Keys to efficient purchasing management

 In-company purchasing management is fundamental to generating value, growing revenue and increasing corporate profits. However, it often becomes an area where SMEs do not take full advantage. In most cases this is due to a lack of time or human resources and in others, to a lack of specific knowledge.

That’s why, from Knowee we want to help you implement a much more efficient and productive business procurement process.

How to improve purchasing management in the company

We propose a series of actions that will help you manage your business purchases more efficiently.

1. Define the processes of your purchasing cycle

One of the first things you will have to analyze is your own purchasing process. An overall picture of the process will help you to identify its various pros and cons and any possible opportunities available for optimizing it and improving its performance. It is essential to reduce the workload of your manager or purchasing team. It may even be necessary to expand your purchasing team.

2. Make a purchasing plan

Many companies do not work with a clear purchasing strategy or plan. They make purchasing decisions on the basis of need, i.e. when they run out of stock.

To work more efficiently means working with a higher degree of planning. Such planning can be a long process and can lead to unforeseen results, but you can use the data from previous years to make your estimates.

Your inventory will play a key role in your planning. It is important that you monitor or review it periodically.

3. Automate your processes

The automation of purchasing processes is absolutely key to efficiency improvements. For example, using ERP software can help centralize and organize all the key operational information of the different departments that make up your company. As far as the purchasing process is concerned, it can help you and your team to automate the issuing of purchase orders, orders or invoicing.

There are specific platforms available to purchasing departments for the contact, communication and negotiation with suppliers or the monitoring of budgets and offers. You will also find specific tools to control your purchasing and procurement processes and help with supplier selection.

All these automation tools make it easier for you to establish your needs, organize all valuable information, speed up processes, schedule your purchases and avoid duplication of work.

4. Establish win-win partnerships

Suppliers are the foundation of any business. It goes without saying that good relationships with them are fundamental (while always putting the interests of your company first). You will have to assess factors such as price, quality, supply time, payment facilities, response time to queries about quotations etc. but, above all, their supply capacity.

Depending on the volume of your business, you may want to centralize your suppliers as much as possible. Why? Centralization of suppliers can translate into significant discounts or advantageous payment facilities in your purchasing process or, at the very least, a better negotiating position.

Whatever the supplier situation you must keep focus of your company’s best interests. Constantly analyze the market of suppliers, what your competition does and do not rule out making small supply tests for the optimizing of your processes. Don’t get stuck in a rut.

5. Communicate with your team

You will already know that communicating with your team is important, but it remains a common source of problems. Communication with your purchasing team will help you to know how the purchasing process works from the point of view of those who manage it on a daily basis. Sharing information, delegating and involving others in the company’s strategy is key to improving efficiency.

Implementing processes for greater efficiency is key to getting the most out of your company’s purchasing management. Without a focus on efficiency your business will stagnate. The digital transformation is on your side.

How long does it take to implement Knowee in my company?

Digital business cards are gaining greater acceptance every day thanks to a professional environment that seeks digital transformation solutions, paper and cost savings and is aware of the advantages they offer compared to physical cards. Knowee has positioned itself as an essential digital business card tool if you are looking for versatility, efficiency and innovative value.

How long does it take to implement Knowee in your company?

Implement Knowee step by step

The first thing you should know is that its implementation can be as fast and agile as your company needs.

  1. If you choose one of the various predefined card designs from Knowee, you can use the tool immediately. However, if you need to transfer an existing design you have on paper to the online world, Knowee can create a custom template and the system can be up and running in a matter of hours.
  2. Once configured, you can create users and cards based on the templates you have set up as and when required. If you require a large number of cards, Knowee offers you the initial creation of all those users and cards. Just fill in the table provided and send the design of your card and within a few days you will have all the cards ready to go.
  3. Furthermore, Knowee also facilitates automatic integration with your active directory system (AD, LDAP); thus, the creation, modification and deletion of cards is done automatically without the intervention of users or administrators. This is especially useful for medium and large companies because the source information is always the employee directory.

Get the most out of Knowee

In addition to the digital business card creation service for which Knowee is best known, you should be aware of the complementary functionalities offered by the tool.

