One of the best ways of reducing inefficiency in MRO procurement is to take firm control of your supplier payment processes
In the busy world of Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) procurement, where organisations often order huge numbers of products from multiple suppliers, it’s important to ensure your payment process is as streamlined as possible. Where there are too many suppliers, there is less clarity around payments, which can end up taking time and money out of your business.
“Where your billing process is unclear, it’s easy to lose visibility and therefore control over purchases,” says Elaine Pointon, Chief Finance Officer for EMEA at RS Group. “Inevitably, this leads to more time being wasted trying to look after the payment process, where you have multiple requisitions, purchase orders, deliveries and invoices, which aren’t necessary. All of this takes valuable time away from an organisation’s core business.
"Where your billing process is unclear, it’s easy to lose visibility and therefore control over purchases "Elaine Pointon, Chief Finance Officer for EMEA, RS Group
“There is also a risk that spending can get out of control if it’s not being closely monitored, and no business wants to find that they are liable for costs they haven’t budgeted for.”
As well as offering more sophisticated eCommerce solutions that support eProcurement, RS also offers a number of easy options to support control of budgets, payment and associated purchase to pay costs.
1. Trade accounts
Customers can open a trade account with RS, which gives customers the flexibility to pay by BACS, direct debit or card in a single monthly payment. This reduces admin, since there are no payments at the point of order and frees up cash flow during the month with payment consolidated into one fixed date.
2. Blanket purchase orders
RS offers control over blanket purchase orders that allow customers to set specified spending limits – either a total monthly spend, or a limit on individual transactions, and these can be applied by individual employee or across certain cost centres within your business. “This is a really straightforward way to control both online and offline ordering from RS,” explains Pointon. “It cuts down on admin and gives businesses peace of mind that spending is within acceptable limits.”
3. Consolidated monthly summary
This is a single summary of all monthly purchases in one document, which helps organisations to streamline their invoice reconciliation.
"We know our customers appreciate the payment systems we have in place and are finding that they can make their process more efficient "Elaine Pointon, Chief Finance Officer for EMEA, RS Group
Pointon believes that one of the big drivers for improved payment processes has been technology as organisations gain more visibility over their spending. “New technology, particularly developments in eProcurement systems, facilitates a seamless purchasing process and adds even more to the control that organisations have over their spending and clarity over their cash flow,” she explains. “RS can support many ERP or eCommerce platforms our customers may use and plug into those so that the customer has a consistent experience.”
By taking advantage of technology and using innovative services from suppliers such as RS, it’s possible to remove time and, crucially, cost from the payment process. “We know our customers appreciate the payment systems we have in place and are finding that they can make their process more efficient,” says Pointon. “At RS, we are always looking to innovate and customers can expect to see further developments in our payment options in the future.”