necessary approvals, viewable from any mobile device or tablet with internet access, it takes one more click to create and push-out the purchase order to the vendor. There are other more traditional ways to view catalogs, create requisitions, purchase orders, and relay the information back to the vendor,  but for buyers looking to streamline the process in the most user-friendly way, the ePMX: Punch Out is a “must-have” tool.

It is not surprising that many SMBs are using outdated and time-consuming processes. Maybe they still flip pages of a paper catalog or maybe they look at an online catalog and make notes on a paper requisition form.  Not too long ago, the technology necessary for the processes discussed in today’s post was the privileged advantage of giants, the Fortune 500 Companies and BIG business. These businesses, with seemingly limitless resources, could connect directly to the biggest clients and customers in the world, while SMBs could only watch from the sidelines, being priced out of the technology.

But all that has changed and thanks to current advancements in technology, ePMX: Punch Out Module is more affordable than ever. Now, small and medium businesses can benefit from this diversity. Thus, for the SMBs, having such software in place gives an easy access to purchase controls. This helps in streamlining the purchase functions of daily life and thus leads to more transparency in their operations. All in all, this module is a must have for all SMBs because of the various benefits it provides. 

November 22, 2013
BY Bellwether
SMBs Increase Profitability with ePMX: Inventory Management Software

Inventory management is one of the most common aspects for any retailer, but all small to medium sized businesses (SMBs); even those without a retail outlet require some sort of inventory even if it is limited in scope to the internal workings and supplies to run the business. With that come its own set of challenges and problems. This one aspect, inventory management, has a direct bearing on any business’s profitability. In fact many SMBs spend too much time in managing the inventory. This time can be used in other areas of business like growing and expanding the business and sales. For this reason, the ePMX: Inventory Management Software has become the lifeline of SMBs for higher growth and profitability.

ePMX: Inventory Management Software helps in increasing the efficiency of SMBs: A highly effective inventory management software solution is much more than merely controlling the inventory. SMBs can also enjoy benefits such as intelligent ordering systems, which help in optimizing the inventory levels and make sure that the right materials are ordered at the right time. Obviously this has a domino effect bringing help in material management, time management, and cash flow.

Incorporating the Inventory Management module means that much time is saved in administration work and SMBs can have their staff working on more productive tasks such as increasing sales and customer experience. When time is better managed and key personnel are redirected to more productive tasks that means higher profitability. By improving the staff’s efficiency, the overheads can be significantly reduced while increasing sales.

ePMX: Inventory Management Software and higher business profitability: ePMX: Inventory Software not only helps in updating a database in real-time but also generates reports that are of supreme value to ensure optimum inventory levels. The database helps in making the owners aware of what is available at any time in the stock. Using the past data, this software enhances the process of making ordering recommendations to ensure that your business has adequate materials and products at the right time. This is of even greater value if your business has multiple locations and stock levels and recommendations can be monitored among all your locations.

SMBs can ensure better turnover levels with the help of ePMX: Inventory Management Software instead of having their money tied up in slow moving inventory resulting in a shortage of faster moving goods. By limiting their slow moving inventory and investing in products that fly off the shelves or supplies that are frequently used, profitability increases greatly because a high turnover means lower overheads per unit produced. This obviously means a better return on inventory.

As you can see, the ePMX: inventory software works wonders for SMBs and makes recommendations based on historical use and performance instead of having a blanket solution that is hardly effective. Inventory will vary according to the location, type of business, and even from store to store in the same city, which makes the inventory levels different for different places. With ePMX: Inventory Management Software, problems will be minimized, challenges will be overcome, and profitability will increase.

November 20, 2013
BY Bellwether
Discover How ePMX: Contract Management Software Works

Contracts are written documents that are frozen at a point of time representing rights and obligations to be delivered later. Every organization signs a number of contracts for everything from orders for pens and pencils to complex and expensive computer equipment so that things are on paper and are legal. However, with so many contracts, it can be difficult to keep track of them. Contracts have a direct bearing on a company’s profits because they affect a company’s revenues and expenses.

A contract is a theory about how things work and reality is how that theory performs in day-to-day business. Contract management software bridges this gap between reality and theory.

What can the SMBs, or Small to Medium Sized businesses, gain from the ePMX: Contract Management Software? This software is helpful in preparing an analysis for negotiation process of contracts with vendors. By looking at the data of your company and the data of company you choose to do business with, this software comes up with terms and condition that benefit both parties. Therefore, it helps in choosing the right vendor.

Once the data is collected, you can go through it to analyze what factors are essential to get profits for SMBs and what factors are not working for the business’s favor. Accordingly, the ePMX: Contract Management Software will eliminate the nonessential factors.

Contract management is not an easy job if you think that a single person will be able to do it for your business. There are multiple vendors that a company is dealing with and often many contracts from several vendors in progress at the same time. So you need software that looks after the vendor contract management and vendor contract tracking to ensure that flow of business is proceeding exactly as intended.

The ePMX: contract management software handles all the documenting process and makes data available in a platform that is easily accessible by the SMBs. Your clients will also be given contract copies that are relevant for them, services that you will provide and other important information.  This way it becomes easier for an SMB to answer queries, as each client/vendor will have a unique login id where they can view the information they are looking for.

The ePMX: contract management software helps the SMBs in increasing their sales through automation of service quotes and orders. Once this set up is complete, you can assess the factors that lead to high volume of sales and be informed about sales opportunities that produce less output.

Thus, this software is a great tool for SMBs who have a vision to grow and become successful in the future.


November 14, 2013
BY Bellwether
How Software can make Asset Management Simpler

While there are a handful of small to medium sized businesses that have some type of asset management system in place, the majority simply manage what they have by knowledge and memory. Those that do have a system often find that it overcomplicates and makes the tracking very cumbersome. If your business is trying to improve their handling of asset management and inventories there is a solution that reduces costs, eliminates mistakes, and gets you organized in an efficient and easy manner: Bellwether’s asset management software.

One of the biggest advantages to using the Asset Manager Module is that it helps to avoid wasting time searching for assets. Some businesses run an informal equipment library allowing different departments shared use of certain equipment that is required on a daily basis. It seems when the next person needs the equipment it is always a chore to try and track it down to see who used it last and where it is. With asset tracking you know exactly which department has which assets, who checked it out, and where it is at all times. You also have the ability to set due dates for return, just like your local library and then run reports to find where the overdue assets are located and send reminders to return the equipment to inventory.

The same would be true for fixed assets. The software would provide you with the ability to generate reports on demand for any fixed asset. Utilize the software to note changes in assets such as new items, missing items, items that may have been moved to a new department or another location within the business or a separate office. Each asset has its own records that can be examined at will. When equipment problems arise you can access that asset in the software and review manuals, pictures, and service records. The ePMX: asset manager module will help resolve many of your problems and give you plenty of advantages while reducing errors that you might find with other software.

With the ePMX: Asset Management Module on your side you can reduce and successfully eliminate most of the common problems and issues faced with no system or an overcomplicated system. At the end of the day it all boils down to what you are willing to do to improve the efficiently and management of your assets. The ability to generate accurate reports, quickly access manuals, and find service records is all made possible through this software. Imagine having one asset manager for all vendor contacts whenever you need help. Imagine being able to access depreciation and amortization calculations for taxes at a glance. Imagine the ease of audits when you know exactly what you have, where it is, and what needs replaced. Clearly the ePMX: Asset Management Module will help eliminate headaches and streamline and improve your business efficiency.    

November 12, 2013
BY Bellwether
Request for Quotation Software Helps SMBs

ePMX: is a robust and full-featured software with modules that fit the needs of many small to medium sized business. Request for Quotation is one of our most popular modules with the ability to be used as a stand-alone unit or used in conjunction with other ePMX: modules for a fully integrated procurement system. This request for quotation software, also called sourcing software, will help your business in the procurement process of finding the best pricing for all items requested. This web-based software works to help you manage your vendors and files for material management in an easy-to-use manner.

Benefits of ePMX: Request for quotation

There are two basic methods of entry to get the process started: one is to generate the Request for Quotation, or RFQ, from an existing requisition; the other is enter the items you’d like to receive bids on and select the vendors you you want to invite into the bidding process.

From here the software takes over by submitting the RFQ to the designated vendors by fax or email. You can also opt to print the RFQ and submit manually. At any point during the process you can modify your RFQ and resubmit the changes to all the vendors. As quotes are received you enter them back into the software for comparison and analysis of all costs, discounts, shipping charges, and length of time until the order can be filled. View the analysis online or print to help you make a more informed decision with all the information outlined for you.

ePMX:’s eprocurement software RFQ status inquiry gives you up-to-the-second tracking of bids, including:

  • Vendor’s bid information
  • The successful vendor receiving the bid and the final purchase order.
  • Detailed status report information on all RFQs entered into the system and the Purchase Order to which they were converted.
  • Data on open or closed RFQs organized by RFQ, vendor, item, commodity, buyer and date require

The ePMX: software will take the information from the RFQ and the successful vendor’s bid and automatically convert it into a Purchase Order pending approval of the designated management. The rules and processes are adjustable to your specifications.

All of this is available to your small business in a cloud-based platform that makes it easy and quick to implement without a heavy upfront capital expense to develop and install the custom software. Why not consider adding the ePMX: Request for Quotation (Sourcing) software by itself or with the other modules in our suite of products.

November 7, 2013
BY Bellwether
Benefits of the ePMX: Receiving Module in Business

ePMX: software is Procurement Management software that helps Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) to know the amount of stock or machinery they have along with the requirements. You can keep a track of the stocks, machinery, or any other requirement, which the business might have.

When a SMB uses ePMX: in their business, the quantity of goods received is automatically generated and noted with the help of its main feature called Quick Entry. As the name suggests, this feature of the receiving software records the goods received without actually tallying everything and noting it down manually. In the event that your business receives multiple shipments from the software has a feature that allows for tracking and entering partial shipments as well. What about different units of measurement from the purchase order? The software will do the conversions for you thus making it easy for you to manage your stock.

As soon as you enter the order, the software then automatically updates the status of its location and an estimated date of its receiving. Inventory balances are also recorded in this software and automatically updated so you always have up to the minute information. SMBs find this e-receiving software the best way to manage their inventory, as the receiving options are clear, easy to see, and easy to track.

What about open, overdue, and closed purchase orders? Then in each of these cases, the software is a tremendous help for the purchasing managers. These are just a few of the standard reports available to business owners, all at the click of a button.

Along with the benefits this software gives by making the handling of the inventory easier, this software also gives the business owner the list of venders and the quality of their individual performances as far as delivery time and conditions. The purchasing manager can view all this information, compare vendors side by side in order to make an informed and qualified decision for each order. The purchasing manager will enjoy yet another advantage of matching the purchase order and receiving information to verify that it is correct with the help of his software.

Business owners and purchase managers alike find that the ePMX: receiving module is a great benefit, almost like having another person on the team. This software has helped in cost cutting and reducing efforts at the same time. All of this combined is why so many SMBs are moving to ePMX:.

November 5, 2013
BY Bellwether

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