  • Beyond all the contact data provided in your identification, Knowee makes it possible to use your cards as a corporate communication channel. Through a card it is possible to add multimedia content such as corporate videos, promotions, event invitations, banners, documents, always managed by the company but not by the user.
  • With Knowee, you can also have corporate email signatures. How? Through an add in for Outlook. This will allow centralized control of signatures across the company and changes to be made instantaneously. The implementation of this system will depend on the company’s IT department, but will be no different from the installation of any other software tool used by the company.
  • Both the web and the apps allow for single sign-on corporate authentication. What does this mean? That any user can use the same corporate credentials that they already use to access any other company platform to identify themselves in Knowee.
  •  URL masking allows the cards to be accessed through a personalized URL such as https://bcards.tuempresa.com/tarjeta, giving the impression that it is a product created and provided by your own company.

Knowing all that Knowee can bring to your company in your digital transformation process, you will appreciate the speed and simplicity of its implementation.

This short investment of time will be of significant benefit to your reputation and that of your company. Go on. Try it.

Advantages of digital versus physical cards

The business card has come a long way from its beginnings in 15th century China. Until even very recently its principal function has been as a presentation and reminder of contact details. The adaptation to new technologies has led to the digital business card, which incorporates important advantages over more traditional ones.

Main advantages of the digital card

Digital cards are replacing the classic printed card. There are many reasons why that the business card has been incorporated into the digital transformation process.

Perfect adaptation to the evolution of professional relations

The business card is not something used only for meetings. Traditionally it has also been attached to letters of introduction, commercial estimates, product catalogues and countless other documents that are exchanged between individuals in their professional activity.

Today, almost all of these types of communication are done digitally. So it only seems natural that that you should have digital support for the business card as well, avoiding the cumbersome process of transcribing its data into a digital file.

Compliance with data protection laws

When you are given a business card, you must bear in mind that you are collecting data that the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) considers susceptible to protection. Normally, you will also be preserving it and including it in a file, either in physical or digital form. The same thing applies to your details when you send them.

Each exchange of these physical cards should be accompanied by the corresponding consent of the deliverer. In reality this is rarely the case. The digital card leaves an indelible mark of its voluntary delivery and its very format is an expression of consent to its conservation and inclusion in a file of professional contacts.

Saving paper and social responsibility

Global warming is one of the most socially sensitive issues of today. Your company has to align itself with sustainable development goals when corporate social responsibility commitments are becoming increasingly relevant among customers’ decision-making criteria.

If it is important for the client, then it is only logical that such an alignment with sustainability goals is a concern for all other companies. A large number of these companies seek to work with others that clearly represent the same values that they have integrated into their brand.

One of the main causes of global warming is deforestation. Therefore, reducing or even eliminating the use of paper has become one of the fundamental objectives of companies, as much for environmental reasons as for more longstanding logistical and economic reasons.

Your digital card not only dispenses with paper, but also with those processes and polluting materials derived from its printing and distribution: printing machines, inks, photolithography plastics, shrink-wrapping, boxes and all the energy consumption that these require.

If we take into account the permanent need for data updating, cost savings, infinite availability and the projection of a modern image, your digital card will be fundamental to expressing your corporate identity and values.

Differences between Knowee and other tools

In the midst of the digital era, when new technological advances are made every day, it’s vital to keep up with the latest trends. This is never more true than in the business world, where falling behind or getting ahead of the competition on new tools can be the difference between success and failure.

It is in this spirit that tools such as Knowee provide new channels of corporate communication through digital business cards. Digital cards are more distinctive and innovative, adapted to the new times, but also more agile, flexible, comfortable and sustainable.

What makes Knowee different from other tools?

There are many other tools that can be used to create dynamic business cards – Camcard, ABBYY Business Card Reader, Moo, icon or DiHola! to name a few – but what gives Knowee the edge over them all?

Card creation

Firstly, unique to in this sector, Knowee enables users to create a variety of digital business cards in web format and bearing the exact image of the company . The cards are automatically identified with a code (URL) and a QR code that can be easily shared.

For creating the cards, the options in terms of design, styles and fonts are almost infinite, and they can even be added to email signatures. Cards can also be created directly from social networking information like that found in LinkedIn and Facebook.

Storage

Knowee not only allows you to accumulate other cards received (as do other apps) but also allows you to read their content, save them as a contact, add notes and search the ‘card holder’ by any field.

The cards in the ‘card holder’ can be shared with anyone and can also be exported directly to an Excel file for inclusion in any CRM.

