August 07, 2023
Inside Your CMMS - Purchasing
Last time, we discussed vendors. It would be appropriate and logical to follow up with purchasing. As mentioned before, a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can help whichever department handles this task. If you're considering a CMMS, take a look at what you're presently doing. Have you lost touch of the information each time you buy? Has it become an ordeal executing each transaction? How do you process purchase requests?
For a company that conducts a lot of purchasing, a quality CMMS is so beneficial. Everything from requests to orders to receiving to invoices is in one place. No more editing spreadsheets and contacting multiple people regarding shipments and payments.
As with everything else I've discussed, the following options aren't all going to be used by every company. Smaller companies are going to enjoy the ease and convenience of a system while larger facilities will come to rely on how the purchase module helps smooth operations and the buying process.
Purchase requests. I don't need to get into too much detail here, because the data fields should be the same as what you'd find in the actual purchase order. These would include: vendor, line items, shipping/billing addresses, attachment, and approval options, as well as a few more.
For system users authorized to use purchasing, this is an easy way to request parts/tools/supplies or equipment.
Let's move to purchase orders and highlight areas of interest.
Terms. If you have this information on your vendor profile, this will show up.
BPO (Blanket Purchase Orders). This is a great feature you should have on your CMMS. Blanket purchase orders. If you regularly buy the same items from vendors, taking time to set up a list of those items will save time when initiating the purchase.
Eliminate a ton of data entry by making the list once and reusing it over and over again.
Authorizations. Someone should approve the purchase. You should have the option of setting up approval based on costs.
Line items. Basically, what you're buying and the quantity. How detailed the information is up to you. A lot of the information about what you're buying may already have been inputted on the items listed in inventory. Part/model number, unit measurement, price, etc.
Ship to / Bill to. A larger facility might have a receiving dock address and another address for invoices. If this is the case, you'll want this optional feature to input each.
Attachments. Make it easier for the vendor to ship the correct items by attaching an image.
Form. Instead of a plain purchase order, you should be able to have a professional-looking form. Create your header and footer. For instance, you could have standardized terms or agreements on the bottom of the form.
Your CMMS also should provide an area to input when you receive the shipment. What carrier brought the package, packing slip, and/or bill of lading number are options you might need.
This also gives you a record of what was delivered, and whether the items and quantities were correct.
Another area you'll want is invoice reconciliation. I think this is a nice option to have. Again, you're keeping everything purchase-related in one system, including being able to view past transactions.
A purchasing module on a CMMS keeps a company organized in the buying department. If your company uses a separate accounting system to pay bills, make sure the CMMS can integrate with that system to transfer data. You'll need the assistance of the CMMS company but doing this eliminates the risk of human error and saves cut/paste time.
If your company would like to have better purchasing power, call Mapcon Technologies at 800-922-4336 for details of a superior system that can work for you.