A Guide to Managing Procurement Requests and Streamlining Intake

Procurement

Find out how proper procurement request management can help your business control costs and complete projects on time.

Written by
Vendr Team
Published on
June 11, 2024
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Whether you are purchasing raw materials or a new software tool, procurement plays a key role in doing business. In fact, external spend in areas such as procurement makes up between 50% and 80% of the average company’s cost base. 

Efficiently managing procurement requests will allow you to control costs, complete important projects on time, and improve compliance with procurement policies.

To help you better understand the ins and outs of managing procurement requests and streamlining intake processes, this guide will cover: 

  • What is a procurement request?
  • The importance of implementing procurement request forms.
  • Challenges of managing procurement requests.
  • How to streamline procurement request management with Vendr.
  • Procurement request FAQs.

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What is a procurement request?

A procurement request (also known as a purchase requisition or purchase request) is an internal document that kickstarts the procurement intake process. This streamlines the purchase of goods and services, making it easier for relevant stakeholders to evaluate and approve requests. 

Typically, this document is a form that the employee or department making the procurement request fills out. But there are also software tools you can use to accelerate the process and save time and money. 

Best practices for creating a procurement request form 

Every organization uses a different template for its procurement request form. However, most forms include the following information:

  • Date and number of the procurement request. 
  • Name of the person and department requesting the product or service.
  • Contact information.
  • Reasons for the purchase.
  • Estimated costs for each product or service.
  • Names of potential suppliers.
  • Address where the goods will be delivered (in the case of physical items).

It’s recommended that you customize the form and fields to your business needs. For example, information technology businesses that do not use raw materials to manufacture their product can omit the delivery address. Some businesses also require the form to include a rough evaluation of suggested suppliers.

The importance of implementing procurement request forms

Whether you are a small business or an enterprise, request forms are essential for streamlining the procurement process for all stakeholders. Here are some of the primary ways in which request forms improve procurement. 

1. Create a paper trail

A complete procurement paper trail shows:

  • The stakeholders who made purchase requisitions.
  • The purchased products.
  • How much money the business spent.

This paper trail will allow you to cooperate in case a bank, investor, or regulator needs to perform a financial audit.

2. Standardize the procurement process

Procurement request forms capture all the necessary information for each requisition at once. This saves time (because you do not have to communicate back and forth over email or phone with different stakeholders) and allows you to process requests faster.

Some organizations default to sending requests over email, leading to delays. For example, the email could accidentally land in a spam folder or the request could get buried in a long email thread.

3. Ensure procurements align with policy

When all procurement requests go through the same form, it is easier to check if they align with the organization’s purchasing policy. This allows the finance team to monitor cash flow and budgets while making sure every dollar spent is accounted for. 

Challenges of managing procurement requests

Managing procurement requests, especially in large organizations, is not without issues. Some of the challenges you may face include:

  • Stakeholders provide insufficient information about the product or service they need.
  • Employees submit procurement requests at the last minute, leading to project delays.
  • Teams don’t follow procurement policies or ignore established processes.

If you implement a software tool for managing purchase requisitions, all employees should receive training to be comfortable using it. Otherwise, you risk team members submitting requests via other channels and complicating the process.

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How to streamline procurement request management with Vendr

Vendr’s procurement automation platform allows you to avoid emails, spreadsheets, and other manual processes when managing purchase requisitions. Inside the platform, employees can easily submit requests to purchase a product or renew a service. 

The first step is to fill out the intake form. The procurement team can customize the form using eight different question types and label specific fields as needed.

When the requester completes the form, they will be taken to the purchase request dashboard. Here, they can monitor the progress of their request and collaborate with teammates.

Organizations are free to build an automated approval process tailored to their needs. For example, you can automatically send all new intake forms to a specific procurement manager for review. To move the process along, set a due date and an automatic reminder if the manager does not complete the review within a specific timeframe.

Using conditional logic, you are free to customize the workflow to align with your procurement policy. For example, requests over a certain dollar amount can be sent to a specific manager for approval.

Procurement request FAQs

What are the different types of procurement?

There are four main types of procurement:

  • Services procurement involves hiring external providers to fulfill specific services within an organization, such as hiring business consultants or software development contractors.
  • Goods procurement involves the acquisition of physical items that a company needs to operate its business.
  • Indirect procurement involves procuring items that don’t play a key role in developing the company’s final product, such as office furniture or certain types of software. 
  • Direct procurement involves the purchase of goods and services that impact a business’s end product. These include software, unprocessed materials, or any other items that a company needs to manufacture or develop its products.
What's the difference between a purchase request and a purchase order?

With a purchase request or purchase requisition, an employee asks the company to purchase goods or services. This document describes the items or services the employee needs, projected costs, and other relevant information.

When the procurement department approves the purchase requisition, the organization sends a purchase order to the chosen supplier. A purchase order includes payment information and other purchase details. This document is a contract between the organization and the supplier, legally binding both parties to fulfill the conditions of the purchase.

Who approves purchase requests?

Approval processes for purchase requests vary depending on organizational structures and spending policies. Typically, purchase requests need to be approved by managers, department heads, and/or budget holders before a purchase can be made.

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Vendr Team
Vendr Team
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Vendr's team of SaaS and negotiation experts provide their curated insights into the latest trends in software, tool capabilities, and modern procurement strategies.

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