Administration

It is in its administration that Knowee truly stands out from other applications. Its corporate functions are its greatest advantage:

  • Centralised management of card creation, modification and deletion by an administrator (or automated).
  • Management of the content and appearance of all the company’s cards in real time
  • Display of usage statistics for each card.
  • Centralised real time management of the email signature of all employees
  • Creation and export of a corporate ‘card holder’ (card CRM).
  • Corporate web and mobile authentication (SSO).
  • Integration with all company systems
  • Possibility of operating in “white label” mode.

Card view

It is also possible to make calls, establish direct contacts to locations or websites through the card. The data can be downloaded to your mobile phone’s address book and to applications such as Outlook or converted to multiple file types such as CSV and vCard.

Sharing the card and saving the contact has never been so easy. Knowee is cloud based, independent of devices and presents no compatibility issues: it is web standard.

Card exchange

Swapping cards is also very easy: through SMS, WhatsApp, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, Bluetooth, NFC, AirDrop and even through QR, because you are actually sharing a web page. Its attributes position Knowee as the most complete tool in the sector of information exchange.

Other features

More than simply a business card, Knowee is a brand-new communication channel to which content can be added in real time: corporate videos, a banner, an offer, a promotion, an event, call to actions, links to content, documents, etc.

Every lead that see the card will be getting all that content too. And the same functionality is available for company mail signatures. These last aspects complete some of the main features of Knowee. What are you waiting for? Dive into the digital world.

Key factors in the choice of suppliers

The choice of suppliers is one of the issues that has to be addressed by companies regardless of their size or the field in which they operate. It is not a choice to be taken lightly. Quite the opposite. Finding suppliers that can contribute to the smooth running of your company is as fundamental as choosing the correct parts for the internal mechanisms of a clock.

Looking for suppliers? Pay attention.

Criteria for making a good choice

Before choosing a particular supplier, you should assess a number of candidates in order to compare the suitability of each with respect to important criteria.. Some of the main criteria that you will set as key to supplier choice are:

1. The distance

Although advances in the field of logistics have diminished the relevance of a  shipping center’s location, in certain sectors it is still decisive. You have to take into account the location of your facilities, whether they are offices or distribution centers. Closeness is a plus.

2. The speed of response

Knowing the speed of delivery ofmaterial or the time it takes to provide the service you require is not a trivial matter. The order lead time also counts.

3. The cost of the service

It is necessary to know in advance what a particular service may cost so that your expenses do not skyrocket and and you are able to calculate its impact on the final price of your product. Equally important is the time set to pay the bill and the possible advantages it provides.

4. References

Knowing  the views of other companies on a supplier can be decisive. In the digital age it is easy to type in the name of an entity into an Internet search and, in just a few seconds, gather reviews outlining the strengths and weaknesses of its services and/or products.

5. Know your trajectory

Research is required. It is not enough for you to visit a potential supplier’s website, read its history and learn of the awards it may have received. You need to look at its image, milestones it has achieved, the quality it offers, and its current financial situation .

6. After-sales service

It represents a guarantee. It is necessary to know beforehand whether a maintenance or repair service is included and to what extent a supplier will deal with the possible faults that may arise after the purchase of its material or a specified device.

Where suppliers are located

Beginning your search for suppliers  you don’t always know where to start. These recommendations may be useful to you:

– Use specialised search engines or professional associations in a specific sector.

– Visit trade shows or fairs.

– TheInternet has become a key source of information. Who doesn’t have a website or advertise on Google?

– Word of mouth can help direct you to trusted professionals.

Choice of suppliers can translate directly into  success just by following these tips. Are you ready to take the test?

What companies value in a purchasing manager

We often tend to believe that in business there are only sales. To a certain extent the same thing happens as in football. The golden ball is always awarded to a striker. However, there is another crucial individual in both large companies and SMEs: the purchasing director. Even if you don’t appreciate their genius, they are definitely  essential to the success of a  business.

What Companies Value in a Purchasing Manager

If you think about the responsibility that  purchasing managers have in a company, you immediately realize that a large part of the success and reputation of a company relies on their activity. Aspects such as the quality of the final product, the optimization of logistics and the correct functioning of the entire production chain depend on the success of their work.

