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Considerations when Choosing Procurement Management Software

Procurement management software will help a business take care of any risks associated with purchase as well as suppliers. The procurement chain is usually subjected to many dangers that can result in heavy losses but you will be well protected with a software program. Since there are many programs in the market today, you should be extra careful on how you make your choices not to end up frustrated. The following tips will be helpful once considered. You must first have a good understanding of the diverse procurement management tools existing in the market. These will be helpful in collecting data about certain procurements, manage the workflow, manage the performance of suppliers as well as take care of the risks that might come up.

For the procurement software that you are considering make sure to look at the version that is currently in the market and when it was released. You should go for the latest release because it has all the advanced features and its effectiveness will be unmatched. You will only have yourself to blame in case the version you have selected has expired features and cannot help in streamlining your company procurement. Even though it’s impossible to have any software that is entirely free from viral attacks; that should be a key consideration when making purchases. It should have high resistance to such attacks through active scanning and elimination of detected bugs.

You must consider the analytical prowess of the procurement management software you buy because you are well aware that procurement responsibilities are many at your company. The software should be in a position of handling all the information collected from the supplier and that will help in making good decisions for the sake of the company. Don’t just choose a program because you have come across it or your competitor has one. There are several other tools and hardware that your software program will require in working effectively. You have to ensure the software you have purchased for your procurement management is compatible with all your other systems. It should never work as a lone-ranger but in tandem with other related tools.

The software program should also not experience problems working with your computer system. The reputation of your procurement management software program matters a lot and must be among the considerations you make during purchase. Is it suitable for performing as you expect? Is it reliable enough? Those are the queries you must seek answers to in determining its reputation. The company that manufactures the software must as well have the best reputation including good market presence and enough experience. Never gamble around with such a vital decision that will have great impact to your company’s procurement process. Contact us at Bellwether Purchasing Software today for your free live demo.

The procurement management software program you end up choosing for your business should be the right one and not one that which will give you problems. It should be reliable, effective and of good market reputation for a guarantee that it is well suited. Don’t just choose any PO software you come across without proper considerations.

February 27, 2015
BY Bellwether
Best Practices for Purchase Order Control

There are many practices that guide and control how purchasing is done in a business setup. Purchase orders are commonly used to make acquisition thus purchase order control is a mandatory undertaking for your company. Some companies are never transparent and accountable in the way they make orders for their purchases which is why putting in place adequate controls remain vital. This review will discuss best practices for a business to make purchasing control successful and effective. It will be even more effective once there is purchasing software installed in the company systems to track of the whole process.

There is separation of duties where all precise purchasing responsibilities are entrusted with specific individuals. It makes sure no single individual within a company enjoys total control over the purchasing which can lead to corruption and theft. A different person can take charge of each area: purchase approvals, receiving and confirming purchase orders, approving invoices, reviewing financial records, as well as counting inventory. That is a very productive and bold step that a company can take in controlling how purchasing is done. The consequences a company is likely to suffer for ignoring that include unnecessary purchasing, inappropriate charging, incurring unnecessary expenses and impulse buying.

Accountability is another good practice that will help in taking proper control of purchasing in a company. This is achieved through making purchase reviews and approvals as per the laid down procedures where signed agreements and contracts are respected. Your company has to adhere to the ethical practices associated with buying, make periodic reviews and ensure accuracy in the transactions made as well as making timely payments to suppliers. Deceitful purchasing will be the key consequence to suffer from once your business does not allow for accountability as a best practice for purchase order control.

Offering security for your assets is yet another practice that can help take control of purchasing in a business. There are many instances when goods disappear mysteriously within a company after purchase. That will be a thing of the past once you control inventory through a secure location. Make sure they are only accessible to authorized members of staff as well as maintaining proper and updated inventory records. This is where purchase order software comes into question because it is accurate, reliable and easy to use.

When reviewing and reconciling invoices and purchase orders from suppliers, ensure it is timely and you will not have problems controlling your purchase. Purchase order control becomes difficult at times when things are done in a hurry but you are advised to take enough time.

