In today’s competitive market, where even the smallest of margins can make a difference, purchasing departments are finding themselves in an increasing valuable role. What was once viewed as a relatively simple, “get the best price” approach has gotten significantly more complex. Regulation and compliance issues, environmental concerns, supplier-customer relationships, and a whole host of logistic challenges have upped the ante for those in the industry.

Procurement staffs are finding themselves in situations where decisions have a wider range of effects on the entire operation. Keeping up with trends in this area can have a significant impact on your organization.

5 industry trends for purchasers:

  1. Education and Training. It is clear with the added importance placed on those in purchasing that pro-active education and training can pay big dividends. Maintaining, and staying ahead of the curve on regulatory issues alone can save thousands of dollars in mistakes and lost clients. This is a new, old trend that is getting ROI. It is the trend to once again invest in knowledge.
  2. Real-Time Tracking. Once just a vision, real time tracking of inventory is here, available and a significant trend in the industry. The reason? It directly affects the bottom line. Real time tracking improves cash flow, customer response time and decreases lag time in purchasing. It allows for tighter control and minimizes loss. For those in purchasing, it allows immediate access to hour by hour inventory status.
  3. Use of Mobile and Wireless Technology. What began as a movement to industry specific, wireless, hand-held devices has quickly progressed. Now smartphones are being utilized in purchasing departments for a variety of functions. They can be used to track specific inventory, make buying decisions, and in fact complete the procurement process. This can be done from anywhere at any time.
  4. Maximizing Synergy. A significant trend for purchasers and purchasing managers is recognizing the value of working synergistically as a team and within the logistics chain. There is value in recognizing symbiotic relationship opportunities between suppliers and customers. Purchasers are in a unique situation to recognize these.
  5. Use of the Cloud. Ease of access, the ability to share, and an unlimited amount of space for data are three good reasons there is a trend to move to the Cloud. With the cloud you can, at your choice, give access to those outside of your organization to certain pertinent areas. As changes are made to inventory, those changes can be seen by all involved, including incoming purchases.

Staying on top of trends, thinking outside of the box and utilizing the latest technologies are some solid ideas to keep your purchasing department not only on track, but ahead of the pack. Should you have any questions about how Rapid Inventory can help your organization do just that, please contact us.