Procurement vs Purchasing vs Supply Chain Management – business people tend to use these terms interchangeably. While they are related and are all part of a company’s finance or accounting function, there are differences.
Let’s understand each one and the differences between them in more detail.
Procurement is an essential component of any business. In order to operate effectively and produce its own goods and services, every organization must procure various goods and services from third party vendors.
Purchase requisitions and purchase orders – more commonly referred to as POs – are both key documents in an efficient procurement process for any business. They enable teams to plan purchases adequately, plan budgets, and provide proof of spending in case of financial audits.
People often confuse purchase orders (also known as POs) and invoices or use them interchangeably. In fact, they are two different documents that each serve their own purpose. Both are key elements of the procurement process for any business.
But what’s the difference between the two – and when would you use a PO vs an invoice?
A purchase order is one of the necessary types of paperwork that many business owners dread. The purchase order process is often long and complex and requires large amounts of back and forth communication. Too often, information gets lost in this type of unorganized communication – and even when it doesn’t get lost, it’s difficult to keep track of everything in an organized fashion.
Today, business takes place online and on mobile all around the globe, 24/7. Automating everyday business processes and workflows has become hugely important in 2018 as many companies realize that manual processes may not cut it in a world where they must act with unprecedented speed to meet customer needs, improve and innovate continuously to compete and analyze critical information.
Over the last 20 years, manufacturers had to learn to compete at the “Walmart price”. Service providers were largely unaffected. After all, you couldn’t manufacture a cab ride or a hotel room in China. How things have changed. No matter what you do, technology and automation are creeping into every area of your business and there are dozens of startups with the brains and funding to compete.