Business spend management tools can positively affect many business processes–directly and indirectly.
High-level, broader benefits like saved time, money, and effort contribute to a more productive, profitable enterprise. Bento For Business offers all these advantages, but how do we do it? In other words, how is the proverbial sausage made at Bento?
The minutiae can get very granular. For instance, our corporate and virtual cards free finance departments from having to track outgoing cash and traditional business credit cards.
Our state-of-the-art technology enables businesses to seamlessly set limits on daily spending. You can also restrict international transactions and merchant categories. Moreover, you can turn misplaced cards on and off.
Bento has an intended endgame for all of our customers. Namely, our solutions ensure that businesses using our products no longer need to reimburse employees, reconcile receipts, cut checks, or manage petty cash, keeping business spending organized and cost-efficient.
We also offer real-time reporting and a variety of analytical tools to help you optimize your spend management and contribute to a robust bottom line.
The advantages of our spend management tools are seemingly endless. Many have multiple uses and applications throughout your organization. One area where Bento For Business shines is procurement–we’ll elaborate further below:
Exploring Business Procurement.
Since the dawn of commerce, procurement has been a vital transactional component of conducting business.
We’ve come a long way since scribes used papyrus scrolls to track purchases. Nonetheless, selecting and purchasing the goods and services that drive your business operations remains universally critical–as it was during ancient times.
Efficient, strategically-inclined procurement processes enable companies to receive supplies at the lowest available cost. That’s where procurement aligns with spend management tools–but we’ll delve more into that notion later. For now, we’ll explore some of the nuances of procurement.
The Nuts And Bolts Of Business Procurement.
The procurement umbrella covers many activities and processes involved in obtaining goods and services.
Procurement-based staff and teams aim to obtain supplies that offer the most value at competitive prices. While this is a helpful broader definition, procurement can have different meanings to different companies.
Procurement to some companies can include all related stages, from updating payment terms and tracking goods’ receipts to sourcing suppliers and obtaining basic business necessities.
Alternatively, some organizations have a narrower procurement scope, only applying elements like making payments and issuing purchase orders.
Why Is Procurement So Vital For Businesses?
Almost any business relying on a streamlined supply chain must fully grasp the nuances of those very supply chains if they wish to maximize value. Having reliable suppliers providing cost-efficient goods that suit your company’s needs can (and should) be a backbone component of your organization.
These above notions apply to a wide range of organizations, such as (but not exclusive to):
- Manufacturers looking for raw materials.
- Marketers needing new office supplies.
- An eCommerce business seeking an email security solution.
We’ll examine the eCommerce business seeking an email security solution for a moment.
A well-defined and fine-tuned procurement process ensures companies select email security solutions to meet their needs at a competitive price. As a result, they won’t waste money, time, and precious resources on subpar suppliers charging too much.
No matter the company–and no matter the sector–the procurement process typically shares one priority: Minimizing costs. Specifically, this is where spend management tools come into play.
What Are The Different Types Of Procurement?
Procurement can be classified in multiple ways. You can categorize it as either indirect or direct based on how your organization uses the procured items.
Moreover, procurement can be classified as either services or goods procurement, applying to what items are being procured.
Below is a more detailed breakdown of the procurement classifications:
- Indirect procurement applies to purchasing items essential to a company’s daily operations. However, these items don’t directly impact your company’s profitability. Such items include ad campaigns, office supplies, furniture, consulting services, equipment maintenance, etc.
- Direct procurement applies to all purchases necessary to generate an end product. For example, a manufacturing company’s procurement of raw materials and components would be direct. Alternatively, a retailer’s direct procurement processes would include items they purchase from wholesalers to resell to their customers.
- Services procurement revolves around paying for people-based services. Some examples include paying for contingent labor and hiring individual contractors. It could also mean hiring a law firm or on-site security. Direct and indirect procurement can fall under the services procurement umbrella.
- Goods procurement focuses on physical item procurement. That said, it can include software subscriptions and similar items. Excellent supply chain management practices are crucial to success in goods procurement. Direct and indirect procurement fall under the goods procurement umbrella.
Fine-Tuned Procurement Processes Ensure Every Business Dollar Is Spent With A Purpose.
The value of well-honed business procurement revolves around maximizing the value of all items your business procures.
Whether directly selling something to your customers or getting office supplies, every purchase must be viewed as an investment.
For instance, furniture and stationery can seem like minor expenditures. After all, these are rarely building-block components of any company. You won’t sell pens and paper clips unless you work for a stationery store. You won’t sell chairs and couches unless you’re a furniture store.
However, both office stationery and furniture can present branding, ergonomic, and efficiency-related benefits. Moreover, they’re still necessary purchases for any office environment.
You can either “just pay” for furniture and stationery without the big picture in mind. Or, you can analyze your spending on each and ensure it fits into your overall spend management strategy.
Then there’s direct procurement, which requires rigorous vetting. A pressing need exists for you to balance efficient spending with the utmost quality. Each material or item should present the highest possible return once sold to customers.
Whether procurement is direct, indirect, goods-based, or service-based, you have a chance to improve your business.
What’s the best way to stay on top of procurement? How can you ensure no inefficiencies exist in how and what your company procures?
What’s The Best Way To Optimize Procurement?
Procurement is a multi-layered business strategy. Thus, you require real-time visibility that enables your company to make informed, logical, and strategically inclined decisions.
Procurement processes have evolved significantly from the scribes and scrolls of ancient commerce. Even with these advancements, some businesses tend to limit themselves to antiquated approaches to procurement.
Sure, companies behind the eightball utilize technology. Still, they rely on spreadsheets, expense reports, and manual processes that stifle productivity and limit visibility.
Successful procurement initiatives and strategies call for keen attention to detail. Nonetheless, the processes involved must be streamlined to save you time and effort. Using antiquated approaches that lack cohesiveness will slow you down and leave you playing guessing games, making you reactive instead of proactive.
Conversely, spend management tools like Bento For Business offer one unifying source to streamline the entire procurement process.
Our Top Spend dashboard, for instance, has proven vital to our clients aiming to hone their procurement. It provides a detailed, real-time lens into all of your business spend. You can examine transactions via user categories or gather a complete spending overview within a specific period.
The Top Spend tool lets you assess historical spending and procurement patterns to help you optimize moving forward.
Bento For Business Spend Management Tools Are Ideal For Streamlined Procurement.
Teams with autonomy operate with confidence. They don’t feel second-guessed or held back.
However, an employee’s autonomy can be a double-edged sword. For instance, your procurement team members might decide that spending makes sense for your business despite not jiving with your budget.
Their decision could be highly strategic and make sense in the long run. Still, your budget is your budget, and exceeding it won’t help.
Your hypothetical eager team member won’t be able to invest in that too-expensive item if you have Bento For Business.
Our spend controls enable you to set up flexible spend limits. So, your procurement team can still be aggressive, but within reason.
Even better, this tool can create a healthy internal discourse. If a procurement-based need exceeds your spend controls, the team member who wants to make the purchase can bring it to your attention.
With Bento’s real-time expense reporting features and analysis, you can weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision.
Without those spend controls in place, a well-intentioned employee can make a decision that hurts your business. Conversely, Bento offers a platform for deeper insights that help you assess procurement from all angles.
Take Your Procurement Process To The Next Level With Bento For Business.
This landing page has only scratched the surface with all the tools we offer that help with procurement.
We’d love to discuss how our state-of-the-art spend management tools can take your procurement processes to the next level. Contact us today with any queries about how our solutions can save your company money, time, and effort while boosting your bottom line.