Functions of Purchasing:
(i) All purchases are made on properly authorised requisitions with full description like purpose and quantity required.
(ii) To place orders of requisitioned goods with right suppliers, after an analysis of the proposals, selection of the vendors and keeping in view the inventory levels.
(iii) To procure the right quality and type of materials at minimum rates at right time,
(iv) To ensure that delivery of goods is received within specified period.
(v) To sec that the goods received are as per orders placed with respect to specification and quality.
(vi) To study the various supply sources and prepare a list of most convenient and economical alternate suppliers for future use.
(vii) To prepare the specifications for calling quotations and make the comparative statement in order to place orders.
(viii) To ensure that payments are made promptly to the vendors in the interest of company’s position in the market.
(ix) To purchase small items directly from the market which do not require quotations
(x) To keep record of goods purchased, issued and kept in inventory for efficient working of the dept.
(xi) To study the market conditions and if possible to enter into rate contract with big suppliers in order to ensure availability of materials at all times.
(xii) To advice the management regarding possible economies to be maintained by manufacturing items instead of purchasing or vice versa.
(xiii) To maintain the uninterrupted supply of materials to various production departments.
(xiv) To act as liaison between the vendors and various departments of the concern such as production, maintenance, quality control and finance etc.
(xv) To lake prompt decisions about disposal of material waste and salvage.
Steps in Purchasing Procedure
Step 1: Need Recognition
The business must know it needs a new product, whether from internal or external sources. The product may be one that needs to be reordered, or it may be a new item for the company.
Step 2: Specific Need
The right product is critical for the company. Some industries have standards to help determine specifications. Part numbers help identify these for some businesses. Other industries have no point of reference. The company may have ordered the product in the past. If not, then the business must specify the necessary product by using identifiers such as color or weight.
Step 3: Source Options
The business needs to determine where to obtain the product. The company might have an approved vendor list. If not, the business will need to search for a supplier using purchase orders or research a variety of other sources such as magazines, the Internet or sales representatives. The company will qualify the suppliers to determine the best product for the business.
Step 4: Price and Terms
The business will investigate all relevant information to determine the best price and terms for the product. This will depend on if the company needs commodities (readily available products) or specialized materials. Usually the business will look into three suppliers before it makes a final decision.
Step 5: Purchase Order
The purchase order is used to buy materials between a buyer and seller. It specifically defines the price, specifications and terms and conditions of the product or service and any additional obligations.
Step 6: Delivery
The purchase order must be delivered, usually by fax, mail, personally, email or other electronic means. Sometimes the specific delivery method is specified in the purchasing documents. The recipient then acknowledges receipt of the purchase order. Both parties keep a copy on file.
Step 7: Expediting
Expedition of the purchase order addresses the timeliness of the service or materials delivered. It becomes especially important if there are any delays. The issues most often noted include payment dates, delivery times and work completion.
Step 8: Receipt and Inspection of Purchases
Once the sending company delivers the product, the recipient accepts or rejects the items. Acceptance of the items obligates the company to pay for them.
Step 9: Invoice Approval and Payment
Three documents must match when an invoice requests payment – the invoice itself, the receiving document and the original purchase order. The agreement of these documents provides confirmation from both the receiver and supplier. Any discrepancies must be resolved before the recipient pays the bill. Usually, payment is made in the form of cash, check, bank transfers, credit letters or other types of electronic transfers.
Step 10: Record Maintenance
In the case of audits, the company must maintain proper records. These include purchase records to verify any tax information and purchase orders to confirm warranty information. Purchase records reference future purchases as well.