Improve Visibility

SMB Purchasing can be Boo-Scary!

Where is all the money going?  Will we have enough to meet our commitments?  Who bought all this Halloween candy?!?

Get control of your company’s spending and see where the money is going, with SpendMap’s free Purchase Order Management Software.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Unique PO Numbers in your Free Purchase Order Software

Linda works at an Accounting firm in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, and wanted to make sure that the free version of SpendMap will never assign the same PO number to two different Purchase Orders…

“If two people or more are using the software and both attempt to create a Purchase Order at exactly the same time, how does the system number the POs?
It is vital that we never have use the same number (twice)”

Unique PO numbers

Great question, Linda.

No, SpendMap will never assign the same PO number to different orders.  If you only set up one PO Number Set (i.e. only one sequence of PO numbers for everyone to share), each person will get the next sequential PO number for each new order. For example, PO 1000, 1001, 1002, etc.

TIP: You may want to prohibit manual modification of the auto-assigned PO numbers, by UNchecking the option for “Allow user to modify number”, in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system > Incrementing document number sets > POs

Advanced Option

A more advanced option would be to set up a separate sequence of PO numbers for each user.  While using a separate PO Number Set for each user is not a prerequisite to unique PO numbers, per above, there are some additional benefits to this approach, especially when it comes to reporting.

For example, you might add a unique prefix to the auto-assigned PO numbers to represent the user who created the order, for example, PO number J-1000 for John’s orders, M-1234 for Mary’s orders, and so on.  That way, you’ll know whose order it is just by looking at the number, and you can sort and filter reports by the PO number prefix.

TIP: You can lock/restrict each user so that they can only use one of the PO number Sets, using the “Force” checkbox, just to the right of the Number Set Field, in the [Settings] Folder of the User Master File.

 

Open Order Warning in your Free Purchase Order Software

Nadine runs a property management company in New York and wants to know if she has any open orders for an item before placing a subsequent order for more of the same…

“Were trying to get organized (using SpendMap) but sometimes the left hand doesn’t know what he right hand is doing.  How does a Buyer know if someone else already ordered something?”

Sure Nadine, now that all your Buyers are using SpendMap, it’s easy for them to check on each other’s work and eliminate duplicate orders.  Here are a few options to consider…

  1. Check before you start:  You can always use View PO Status or View Item History to see the orders that are out there, before going into your PO Work Area to create a new order…
    – PURCHASING > Status & Inquiries > PO Status > Current POs
    – PURCHASING > Status & Inquiries > Item History
  2. Check while you’re at it:  Better yet, while adding new items to Purchase Orders in your PO Work Area, you can also use the [History] button at the bottom of the PO Line Item Details screen, to see the complete purchase history of the item.  If you click to see the [Details] of a recent purchase, you will see both the original order quantity, as well as the quantity on-order.
  3. Let SpendMap check for you:  Even better yet, to make sure that your Buyers are aware of any open orders, without them having to proactively look for that information, you can use the Open Order Warning feature in SpendMap, to actively warn them if they attempt to create a duplicate order…

Open Order Warning

If you like the sound of #3 above, you can enable the feature by selecting an option for “Open Order Warning Option”, in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase Order settings > PO entry settings

Then, if Buyers try to create a new Purchase Order for an item that is already on an open (unreceived) order, they will get a warning message like this…

Open Order Warning in Free Purchase Order Software

 

Archiving Old Purchase Orders for a Cleaner View

Archive Closed Purchase OrdersPeter works in a state agency in Louisiana and was asking about removing old Purchase Orders from his Open PO list…

“Once a PO is received and closed it should come off the list.”

You can remove received/closed POs from the Open PO list by moving them to the Closed PO Archive, using…
– PURCHASING > Utility > Purge and Archive History > Archived Purchase Orders > Archive closed POs

…or you can use the applicable setting in the [Permissions] folder of the User Master File, to be prompted from time-to-time to archive your close POs when logging into SpendMap.

This will reduce the number of POs that you see in the Look-up List in View PO Status, when printing PO-related reports, etc., making it easier to focus your attention on the remaining (still open) orders.

Please note, however, that running this utility may leave some closed Purchase Orders behind (ie. they will remain in the Open PO list), per the setting “Number of days before closed POs are moved to the Closed PO Archive“, which you can find at the bottom of the screen in here…
– PURCHASING > Setup system> Purchase order settings > PO processing settings

That is, this setting will keep received/closed POs in the Open PO area for the number of days that you specify, as you may have need to access recently closed orders.  Most SpendMap customers set this to between 30 and 90 days.  Peter – set yours to zero (0).

While you can always access your old/closed Purchase Orders even after they have been archived, and while you can even unarchive/restore a PO back into the Open PO area, it may be more convenient for you to just keep, say, a month or two worth of old POs front-and-center, again, if you need to refer to recently closed POs as a regular course of business.

What Really Scares Small Businesses? Wasting Money!

The thought of wasting money is pretty scary for most small and medium size businesses.

It’s hard enough to run a successful SMB these days, without having to worry about your staff spending money that they shouldn’t be.

Get control of your company’s spending and see where the money is going, with SpendMap’s free Purchase Order Management Software.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Success Story: MCS Wins with Free Purchase Order Software

Managed Care Systems (MCS) was struggling to control their Purchasing, inventory and budgets with a patchwork of outdated systems.  Having grown to over 300 employees, MCS was overdue for an upgrade.  Unfortunately, there was no budget for a new e-procurement system, but that didn’t stop Eric Jeffers, who is responsible for the Purchasing Department at MCS.

“Our old system was written in-house a bunch of years back and it was starting to fall apart,” says Eric.  “The IT Department didn’t want to invest resources to fix it, so we kept limping along.  Plus, as an add-on to the Help Desk system, it was really just an over glorified word processor to start with; it could print a PO and keep some history, but there was still a ton of manual effort and duplicate data entry for each order, and it didn’t track inventory or provide any budget controls, which were big problems.  We were constantly going over budget because the managers who were approving orders couldn’t see the status of budgets real-time.  And we were running out of stock all the time, which meant a big panic, rush orders and extra charges for expedited deliveries”.

So when Eric found SpendMap with its real-time budget and inventory controls fully integrated with its world-class Purchasing functionality, he was optimistic to say the least.  “I have been working in Purchasing departments for 15 years and this is by far the best purchasing software I have ever seen,” says Eric.  “You can’t imagine how disappointed I was when I was told that we had no budget left for a new system and I had to wait until the following year”…

(more…)

How to get internal support for a full Purchasing Software System

We’re positioning the Free-Procurement Project as free “Purchase Order software” for a bunch of reasons that I won’t go into here but the free version of SpendMap actually includes all 12 modules, including requisitioning, receiving, supplier invoice approval, even inventory control and asset management.

If all you want to do is automate your Purchase Orders, that’s fine – just stick with the Purchasing Module.  The functionality is compartmentalized, so you don’t need to use all features/modules if you don’t want to.

But if you’re up for it, you can use SpendMap to automate everything from initial requisition all the way through to the approval of the supplier’s invoice and integration with your Accounts Payable system.  This is commonly referred to as “req-to-check” or “purchase-to-pay” (P2P for short).

If you intend to branch out into these other optional areas, however, you should be prepared to present a business case to decision makers and other departments that will be affected, such as the folks in Accounts Payable, department managers who will be approving orders online, perhaps even end-user staff members (requisitioners).

To help you get started building a business case, here’s a list of how e-procurement software can improve your business results at each step of the procurement process…

(more…)