Purchase order control is very important in making a business more productive and profitable. Make sure you have embraced the best practices like accountability and separation of duties to make that a reality. Bellwether Purchasing Software is an ideal program to help in enhancing your purchase order systems.

February 20, 2015
BY Bellwether
Beginners Guide for Contract Management Software

You should never downplay the important role played by contracts in a business. Your company will be engaging with suppliers on a regular basis and signing a contract is the only way for safeguarding interests of both parties from being violated. Modern technology has seen the advent of contract management software which makes the signing of contracts reliable and easy. This is a guideline for any new person keen on getting the best from the software program. There is a lifecycle that the contract goes through even though there is no standard cycle that has been recommended for professional use. A contract cycle will take into consideration challenges that a business, its managers and suppliers are going through.

Some of the common stages that a contract cycle will go through include negotiation, amendments, approval, audit, renewal, authoring, request and execution all of which come at different stages. You might find some of the stages coming together or even separately but the most important thing is for the contract to go full cycle before maturing. The contract authoring typically uses Microsoft Word as a basis since it is uniformly recognized by most of the software programs designed for contracts creation. It has the latest updates and permitted language for the author. When it comes to negotiating the contract, it entails the usual give-and-take to reach some consensus.

Amendments may be the most important part of a contract cycle because it is done to reflect any changes made to the core contract. However, it must be done under consent of both parties so no changes should be sneaked to a contract without both the company and supplier agreeing. Renewal of the contract comes when the one signed has expired and the company is happy with services rendered. That will bring up an opportunity to negotiate for improved terms or even consider terminating the already existing one. With good software in place, it will send notifications on any suppliers in the market who can offer a better deal than the one you currently have. You can use it to negotiate a better deal or change vendors. Businesses without this information can lose valuable information.

Using contract management software will allow for an effective management of contracts in a company which will in the long-run translate to profitability. The company will benefit from higher visibility when it comes to securing good deals from a supplier; there is a guarantee of compliance to the terms and conditions of the contract while productivity is improved. At a minimum, contract management software must come with a well-structured process for creating and executing the contract, computerized alerts for management of the contracts, contract appraisal and authorizations as well as performance indicators.
Resource Box
Contract management software
will be the best choice when looking forward to creating professional contracts in your company. It is digitized thus you will stand to enjoy all the benefits that an online platform offers. Cloud enterprise purchasing management software program is always an ideal option to consider for your company.

February 17, 2015
BY Bellwether
Purchase Order Financing Overview

Knowing the ends and outs of purchase order financing is an asset to almost any small or medium sized business owner. In the sections below you will learn just exactly what purchase order financing is, the benefits, drawbacks, who can benefit the most from it, and would be likely to qualify for it.

What is purchase order financing?

Purchase order financing is another way to get a loan for the capital you need to finance the supplies, production, and shipping of a product after you have received a purchase order from a buyer. Once you produce the finished goods and are paid, you can then pay off your invoice to the company who provided you with funding.

This is a perfect solution for small start-up businesses who have orders coming in but don’t have the finances required to order supplies, pay their workers, and ship the finished goods. This would also be a great opportunity for a small to medium sized businesses who have found themselves with a sudden large customer jump or are graced with a very large order.

Who can benefit from purchase order financing?

– Purchase order financing is great for small to medium sized businesses who usually do not have the funds for large orders that could sky rocket their sales and turn their product into a household name. Image pitching your product to a major retailer, receiving an order from them, and then not being able to produce the goods needed because you are short on funds. purchase order financing could save you from this heart-breaking, and business-breaking, blow.

– A company who has received an order so large that they would need a six-digit loan. A purchase order financing company is not there to finance every single order so that a business does not have to spend any money up-front, it is merely a means for businesses to get the funds they need for an order that would otherwise be out of their reach financially.

– Only those who are reselling an already made product that they have to purchase in order to send to the buyer, such as drop shippers, or are
producing a product to sell may be eligible to receive purchase order financing.
For example, if you are selling a service, you would not qualify to receive purchase order financing. Although it may take capital you do not have to hire employees to perform the service, it would still not qualify under most company

What are the drawbacks of purchase order financing?

