How to communicate your purchasing policy

6 July 2012
The economic downturn has placed a heavy importance on the roles of those working in the purchasing departments of companies. Tighter belts and more scrutiny have called for more regulation in order to track and analyse the flow of capital from the company. Working in the budgeting wing of a large company means transparency and heavy scrutiny. To ensure the company’s employees are getting the information and products they need while obeying standard protocol, here are a few guidelines for streamlining communication so budget can be met and the general populous understands how to fulfill their own needs. • Write up an informational document with all your purchasing rules, standard protocol and perhaps even an FAQ to address basic concerns. To write an FAQ, it may be helpful to administer a survey to all employees to gather their most common questions and answer them in the document. It’s also helpful to have a list of purchasing department personnel and an explanation of their roles so employees know the appropriate person to contact to address their needs. • Make sure access to necessary informational documents is made available either through the department’s website or through the company’s intranet network/SharePoint system. When employees ask a question they should know the answer to, refer them to the document’s digital location. • Make purchase orders, requests, requisition forms and all other paperwork necessary to execute your job available to all employees. Make it clear what you need to make a purchase or place an order and then make all those documents available. • For items that are used and ordered frequently, set up automatic reordering points. You should be keeping track of inventory and when the supplies fall to a certain point, you can automatically reorder them to prevent a potentially lack of paper or pens in the office. Cultivating good habits in the purchasing and budget departments is paramount to eliminating unnecessary waste, but greasing the wheel of communication is an important first step that goes a long way. ☛ Danielle Look is writing on behalf of office products supplier Grainger
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