Procurement Goals: We Don’t Need Any Toner
A former coworker and good buddy of mine is a Purchasing Manager for a mid-size manufacturing company. He always had a lot on his plate and more often than not, he would greet fellow colleagues to his office with “I can’t take it no mo’!”, “Please. Leave. Now.” or “I don’t want your ____”. I leave you to fill in the blank. While always said with a smile on his face, we all knew he was trying to stay on top of numerous rush purchase order orders, pushy sales reps, expedite requests and receiving issues. These situations aren’t new to procurement and purchasing teams. Fortunately, there are numerous modules and features in Microsoft Dynamics 365 which can help handle all the ______.
Request for Quotation
Good, Fast or Cheap. While typically used in project management, the principles of the Iron Triangle are certainly applicable to procurement. Nowhere is this more apparent than during the Request for Quotation process. D365’s RFQ functionality allows purchasing to send out requests to multiple vendors, track progress, record the responses and then compare all the results to pick the best option. The winning RFQ is then converted into a purchase order so the team has full visibility of the purchasing lifecycle.
Purchasing agreements are contracts between the customer and vendor which set special pricing and discounts for meeting certain quantities or dollar values. Once an agreement has been established in D365, the contract can be selected upon purchase order creation. The requirements and details are automatically populated into the order. Manual calculations, convoluted Excel formulas and time consuming phone calls and emails can be eliminated as all the necessary data resides in the system.
MRP is nothing new. However, a surprising number of companies fail to use it to its full potential, if at all. D365 Master Planning uses data from all areas of the company to generate planned purchase and production orders to reduce missed delivery targets, accommodate production schedules and flag any problem orders. Coupled with Demand Forecasting, procurement can place orders on in-house demand as well as forecasted demand from historical orders. By utilizing Buyer Groups, team members can filter planned orders by department, team or individual. Master Planning can also be configured to search for purchase agreements to make price and quantity adjustments.
Obsolete parts, incorrect purchase quantities and exceeded credit limits can be easy mistakes to make when placing orders. This is especially true when a coworker is covering for someone on vacation or sick-leave. One of the ways D365 can mitigate these issues is through workflows. Robust and customizable, workflows allow organizations to require approvals on purchase requisitions and orders to account for spending limits, missing information, vendor approval, etc.
Nothing makes a customer service or production manager’s heart stop like a quality assurance issue. Thousands of questions begin whirling around and there’s usually precious little time to get them answered. D365 Quality Management allows mistakes and defective material to be caught before it gets to the production line or – worse yet – in the customer’s hands. Organizations can develop custom tests based on qualitative and quantitative measurements to track the material, batch & serial number, employee and vendor associated with each test. Additionally, material can be automatically directed to the quality department upon receipt to ensure nothing “slips through the cracks”.
All of these are extensive topics which need to be covered in more detail. That being said, if procurement is facing any of these challenges, then perhaps the functionality of Microsoft Dynamics 365 is worth looking into. When paired with an experienced partner like Ascent Innovations, D365 can reduce the stress and make your procurement team a more efficient and effective department within your organization. Now, if you don’t mind, Please. Leave. Now.