It is for this reason that in the ideology of any company you find that the profile of these executives is especially valued for presenting a perfect balance between their hard skills and their soft skills. In this difficult equilibrium you find that experience, market knowledge and general skills normally have greater value than academic training and knowledge.

Ability to plan and organize

This is an essential quality required of   purchasing executives at any company Not only do they have to organize and structure their department perfectly, but they also have to adapt it to other departments, knowing their exact requirements and establishing the perfect business strategy to meet those requirements on time.

Judgment

The purchasing manager must not only take into account the quality of the products when selecting the suppliers. For the company,  good judgment in this area is fundamental. It is judgment that must take into account many other factors such as regular supply capacity, alternatives to supply, the logistical structure of those chosen or their ability to react to unforeseen events.

In the absence of such judgment it is easy to imagine the high risk to which a company’s activity would be exposed if its supply chain failed at any of its points.

Ability to negotiate

Negotiation skills are another of the most sought-after characteristics in  a purchase manager. So much so that, being soft skills by definition, these skills have become the object of study in training courses. You also find important specialist courses to develop the same between the managers of this activity or aspiring managers.

Reaching the best supply agreements involves commitments on both sides. Getting the best prices and payment terms are, together with the service guarantee, the main objective of negotiation.

Leadership capacity and image

The executive director of purchasing exercises leadership in two spheres. One internal, directing in-house human resources and another oriented to the external, mobilizing the response of suppliers to any adverse situation.

It is precisely in this external sphere that  purchasing managers must deploy their best presentation skills to impose all their personality and competence.

How Knowee works

Business cards have traditionally been the means by which contact details were exchanged in areas such as business. Name, job title, telephone number, postal address and e-mail is the information generally included on a person’s business card. They are still printed today and you will have seen that they continue to play a key part in business meetings.

The digital age transforms the medium

Over the many decades since their invention business cards have hardly changed at all. Their evolution over the years has included changes in typography, the introduction of color and the inclusion of images  but it is only now in the midst of the digital era that that they are being radically transformed.

Paper is being replaced by an electronic medium,  that can share the same information of a physical business card but, unlike the physical card, will not degrade nor be easily misplaced.

How does Know.ee work?

 Digital cards are gaining ground over physical cards that degrade over time or can be lost It is in this context that Know.ee flourishes. Know.ee is an app that makes digital cards as easy to find as they are to share and update.

Generating digital card online is as easy as filling in some fields with the same data that you have on a physical card and choosing a design you like. It also allows you to include an image. And everything at the click of a button, either from home on your computer or even on the move with your mobile phone.

Sending your new digital card to one or all of your contacts is as simple as choosing the sharing option and the channel for it. From SMS to WhatsApp, through the different social networks or an email. The recipients of your shared digital card can store it in a virtual card holder where it will be easy to find when required, incorporate it into their mobile phone contacts or and use it to perform actions as diverse as making a call or sending a message.

The card will remain online to be consulted whenever you want.

Advantages of digital cards

They represent a further advance in an era in which technology pervades all areas. The way they’re created and the way you share them are simple,convenient, time-saving and economical. It is no longer necessary for you to employ and pay a designer and printer to get them produced. They don’t wear out like their physical counterparts.

Its sharing is secure, as is its storage, which saves you time when looking for a specific card. Searches of digital cards can be carried out using different parameters.

The creator of the digital card can update and add to its content e.g.change the photo in seconds. It also includes the option of generating different models, adapted to whoever it is being sent. It can also be transformed into a digital signature for inclusion in emails.

Business cards have never been more effective. Find out more at this link.

Testimonials from satisfied Knowee customers

We work with companies from all sectors and help them in the process of digital transformation.

We have compiled some of their experiences in these videos:

Javier Cremades, President Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo Abogados:

“I have been using it for two years and I feel more flexible and comfortable when calling someone to a meeting (…) It has made me more digital, more agile and better connected”

Miguel Ángel Reyes, CEO Global Business Owners:

“It gives us a platform on which we can have all the cards together (…). In addition, we can do marketing campaigns by launching our message to our partners”

Client testimonials

Eugenio Prada, Vice President Global Business Telecommunication Services:

“We used it to create our own database, which we then used in our marketing and promotional activities.”

Client testimonials

Enrique Seligrat, President Seligrat Automotive Group:

“For us it has meant significant cost savings, working with more efficiency and simplicity.”