There’re all sorts of things you can do to take better control of your finances, especially if you’re creating purchase orders, converting them into invoices, all whilst trying to keep track of the parts you use for each job.
When it comes to these processes, it’s clarity that often helps people the most.
For myself like many people, if I’m able to easily see what’s coming in and out of my account thanks to a clean and clear layout on an app or website—especially one that updates my spending in real-time—it makes keeping track of money and pursuing other financial tasks a whole lot easier.
The same can be said when it comes to managing business expenses.
After all, with money that’s changing hands between your company and your customers, as well as to your suppliers, employees, and more...well, it can quickly become a major headache if managed poorly.
Where purchase orders are concerned (and particularly if you’re increasingly concerned with getting the process right, every time) using software is the best way to streamline your workflow.
If you're not quite familiar with the ideas, we’re here to help by taking a look at the essentials of purchase order software for your service businesses. No matter if you're plumbing, heating, gas, electrical: if you're creating POs, then this is need-to-know!
- It’s great for basic PO creation
- You can track the status of parts needed/used
- Get insight into profitability
- Make converting purchase orders to invoices a breeze
- Keep organised with easy admin options.
To round things up, we’ve also put together a neat guide: The Lesser-known Benefits of Managing Purchase Orders with Software, that’s sure to help. Download yours at the end of the article!
1. It’s great for basic PO creation
Having to create purchase orders is a simple need, but one that must be fulfilled. Unfortunately, your current process is probably a little slow at getting this done, making it more difficult to organise as well.
From pulling the item data across from different spreadsheets (or worse, inputting it by hand), then checking to make sure the information is correct, before moving on to manually convert it into the PO...well, you already know that manually creating purchase orders can be laborious, so it makes sense you want to make it easier on yourself.
With software, you can limit the amount of manual data entry you or your team have to do with a tool that’s as easy as 1 - 2 - 3, letting you follow an easy-to-use workflow to convert parts information into a PO, and a PO into a supplier invoice with just a few clicks.
While it’s true you may still want to have some manual control for niche projects, or less frequently used parts (or even unlisted parts that might not be in your database), creating a PO with software means you can take the stock information that’s sitting within your pre-existing database and quickly use that to fill in a pre-existing or blank form.
The best part is, a software solution means you can do all of this in one place, on a single screen, instead of messing about with multiple pieces of software, which is only going to cause more confusion.
Simple tasks should stay that way (or be even easier, we say): simple!
2. You can track the status of parts needed/used
Perhaps the best part about a digital payment solution for your service business is that your data becomes infinitely easier to track, thanks to automatically assigned numbers and smart search functions.
Every time you create a PO, the system can (and should) generate a number, in sequence, so that if you ever need to search for that PO again, you can find it right away.
For example, imagine how much time you could save if all you needed was to input a number in a database and give it a second or two, rather than trawling to paperwork or separate spreadsheets. Your cash can truly start to flow with a system like this in place, and no doubt your accountant, finance, or operations manager would appreciate the helping hand!
This means you can find substantial pieces of important information about the parts you’re using with ease and communicate them just as simply with your team, supplier, or customer.
Automated stock control has a part to play here, and you can learn more about that in our conversation with Wolseley on the importance of digital stock control for your service business.
Ultimately, when it comes to organising the admin time of your engineers and prioritising your own time, there’s a lot of value to be found in a system that makes searching and accessing files easy for everyone, no matter where they may be, all so that it can help them in the moment.
3. Get insight into how to become more profitable
When you can track parts with ease it opens you up to other benefits. One of these is deeper understanding of your profitability.
By issuing purchase orders you are better able to track your company’s expenses, keeping control of your stock, costs and manage relationships with suppliers more effectively.
This way you can clearly see how much is being spent not just on parts in general, but on specific items in particular. It can lead you to have greater oversight of your stock control meaning you can spend your money more efficiently and more sensibly on the items you know you need and need frequently, which is a damn sight better than relying on your hunch that you “might” be running out of parts.
On top of that, it means you can also make sure that if you’re low on certain parts, you can easily order more in, making it more likely that your engineers will have the parts they need when they need them, which also means creating happier customers.
Of course, since this means jobs can be fulfilled faster, it can also help to keep in mind other software solutions that can help you keep up with the pace! Intrigued? Then be sure to take a look a online portals in our article:
4. Make converting POs to invoices a breeze
When it comes to getting paid (or making payments) you’d rather it happen sooner rather than later, right? Okay, silly question, but the point still stands!
This means converting POs into supplier invoices should be a breeze and with purchase order software, it will be!
5. After the purchase order is complete
Purchase Order Software is all offering you an all-in-one solution to cover the entire stock, parts, and invoicing workflow so that you can rest assured the process runs smoothly, each and every time.
The same cannot be said about managing purchase order manually, whether it’s on paper or on spreadsheets. Of course, as a result this means that when the workflow is fulfilled, your system can go on to make the lives of your engineers even easier, indicating that parts are ready to be picked up and enabling them to carry on with their work in a snap.
Of course, having stock control as part of your system will play a part in making that happen, but when these systems work in tandem, you’re speeding up the efficiency, productivity, and even the profitability of your entire workforce.
With PO Software that’s easy to use, you can create clear, correct purchase orders anytime, anywhere and reduce the chances of mistakes delaying your business, every day.
Clarity, as we’ve discussed, is of paramount importance when it comes to managing your POs, which is why it’s essential that you use purchase order software for your field service business to ensure you stay in control and keep things flowing.
As you continue to grow your business and take steps to be as productive and efficient as possible, it will help to make sure you’re investing with solutions that work with you, not against you, all so that you can leave clunky spreadsheets and (God forbid) outdated physical copies a thing of the past.
For additional insight and advice, be sure to download and a copy of our guide: The Lesser-known Benefits of Managing Purchase Orders with Software. Take a look:
Do you agree with our analysis? What would you say works best for your finances?
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