There are few drawbacks to receiving purchase order financing, however, there is one major qualification that could potentially stand in your way. When a company grants you funding, they assume they will be paid after your
customer receives the finished product and pays you. Because of this, many funding companies will check the credit of your buyer(s) to be sure that you will not get ripped off and be left without the money to pay your invoice. Purchase order financing companies are not only taking a chance on you, they are taking a chance on your customers as well. They are the ones with the real risk if the deal goes sour. Knowing that your customer is credit worthy gives the company the peace of mind to lend to you.

What to look for in a purchase order financing company

You should find a company that is right for you. These guidelines may help you better understand what type of company you should apply with:

– Find out what their minimum and maximum funding guidelines are to ensure that they meet your financial need. If a company only funds loans that are in excess of what you are looking for or has restrictions that are less than what you need then you are best moving on to another company.

– Find out what other eligibility requirements they have to
ensure that you do qualify under their guidelines before you waste any time applying for their loan.

– Find out what length of time you have to repay the loan and
check to see if it meets with you production and billing schedules to ensure that you will have the funds in time.

– Once you have found a company that works for you, make sure
that they have a fee or interest rate that your company can both afford and be comfortable with.

In the world of loans and financing, purchase order financing may be a small business’s best ally. They will usually have repayment terms that allow time for production of a product and it is the fastest way to receive financing without losing any investment in your business. Also, since they will check into the credit worthiness of your buyers, they may save you from producing a product for a deadbeat buyer. All in all, purchase order financing is a way to finance a large order that may get your product into the hands of a top notch retailer.

About the Author

David Springer is a consultant for Sovereign Funding Group. Sovereign Funding Group is an experienced, reputable company that offers convenient, no-risk services to help you with the selling of your deferred payments and business financing.

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February 12, 2015
BY Bellwether
Limitations on Liability in IT Procurement

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) is a nonprofit association representing state chief information officers and information technology executives and managers from the states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Since their founding in 1969 NASCIO provides state CIOs and state members with products and services designed to support the challenging role of the state CIO, stimulate the exchange of information and promote the adoption of IT best practices and innovations.

In 2004, the NASCIO on Unlimited Liability – Gaining Traction on the Road to “Win-Win” publication looked at state policies regarding limitations on liability for state procurement policies. Over the last 10 years we have slowly seen changes in policy take place among the states. This infographic shows the status of which states do and don’t have liability limitations and what changes have taken place the past 5 years.


Limitations on Liability for State Procurement

February 10, 2015
BY Bellwether
The Definition Of Asset Management

Many of you have probably heard the term “asset management” Before, but you may not have an idea of what it really is. Asset management is a broad term. It can be defined as a process that guides the gaining of assets, along with their use and disposal in order to make the most of the assets and their potential throughout the life of the assets. While doing this, it also manages and maintains any costs and risks associated with the assets. It is not something you can buy, but rather a discipline you must follow in order to maintain your assets.

Asset Management can be used for a variety of things. Most use asset management to keep track of their cash or “liquid assets.” Banking institutions are considered a form of asset management (savings accounts, CD’s, mutual funds, money market accounts, etc.) along with investments. Another example of assets: businesses often have a product to sell. These products are considered assets. The right asset management system can be utilized to make the product more readily available, easier to produce, cheaper to ship to customers, etc.

Asset Management Resource:

Tracking and insuring the product is also a way of asset managagemant. The product is an asset to the business and essential for its survival and for financial stability. So, maintaining and managing this product is of the up most importance.

There is another type of asset that many people do not think of when they think of the term “asset management.” This asset has to do with public and shared assets such as: the building and maintaining of streets, highways, water treatment facilities, sewage, electricity, natural gas, clean air, etc. All of these are assets that everyone on this earth needs. Usually, your city or local government uses asset management to maintain the cost of these assets.

They also use it to produce some of these assets more effectively and in a more cost efficient manner. Natural resources such as: water, electricity, and natural gas are managed so that they can be renewed constantly and thus available inexpensively.

Asset Management Resource:

There are many different means of asset management. It often depends on what type of asset is involved. There are companies and software products available to assist in asset management. Whatever method you choose, there are many similar things that your asset manager system should entail:

1. Optimize asset use and manage all maintenance efforts involved by making assets as accurate, reliable, and efficient as possible.

2. Reducing the demand for new assets and thus save money by using demand management techniques and maintaining current assets.

3. Uses a form of asset tracking: knowing where the asset is at all times, how much the asset is worth, and how much the asset cost you to begin with. It should also incorporate this throughout the entire life of the asset.

4. Always tries to achieve greater value for money through evaluating the asset options: the cost of maintaining, producing, the use of it, etc.

5. Always provides a report on the value of the assets, along with any costs involved in maintaining the assets.

Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the many forms of asset management. There are so many different things that can be defined as assets, thus there are so many different means of asset management. Now that you understand it a bit, you can decide what your assets are and how you can maintain them better in order for them to be more advantageous for you!

By Robert Michael

Article Source:

February 5, 2015
BY Bellwether
The Nuts and Bolts of a Purchase Order

A purchase order is an offer to buy a specified product in a specified quantity and at a specified price. Once accepted it becomes a contract between buyer and seller.

It is likely you buy raw materials, components or even contract labor on a regular basis. Too many small businesses handle these transactions with nothing but a verbal order often with little or no discussion on price. Many times they routinely sign the vendor’s proposals along never considering the onerous terms in small print on the reverse side.

If you prepare a written purchase order it allows you to specify the exact product, state the price you expect the pay and the terms of the agreement. If you order 300 blue widget bolts you purchase order may say 300 each blue widget bolts with nut part number xyz704 at a price of $.35 per unit. It avoids the confusion of changing parts or changing prices. And the onerous terms on the reverse side can be to your advantage not theirs.

Have you ever ordered a part and after the delivery is received and the parts are already in production discovered a price increase you didn’t know about. After the parts are half gone is the wrong time to discuss price.

If you send the order and they send the parts then there is no argument to be made.

In our home building business purchase orders were very detailed. For example, if we were writing a purchase order to a drywall contractor we including specifications (what materials we expected to be used and what the final product was to look like and perform), scope of work (what was included materials, labor, clean up, finishing), how it was to perform over time (no nail pops, no visible seams in normal light), the price to be paid and when it was to be paid (30 days from completion.)

If possible you should develop unit prices for the items or services you need regularly. It keeps the price from creeping up and keeps vendor honest. Once you are comfortable with the system you should develop a system where you pay off the purchase orders. When we were building homes we would send out the purchase order in duplicate – one white and one pink. When the work was completed the trade contractor had our field superintendent approve the work and the contractor returned the pink copy as their invoice. We paid off the purchase order. If there was extra work done then the contractor had to get the superintendent to write a revision to the purchase order.

The revision system did a couple of things for us; it highlighted contractors who were constantly going over budget and made our superintendents responsible for tracking and reducing changes. The superintendent had to fill out a report on each revision giving the reason for the change. I reviewed these forms monthly. It allowed us to pinpoint problems and work to correct them. In one case we found that our cleaning contract on one subdivision was getting more revision than on another. Upon investigation we discovered that one of our superintendents was not making sure the home was ready before they brought in the cleaning contractor. With a little training we reduced the overage.

After we instituted the purchase order system we reduced our budget variances went from almost five percent of cost to less than one percent. Our trade contractors screamed when we told them we were paying off of purchase orders but within a few months they loved it because the system reduced paperwork and spread up payments.

Your staff will also likely think it is too difficult in the beginning. Stick to it and it will be one of the best things you can do for your company.

About the Author: Thomas Robinson has over thirty years of entrepreneurial business experience from managing a specialty retail store to running a successful land development and home building business. He is author or MAY I BORROW YOUR WATCH?

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February 3, 2015
BY Bellwether

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