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Purchase Order Management: Why Automation and Digitization are Key to Efficient Supply Chains

Chris Scheich
by Chris Scheich
Oct 17, 2023

How many hours a week does your team spend managing purchase orders, from sending approvals, tracking change orders, and following up with suppliers to ask “where’s my stuff?” How often do invoices arrive without context or approval of purchase? If your answer is “more than it should be,” your manual purchase order management probably needs a radical overhaul. 

Manual purchase order processes leave a lot of room for errors and can eat up to 200 hours/week–if not more–of buyers’ time, and its impact can be costly, from negative customer experience to employee engagement. Here’s how it could be affecting your business: 

  1. Unsatisfied Customers

With unnecessarily complicated processes, invoices are routinely lost or sent to the wrong person. Late orders and mistakes lead to unsatisfied customers and can potentially damage your reputation. If customers are consistently dealing with late or incorrect orders, they’ll take their business elsewhere – likely to somewhere they have end-to-end visibility into their supply chains, and timely and accurate deliveries.

2. Employee Engagement and Turnover:

The repetitive nature of purchase order processing and tracking—chasing acknowledgments, managing change orders, and following-up on shipments—can lead to employee burnout. This can lead to quick turnover for employees who prefer less taxing or cumbersome roles. 

Plus, when experienced employees leave, they take valuable knowledge of organizational processes and supplier relationships with them. This not only proves inefficient for team morale and workflow, but is costly: constantly hiring and training new employees to replace departing ones can cost you $100k+ per replacement.

3. Poor Supplier Relationships

Manual data and accounting errors have ripple effects on delayed payments—and oftentimes the person who issues the purchase orders doesn’t even directly deal with invoices. Even small errors or omissions can lead to inaccurate information that can damage relationships between buyers and suppliers. If suppliers find the process of working with your company to be challenging and time-consuming, they will feel less motivated to prioritize orders or offer preferential treatment. 

Improve Purchase Order Management with Leverage 

Digitizing and automating every step of purchase order management is critical to an efficient supply chain. Here’s why:

  • Helps minimize counter-effective actions and boost productivity 
  • Reduces thousands of emails and follow-ups to zero, freeing up employees to spend time on more meaningful activities. 
  • Saves teams thousands of hours per month and dollars annually by automating administrative tasks and purchase order management
  • Minimizes the chance of an employee making a mistake or missing essential information
  • Sends relevant notifications to key stakeholders, automates acknowledges, and allows for complete visibility into shipment status

With Leverage, automating purchase orders ensures a seamless and cost-effective supply chain. Contact us today to see the platform in action. 

Chris Scheich
Post by Chris Scheich
Entrepreneur, Continuous Learner and Sales Leader