From medium size to the largest organisation, purchasing is a key activity. Getting the right product, with the right quality and of course at the right price, on an on-going basis, are the essential elements of purchasing.
But being able to remember past activity with a supplier, and how they performed on any individual purchase can be tricky - especially as a list of suppliers, even for the same item, may be many and varied. And if you have geographical divisions in an organisation, there may be several buyers dealing with similar requirements, who may not be aware of the past experiences each has had, as sharing knowledge isn’t that easy.
Documents OnLine Purchase Order and Invoice Approval software system, launched in 2012, already gives companies the ability to raise Purchase Orders on screen, pass for workflow approval, and automatically email the finally approved PO as a PDF to the supplier. The system then has the ability to marry up related supplier invoices and items such as delivery notes, associate with the relevant PO, and send the invoice and supporting documents back to the PO creator for approval.
Now a new function- Rating a Supplier - has been introduced that will help purchase teams rate the performance of a supplier for each and every purchase. The system will give the user an option to rate a supplier when the PO is raised (see Screen shot) – this might be because a special new price has been agreed that can be shared with colleagues- or postpone rating the supplier until the purchase cycle is complete , usually at the point of approving the relevant supplier invoice. There is also an option to not add a rating.
When the PO creator elects to apply a rating, a Task will be created and an email reminder sent to the user. They can then use the input screen (see second screen shot) to rate the supplier from 0-5, and justify the rating in the comments field.
Finally the system will also produce reports for all purchase experiences with a supplier in terms of ratings, and the supporting comments , which are held for all time within the system.
Pam Roberts, Documents OnLine Marketing Manager commented ‘ We are constantly looking at ways to improve the functionality of our Purchase Order and Invoice Approval offering, and in discussions with potential clients identified that adding the ability to rate suppliers, would be a very valuable addition to the current highly featured system. Looking back in time is usually only as good as someone’s memory , and whilst some things may ‘stick out’ - such as a poor experience- being able to monitor supplier performance over time, by each and every purchase will enable buyers to see overall ratings, trends and the specific comments . Buyers could even share the historic information with suppliers in future negotiations, to get improvements – for suppliers with high ratings it should be the opportunity to gain more business from their client’.
The new function will be available in all new systems, and will be offered to Documents On Line existing POPIA system users as an upgrade.