Photo of smiling woman in warehouse using a tablet

24 Signs You Need Procurement Services

21 Jan 2016 by Shay Moser

In order for your business to maintain and reduce costs without eliminating resources, you need to manage hardware, software, supplies and contracts well. Although that alone sounds like a full-time job, you have critical responsibilities, too.

Managing all this at the best price available through open and fair competition goes a lot further than just knowing your company’s budget — you need to know the kinds of hardware, software, supplies and contracts and with what setup.

All these different aspects are part of what we call the “IT lifecycle.” A procurement service takes the daunting task of managing your company’s hardware, software, supplies and contracts, and makes it much more doable.

Here are specific challenges and pain points a procurement service can help you overcome. If these situations sound familiar to you, you’re definitely ready for one.

  1. There’s no clear way to see purchase spend or by whom.
  2. You have to ask each manager what every person on his or her team is purchasing, if it’s compliant with company standards (and regulations, if applicable) and if it stays within budget.
  3. There’s little insight into whether employee purchases are at the best rate and quality while meeting business requirements.
  4. There isn’t an established way to track orders, so each manager just records what he or she deems important.
  5. You want to keep track of not only the right products but the best suppliers, so you have to save the information in your database. But your data doesn’t necessarily match the records each manager is keeping.
  6. There isn’t an easy way to learn what worked well for one person or team and what didn’t.
  7. When product, price and supplier information is updated, the wrong information is sometimes changed (and this isn’t realized until someone goes to make a purchase).
  8. Because data is kept in random documents or files, it’s frequently lost.
  9. Because you have to email updated information, people sometimes forget to send the updates to other members of their team or fail to give the latest version to new employees, resulting in conflicting versions of records.
  10. Since you rely on email to share updates, information often doesn’t get to every person.
  11. You have to manually enter every single purchase, product and supplier into your main document.
  12. You can’t rely on employees to use recommended products and suppliers.
  13. Because teammates are buying from multiple vendors, you lose control over pricing, frequently overpaying for basic items.
  14. You can’t take advantage of negotiated volume discounts.
  15. Nonstandard assets still need to be supported, but IT is not trained or equipped for the task.
  16. Nonstandard configurations mean software licensing is a problem, including no centralized management, versioning, patches and upgrades, potential security holes, no negotiated cost savings and the risk of noncompliance.
  17. You have to juggle a lot of information in a variety of formats from various people, which takes up valuable time.
  18. In order to create the reports you need, you have to copy and paste data that’s in different formats from a variety of programs (i.e., Excel® or PowerPoint®) to your preferred program.
  19. Some reports have missing or wrong data, so you have to follow up with who sent them and wait for responses before you can complete the reports.
  20. It takes nearly half your work day to make simple updates to suppliers’ records and share those updates with the team.
  21. You’d love to have to look at only one document in order to manage your procurement budget. Instead, you have to check in with managers to get an idea of what they plan to purchase, when, and then piece the information together to plan accordingly.
  22. Managers don’t use a standard process to update you, and you’ve found that new purchases sometimes fall between the cracks (to your dismay).
  23. Sometimes unnecessary purchases are made, creating budget and compliance issues.
  24. You feel like you spend far too much time checking in with your team members, fixing records, scrambling to make reports and piecing together whether you’re staying within budget.

Do these situations sound familiar? Sadly, this is how many companies function — but it doesn’t have to be that way. For instance, NASA embraced our procurement services by signing a Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) contract with us. It gives NASA the lowest prices — usually below General Services Administration (GSA) — lowest surcharges and fastest ordering via pre-competed contracts.

Say goodbye to the disorder.

Insight’s customized procurement portal is built for technology management and gives you tools for easy tracking of the products and prices specific to your organization, customized and automated reports, process optimization, flexible permissions for custom access, revenue forecasting and ongoing support — plus fewer headaches.

Our procurement portal can do much more than just simplify your job. It helps your business get the best prices and latest products — from mobile devices to fully populated server racks — and work with our reliable, vetted partners. 

Let us know if you’d like a free demo.