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Have you ever wondered how much tighter you can make your material costs? If you have, the next question to yourself was no doubt, "How can I do it?". Once a sale is generated, procurement processes get added into whole list of things to do to complete the order on time and on budget. To this end, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) helps manufacturers streamline their purchasing and procurement processes. Such automated purchasing is designed to interface with the efficiencies built into other automation introduced to the shop floor for the past half century.

By streamlining purchasing via automated ERP applications, a company can take advantage of the nuances that occur in the procurement process. For example, how convenient, and profitable, would it be to have your entire supply chain at the fingertips of your purchasing manager? With an automated purchasing system as connected part of your whole production system, real-time information regarding raw materials is tied into a single-point presentation and loaded with automated triggers.

When production data is input by operators as they move through jobs, material needs become transmitted as a real-time function. This made particularly efficient through the use of graphical user interface terminals out on the shop floor whereby touch-screen data collection is immediately transmitted to a central system. In short, the automated purchase requisition demand released from the shop floor (or office administration) to the purchasing manager consolidates procurement by product, service, and vendor to optimize enterprise expenditure and significantly reduce errors caused by manual (handwritten) requisition production.

When considering what an ERP software system can do for you (or, just how ERP is your current system), automated purchasing is of absolute importance-it should tie into purchase orders, measuring current and pending orders against the history of all purchases stored as data within the system. In general, to gain more profits through costing efficiency, a streamlined and automated purchasing department will provide much more rapid and consistent improvements.

Think of it this way: What used to be a process commonly marred by numerous errors through the manual requisitions procedure, is now a practically error-free application in the automated materials management of ERP systems software.

An automated purchasing system within a total ERP approach offers the modern manufacturer the ability to keep tighter controls on the costs of material. It saves valuable time-time to process, time to research, and time to correct the errors caused in manual requisition efforts. The result is effective and significant cost savings for the company.