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3rd November 2020

A Comprehensive Guide to Streamline Procurement Process in Learning Institutions

Ensuring efficiency in the procurement process is associated with a positive ripple effect on the entire learning institution. The main objectives of a world-class procurement plan are far beyond the usual belief that procurement’s role is to acquire services or products in response to an organization’s internal needs. Actually, a successful procurement process focuses on the optimization of the entire process to create a considerable organization’s value.

A recent survey revealed that procurement is at the gist of an organization, as a follower instead of a leader. According to the study, out of 100 procurement officials interviewed, 69 percent considered procurement pivotal to innovation. 80 percent of the interviewees expected procurement to remain a key component of success, 76 percent revealed that they are involved in different innovations, and 27 percent said that they are leading those innovations.

Clearly, procurement plays an integral role in an institution’s day-to-day operations and innovation. But there is no procurement without contracts. As your organization grows, the number of contracts you sign will increase significantly. This is why it’s important to get ContractSafe or any other contract management system to ensure transparency, accountability, compliance, and proper management of your contracts. Here are other ways to streamline your procurement process.

Use a contract management software

The advent of technology has transformed learning institutions and created greater efficiency. Why not make the most out of technology, save time, and increase efficiency? One of the effective ways to improve procurement in learning institutions is acquiring contract management software.

Creating contracts is time-consuming, and learning institutions work with many government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and vendors. Using a contract management software will alleviate the need of having to create a new contract each time you onboard a supplier or sign new contracts with other agencies. The software can help you understand the specific contract that can be used depending on the current issue. Most contract management systems allow users to create standard contract templates that will need only minor updates to be reused.

Cost optimization

The ability to optimize costs when procuring the items a learning institution needs is among the most appreciated qualities of procurement experts. The important question that comes in mind is how should procurement professionals optimize costs?

According to financial analysts and procurement experts, the key is to think carefully before you purchase anything. This sounds easy, but a procurement expert understands this point because it is tempting to create a purchase order for all requests that come to your desk. And this is the trap that leads to unnecessary coiling expenses.

A recent study revealed that the money spent on supply management gives a certain level of returns. That means if you take the time to identify, research, and manage their products or services you acquire for your company, you can minimize costs without compromising the overall day-to-day operations of the institution.

Employee training and development

Generally, training and development are some of the key elements that lead to a successful learning institution. A survey conducted in three years by Middlesex University’s Institute for work-based learning led to interesting conclusions. The study involved 4300 workers. 74% of these workers felt that they were not achieving what they considered their full potential at work because of a lack of training and development opportunities. These research findings highlight the importance of employee training and development to ensure a successful planning institution.

Training benefits the workers’ personal evolution and impacts the institution’s productivity and sustainability. Help your procurement experts refresh their knowledge about college financial procedures and regulations. Train them on the basic negotiation skills as this will help them get the best deals when acquiring the products or services your institution needs.

Have well-thought-out contracts with the suppliers

Before your procurement department chooses any supplier, they must perform in-depth vetting of each interested party. It’s important to make sure that the chosen supplier has signed a contract before they start transacting with your business. These contracts should be monitored and reviewed throughout the contract term. This is important to ensure that no terms of operations are violated as this could cost your institution a lot of money.

It is important to use the college’s terms when creating contracts instead of the supplier’s terms. This way, you will ensure that the best interests of the college, including then specific limits of your supplier’s liability or breach of contract, are included in the contract. The last thing you want is wasting your college’s resources on supply contracts that don’t serve the institution’s interests.

Specify your institution’s needs

List down all the goods and services needed in your institution. Analyze each item in this list to determine which purchase will add more value to your organization and the learners. Find out if there are more appropriate alternatives to the products you intend to purchase. For instance, you can consider recycling, borrowing, leasing, or reducing. Remember the five Rs – reduce, recycle, reuse, repair, recover. These are some of the concepts you can use to reduce the costs associated with procurement.

It’s important to consider other costs of services or pieces of equipment you intend to purchase. For example, maintenance, installation, and consumables. Are there sufficient funds to cover all these extra expenses? If not, you may want to consider an alternative like repairing the current piece of equipment or releasing one.

Update your college financial statements and regulations

Every organization must have timely and correct financial statements and financial regulations to be followed. Find out if your institution’s financial regulations are still compliant with the nation’s procurement law. Unless you have an expert who understands the law within your team, it’s a good idea to hire an expert to do this.

Keep in mind that the financial regulations’ contents will direct your accounting and procurement staff on what to do during the procurement process. How many quotations do they need, and what value should they opt for when tendering and the procurement process to follow? These questions can be accurately answered if only there are sound and up-to-date financial regulations.

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