7 Levers for SMBs to Boost Supply Chain Management via Procurement

Feb 3, 2022 | Procurement for small and medium businesses

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Feb 3, 20224 min read

Small businesses can boost their supply chain performance by incorporating procurement strategies. Effective procurement can help small businesses reduce costs, improve efficiency, and maintain quality while staying competitive and meeting customer needs. By leveraging procurement software and automating processes, small businesses can streamline their purchasing process and improve their overall supply chain performance

Small businesses are always looking for ways to strengthen their supply chain and reduce costs. One of the most effective strategies for doing this is to incorporate procurement into their supply chain management. Procurement, or the process of acquiring goods and services for an organization, can help small business owners optimize their supply chains and improve overall performance. In this article, we'll discuss how small businesses can leverage procurement strategies to strengthen their supply chains. 

Utilizing Procurement Strategies to Strengthen Supply Chain for Small Businesses 

  • Sourcing: Sourcing is the process of identifying new suppliers to diversify the supply chain. For example, a small business that sells handmade crafts can consider sourcing new materials from different suppliers to reduce dependence on a single supplier and reduce the risk of supply chain disruptions. The small business can use online marketplaces, trade shows, and industry associations to identify new suppliers. FactWise Source-to-Pay features a robust supplier selection algorithm to enable procurement teams to discover pre-vetted, well-rated suppliers that match the buyer’s quality standard, without the buyer having to make the effort and investment in attending trade shows and reaching out to industry associations.  
  • Negotiations: Negotiations involve bargaining with suppliers to reduce costs. For example, a small business that operates a coffee shop can negotiate with coffee bean suppliers to get a better price or better payment terms. The small business can use market data and other relevant information to negotiate more effectively. FactWise empowers teams to leverage holistic dynamic insights into supplier performance and transaction history to make data-driven decisions to generate bottom-line impact through negotiation stages for complex spend, and helps increase efficiency for non-complex spend via automated negotiations.  
  • Contract Management: Contract management involves formalizing agreements with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of quality goods. For example, a small business that sells clothing can use contracts to specify the quality of fabrics, the delivery date, and any other important terms. This helps to reduce the risk of misunderstandings and improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain. 
  • Supplier Relationship Management: Supplier relationship management involves maintaining open communication with suppliers to proactively address any issues and build strong, long-lasting partnerships. For example, a small business that sells bakery products can use regular check-ins, performance reviews, and supplier satisfaction surveys to build strong relationships with suppliers. This helps to ensure that suppliers are aware of the small business's needs and that any issues can be resolved quickly. The FactWise Source-to-Pay self-serve vendor portal offers tremendous value to suppliers for free, via automated invoice creation and smart dashboards for supplier RfX management. 
  • Technology Adoption: Technology adoption involves implementing procurement software to streamline the procurement process, reduce manual errors, and make data-driven decisions. For example, a small business that sells beauty products can use procurement software to automate the sourcing process, track supplier performance, and manage contracts. This helps to reduce manual errors and improve the overall efficiency of the procurement process. 
  • Performance Monitoring: Performance monitoring involves regularly tracking supplier performance and addressing any issues to maintain the quality of goods and services. For example, a small business that sells toys can use performance metrics such as delivery times and product quality to track supplier performance. If any issues arise, the small business can work with the supplier to resolve them and maintain the quality of the products. 
  • Continuous Improvement: Continuous improvement involves reviewing and improving procurement processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs over time. For example, a small business that sells furniture can regularly review its procurement processes to identify areas for improvement. The small business can then implement changes to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and better meet the needs of its customers. 

In summary, these steps can help small businesses improve their supply chain management through procurement by reducing costs, improving efficiency, and building strong partnerships with suppliers. 

How Small Businesses Can Leverage Procurement to Boost Supply Chain Performance 

One of the most effective ways for small businesses to leverage procurement is to establish a procurement plan for all purchases. A procurement plan is a systematic approach that outlines the procedures for making purchasing decisions, including when and how to make decisions, who should be involved, and what criteria should be used. This plan should be tailored to the specific needs of the small business, as well as the market conditions they face. 

Another way small businesses can leverage procurement is by leveraging technology. Automating procurement processes can help small businesses streamline their purchasing process and reduce costs. Automation technology can help small businesses identify the best suppliers, track inventory levels, generate purchase orders, and more. By leveraging technology, small businesses can ensure their supply chains run more smoothly. 

Small businesses can also benefit from using procurement software to manage purchasing activities. Procurement software can help small businesses track their spending, manage supplier relationships, and ensure compliance with regulations. Additionally, procurement software can help small businesses identify cost savings opportunities and improve their overall supply chain performance. 

In conclusion, effective procurement is critical to improving supply chain management for small businesses. By implementing best practices such as sourcing, negotiations, contract management, supplier relationship management, technology adoption, performance monitoring, and continuous improvement, small businesses can optimize their procurement processes and reduce costs, while improving the efficiency and quality of their supply chain. By doing so, small businesses can stay competitive and meet the evolving needs of their customers, ultimately leading to growth and success. To sum up, small businesses can greatly benefit from investing time and resources into improving their procurement processes to achieve a more efficient and effective supply chain. 

FactWise is an end-to-end cloud-based procurement platform designed specifically for small and medium enterprises across manufacturing industries. While incumbent, legacy players in the procurement software market do offer complex expensive solutions with long implementation timelines and additional costs, FactWise delivers a near-instant time to value and significant ROI. It is offered at a fraction of the cost of its competitors with no additional hidden costs and implements instantly with Open APIs so that teams can start using it immediately with their data while our team integrates with their other existing systems within a month. The minimal, intuitive interface does not require trainings and is consistently rated as the easiest to adopt, by global procurement leaders across industries. Smart dashboards and automated, customizable workflows help increase efficiency while a comprehensive suite of dynamic, holistic analytics helps teams unlock savings potential. SMB procurement team need to be resource-efficient: this can be achieved by leveraging FactWise S2P to increase operational efficiency by 20% and reduce direct materials costs by 25%. 

About the Author

Stawan is the founder and CEO of FactWise. Before founding FactWise, Stawan was the NA TMT-Procurement Leader at McKinsey. Passionate about procurement, Stawan has 15 years’ experience in enabling clients of all sizes to achieve business impact via procurement.


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