5 ways to shop smarter, not harder
Whatever your organisation, whatever its complexity, the drive to streamline processes and improve services is what separates those leading the charge from those bringing up the back.
Business procurement – especially in this digital age – is no different. So here are five ways that Australian organisations can shop smarter, not harder.
1. Partner with a supplier that works around you
Meeting the procurement requirements of your organisation should not be a chore. Your staff shouldn’t have to spend time chasing late or incomplete orders. Finding a supplier that is flexible enough to work around your organisation – and not the other way around – is crucial. A supplier should have an extensive delivery network with robust supply chains built for business, along with delivery capacity that prioritises their procurement requirements. Having multiple delivery options – for example, same day, next day and dedicated-for-business delivery windows – is essential if you want to efficiently plan your procurement needs.
2. Centralise buying supplies
With the digital revolution, centralising your procurement needs with one supplier makes sense on many levels – and brings many benefits, including greater visibility over spending, easier budgeting, access to in-depth reports and insights, less paperwork, fewer invoices and easy availability of hands-on help for any queries.
Big Childcare, which provides before- and after-school care across Victoria and NSW for around 12,000 children, already benefits from a centralised approach through its partnership with Woolworths at Work, using it to co-ordinate and consolidate invoicing for more than 60 shoppers across 50-plus centres.
Erica Mihalakis, Operations Manager at Big Childcare, says: “The fact we can just log on, see where we’re at, see what we’re spending for each service is a lot easier from a head office perspective.” It’s estimated that by switching to Woolworths at Work, Big Childcare’s accounts payable team has reduced its administration time by over 50%.
3. Get invaluable insights from data
Knowing that data is available is one thing; acting on it is another. What does your supplier offer in terms of data reporting, analysis and insights? At a minimum, they should provide on-demand access to top-line insights around spend. Understanding your buying trends – such as average order value, month-to-date orders, monthly spend – will help your organisation refine purchasing and budgeting decisions. More detailed insights into each individual shopper, cost centre, location and so on will also give your team a better oversight of how your business units and shoppers are performing.
4. Streamline your accounting processes
If your finance and accounts payable teams are still burdened with time-consuming manual processes such as data entry, reconciliations and handling of shopper expenses, it’s time to move on. Again, the digital age has made paper processing redundant. Automated accounting – such as consolidated invoices, GL codes facilities and PO on invoices – provides for easier invoicing and reconciliations, saving time and reducing administrative headaches.
Wesley Mission, a not-for-profit care provider, operates over 50 sites across NSW with over 70 shoppers buying groceries for 540 people in care. Changing suppliers to Woolworths at Work greatly simplified Wesley Mission’s accounting processes by consolidating multiple invoices from over 50 locations into one consolidated monthly invoice.
“The monthly consolidated bill going through accounts has delivered huge time savings for myself and the accounts team who deal with the payments.”Leanne Graham, Procurement Officer, Wesley Mission
5. Find a partner you can trust
Often employees take the fundamentals of office life for granted – tea, coffee, milk, stationery – not to mention a regular supply of fruit and other healthy staples, so it’s vital that you have a dependable supplier who understands and reliably meets your procurement needs. Ideally, with experts who not only provide dedicated support, but who can offer strategic input into your organisation’s shopping priorities. In short, a partner that’s professional, personable and proactive is a partner you can trust.
As the drive to digital accelerates in line with consumer expectations, smart organisations are tapping into digital’s inherent smarts to deliver operational and budgetary efficiencies across their whole operation. Shopping should be no exception.
This article is brought to you by Woolworths at Work. The new smart way for businesses to buy fresh food and everyday essentials. Woolworths at Work offers a procurement solution that is purpose built to be easy for your teams, help run your business more efficiently and provide you with powerful insights to shape your decisions. To learn more about how it works, talk to our sales team today.