Frequently Asked Questions
You have questions... we have answers! This page explains how electronic procurement works, why it's a smart investment, and how to get started.
Can electronic purchasing really save us money?
The most obvious way electronic purchasing, or e-procurement, can save money is by reducing the need for paper and printers. But the potential cost savings extend well beyond that, to making purchasing more standardized, convenient, and cost effective.
- Reduce rogue spending: Rogue or maverick spending occurs when employees buy either an unapproved item, or from an unapproved vendor, or at an unapproved price… or all three! With a procurement platform like SmartPO, employees can easily find the items they need to order through intuitive searches — or even scanning bar codes – but the items that display are from your preferred vendors and at the correct GPO or contract price. SmartPO’s Opportunities window even alerts employees to better purchase options when appropriate.
- Save time… and lots of it: Your current order process might involve logging in to various vendor websites, accessing online catalogs, or even phoning in orders. SmartPO gives you one screen for ordering from all vendors. You simply enter the items, and SmartPO takes care of sending purchase orders behind the scenes.
- Pay what you should: Sometimes, the price on your purchase order and the price on your invoice don’t match up. We’ve seen instances where the invoice price of an item increased dramatically during the pandemic, yet suppliers didn’t update their price lists accordingly. SmartPO audits the price of each received item against the price on the purchase order and alerts you when the two are different.
- Manage expiry dates: Having to discard pharmaceuticals or other perishable items because they expire can be a huge waste. You can set up expiration dates for items as they are received, and SmartPO alerts the appropriate employees as those dates approach.
Want to find out more about how SmartPO can reduce costs and increase efficiencies? Read our White Papers: "Managing Supply Costs In Challenging Times" and "Managing Procurement Across Multiple Offices."
Isn’t it easier to stick with the status quo?
We understand that change can be hard. That’s why we’ve made switching to our electronic procurement platform as easy-peasy as possible. Getting started can be as simple as asking each of your suppliers for a purchase history report. Our implementation team can take it from there to set up your inventory data. While the platform is designed to be quite intuitive, we provide training to ensure you’re productive. Your time investment is minimal, but the payoffs are substantial.
Why should I choose SmartPO rather than another procurement platform?
MedProcure's solutions have been in use since 2006. Real-world users were integral to the initial design of our products, including SmartPO, and we've used their feedback to enhance our solutions continuously. In short, our products have evolved based on user input, not merely the specifications of developers who might have never worked in a healthcare purchasing role. This thoughtful design has resulted in solutions that are intuitive and can be utilized by existing staff with minimal training.
Find out how SmartPO can work for you:
How do I create a purchase order?
SmartPO is flexible and allows you to create purchase orders in the way that works best for you. To get started, you can enter keywords or phrases to see a list of potential item matches, narrow down your search to items associated with a particular vendor or GPO, copy a previous order, use a pre-defined template, or even scan bar codes directly from your supply room. SmartPO has a mobile app, so you don't have to be tied to a desk.
As you enter items, SmartPO is busy behind the scenes creating a separate purchase order for each vendor. When the order is complete, SmartPO automatically sends each vendor's purchase order in the format they prefer.
Can I control how people use the system?
One of the strengths of SmartPO is its ability to work the way you do. That means you can define user roles and give users access to only those areas of the system related to their job function. For example, certain users may see only screens needed for creating orders, while others see only screens involved in invoicing. This not only enhances system security, but also makes SmartPO easier for users to navigate.
In addition to specifying user roles, you also define how orders are approved. Completely customizable order rules allow you to require approvals on some or all orders. For example, you might require approval for any orders with new items or those that are over a specific dollar amount.
What happens when I receive orders?
SmartPO's receiving processes help make sure you pay the correct price for the items that you actually receive. Many of our clients are surprised to discover that what they receive or the price on their invoice varies wildly from their original purchase order. With SmartPO, audits detect such variances throughout the order and receiving process.
- Vendors who receive SmartPO orders via EDI send order confirmations in return. SmartPO audits each confirmation against the original purchase order to note discrepancies.
- When items are received, their received quantities are compared to the original order quantities, and, again, discrepancies are noted.
When the order information and received information vary, SmartPO flags the vendor invoice so that it is not approved for payment until discrepancies are resolved.
SmartPO is called a "procure-to-pay" platform. What does that mean?
A procure-to-pay system supports the entire purchasing process, beginning with goods and services being requisitioned, through creating and sending invoices, processing documents like purchase order confirmations, receiving items into inventory, and ending with ready-to-pay files uploaded to an accounts payable system.
How do I get started?
Getting started is as effortless as getting in touch with us. Complete our online form, email us, or give us a call at 864.482.2018. We're delighted to demonstrate how SmartPO can benefit your organization.
Once you decide SmartPO works for you, our implementation team takes it from there. We concentrate on understanding your current processes, unique needs, and goals. We then set up SmartPO accordingly, and we ensure that your staff is trained and productive. We think you'll agree that our service is above and beyond at every turn.
If you're new to procurement and supply chain management, read our "Back to Basics" articles: