OCT 26 2022 Blog Intake

4 Easy Steps to Enhance Your Procurement Intake Process

If you’re like many companies, your finance and procurement departments are constantly stretched thin. That’s why it’s important for your employees to be able to easily monitor and submit requests for purchases without relying on tedious manual processes and data entry methods.

What Is Procurement Intake?

The intake process is the gateway for employees at your company to access your procurement team. This procurement process is essential for initiating and approving any new purchases or vendor onboarding requests.

But if this entire process is slow due to manual data entry and other cumbersome processes, employees might bypass your department, which can lead to increased maverick spending and ultimately diminish your procurement team’s impact.

To address this, streamlining your intake is key. By unifying your intake processes, you can help your organization improve employee adoption of procurement processes, increase efficiency, get cost savings, reduce supplier risk, and control spend.

Below, discover four straightforward steps your team can implement to create a more streamlined and effective intake process.

1. Leverage Automation to Streamline Purchase Requests

Purchase requests can come from anyone at the company and comprise anything from laptops and software to office supplies. Large-spend purchases will typically require direct involvement from your team for risk assessment and spend approval.

However, not all purchases require such close and careful management. In fact, most small purchase orders can be completed quickly and easily, with just digital tools and a little bit of guidance.

Automating your intake process enables all employees to engage with the process and see their requests through to final approval, all while managing compliance. The first step is to automate your purchasing request form.

With a customizable intake system like Graphite, you can easily design a purchase request process that enables small purchases to be made through approved vendors without any involvement from a procurement team member. Larger purchases can be flagged to alert your team for assistance. With these capabilities, your team of procurement professionals will no longer waste time churning through small requests, freeing up time to work more closely on larger spend requests.

2. Create a Central Location to Process Procurement Requests

Without a clear place for making purchase requests, employees may not know where to go for procurement help. This issue can decrease your procurement team’s impact, as confused employees tend to take matters into their own hands.

By standardizing the process of working with your team, you make it easier for employees at your company to get procurement involved earlier in the buying process. Consider creating a single location for kicking off procurement requests to replace confusion with efficiency. A simple, easy-to-use intake flow for all employees ensures purchase requests become an easy task rather than a headache and time commitment–both for your team and other employees.

Graphite Connect offers a centralized platform where employees can request, approve, and collaborate on procurement processes. This one-stop shop enables all teams, from the procurement teams and IT to security, legal, and executives to collaborate and see the status of any procurement project through from start to finish.

3. Prioritize Intake Requests

While juggling high-impact projects is the norm in procurement, it’s crucial to also focus on intake requests to maintain strong relationships with stakeholders. This may be worth evaluating if shifting the priority to these requests can be beneficial.

A streamlined intake process brings significant advantages. It enables procurement teams to process requests more swiftly, thanks to automation. This not only speeds up request-handling and enhances efficiency, but also frees up time for your procurement team to focus on larger spend projects.

The procurement bottleneck is a well-known challenge, but it can be effectively mitigated. By establishing a smooth and efficient intake process, you create a system that your colleagues and internal stakeholders will soon wonder how they ever managed without.

Efficiently handling a higher volume of requests aligns your team more closely with your organization’s objectives. This approach saves time and money and also positions your procurement team as an indispensable part of your organization, which contributes significantly to its success.

4. Promote Preferred Vendors

Another way a guided intake process benefits both you and your fellow employees is that it allows you to promote your best vendors, saving you both time. 

Employees who come to you with spend requests don’t have the same level of in-depth knowledge and experience as your procurement team. Your team knows which vendors provide the best services for the best prices, which ones you already have contracts with, and who will negotiate prices down for you. So, employees need your guidance to make the best purchase decisions.

Managing individual purchase requests from several employees for items like new computers or software can be quite time-consuming and repetitive for you and your team. A more efficient approach is to establish a list of preferred suppliers. This way, employees can independently select from the list, significantly reducing the need for your direct involvement in each request. This streamlined process not only saves time but also simplifies the procurement procedure for everyone involved.

Graphite’s Guided Intake feature guides employees through the purchasing approval process. The Graphite platform integrates with your ERP and existing systems to provide a single entry point for all procurement requests, from purchases to contracts and everything in between. 

How Graphite’s Guided Intake Can Help Your Procurement Team

Graphite Connect provides a unified, single platform where any employee can quickly and easily initiate a new supplier or purchase request. Our seamless procurement intake management system guides requesters to preferred suppliers while automatically routing every new purchase or vendor request to the right team, at the right time. Clear and timely visibility across all purchases boosts operational efficiency, mitigates business risk, and helps to control spend.

Ready to Level Up Your Procurement Intake Process?

Request a demo to see for yourself how Graphite’s Guided Intake eliminates bottlenecks and addresses your procurement intake needs.

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#Guided Intake
#How to Buy
#Stakeholder Management
#Stakeholder Relationships
#Supplier Intake
#Vendor Intake