Best Purchase order Software – In depth comparison of 6 vendors

 

There is a wide range of purchase order software options. Still, most of them focus on the simple task of creating and dispatching a purchase order to the vendor. Any simple purchase order software will do if you are a one-person company.

In contrast, growing companies need advanced purchasing capabilities that increase the efficiency of the operation. 

It is also beneficial the purchase order software integrates with their accounting packages like QuickBooks, Xero, Netsuite, Sage Intacct, and many more.

A complete purchase order software has these core capabilities for purchase order process automation:

 Purchase Requisition management

Purchase requisition includes the ability for employees to create and submit purchase requisitions easily. 

It also includes approval routing capability to send the purchase order request to different stakeholders. 

 Purchase order management

Purchase order management software automates your entire procurement process. 

The procurement process includes issuing the purchase order to the vendor and managing the life cycle of the purchase order. 

It includes tracking the vendor order acknowledgment, shipping status, and creating a receipt to confirm the product delivery. 

 Inventory Management

Inventory management includes the ability to track stocking levels, issue inventory, and track inventory valuation.

Supplier Management

With supplier management capabilities, you can track the vendor information and set up a process to manage the new vendor setup process.

Cost Control Dashboard

With the cost control dashboard, you would see all your spending in one single place. 

You can track what is due for payment and what is committed. This allows finances teams to manage the cash flow better. 

In this article, we will cover these capabilities for six purchase order software options starting with ProcureDesk, and we will provide the context of these five core capabilities. 

Note: ProcureDesk is built to fulfill the five factors above. You can read about it in detail below or schedule a demo if you want to see exactly how it could help your finance organization.

ProcureDesk

ProcureDesk

ProcureDesk helps small and medium-sized companies to reduce their purchase order cycle time by up to 50%. 

 ProcureDesk offers executives and business owners a complete spend management process and granular spend visibility. 

Even though we offer the basic capabilities offered by other purchase order software companies, ProcureDesk focuses on growing companies who need a complete solution for spend management and not just issuing purchase orders to vendors.

Many purchase order software vendors are focused only on the purchase order software capabilities. ProcureDesk offers a complete solution, including an integrated invoicing solution. ProcureDesk is a complete procure-to-pay solution. 

Let’s dive into each one of these now.

Purchase requisition management

While most purchase order software allows you to create a purchase order, growing companies need a process before the purchase order.

Even though all purchase requests end up with a purchase order, you still need the request to be approved for cost control and budget management

While most vendors accept purchase orders, in some cases, you need to buy supplies from a physical store or e-retailer. 

For example, you need to purchase supplies for an office party. You might want to pick that up from Walmart, Party City, or any other vendor source. 

 With a purchase request, an employee can request the purchase with an estimated amount and have it approved by the manager. 

 Once the purchase request is approved, the employee can go to Walmart and purchase the items using a credit card. 

 Now let’s see how ProcureDesk helps you with purchase requisition management.

 Creating purchase request

The key to an effective purchasing process is to make the requisition process easy for employees. 

 You don’t want to take a paper form and make an electronic version. You want to simplify the purchasing experience for your employees. 

 With ProcureDesk, employees can create a purchase request with fewer clicks without entering much information. 

 The system recognizes the user and then uses that information to set up default values for departments, classes, charts of accounts, projects, class codes, etc. 

 Here is an example of how user defaults works:

Purchase_request_header

Vendor catalogs

The finance team wants a detailed description of everything that the employees are purchasing.

But for employees, it is a pain to type in the long product descriptions.

 Instead, provide them with vendor catalogs. With catalogs, employees can choose what they need to buy with a click. 

 Let’s say you purchase office supplies from Amazon.com. 

 With the click of a button, an employee can open up Amazon.com, pick what she needs and then send the data back to the requisition. This experience is called vendor punch-out catalogs. 

 Here is a sample of the punch-out catalog:

amazon_purchase_requisition

And this is how the data gets moved to the shopping cart.

 

purchase_requisition_from_Amazon

 

In some cases, all you need is a simple list of items that you can purchase from a vendor.

 You can build a simple item list with some basic information enabling employees with similar purchasing experience as the vendor punch-outs.

 Here is how you can curate your catalog:

Internal_catalog

 

Budgets

ProcureDesk has inbuilt budget tracking & controls so that you can stay under budget. 

 It is easy to set up the budget or import from a spreadsheet or a system like QuickBooks Online. 

Budget screenshot

After setting up the budget, employees can choose the appropriate budget for the purchase. 

 The system checks for the available budget and helps you keep the cost under control. 

 You can decide how you want the system to proceed if an adequate budget is unavailable.

 For example – show a warning message when the budget is not available or block a purchase when a budget is not available. 

Purchase Approvals

 The system automatically assigns purchase approvals. Your employees don’t need to know who needs to approve the purchase. 

 You can configure the purchase approvals based on the amount, department, location, budget owners, and much more. 

 The system checks the requisition against the purchase approval workflow and then identifies the required approvers for the purchase. 

 Here is an example of how the system identifies the purchase approvals:

 In this case, the requester is John, and Mark is the approver who will review the approval request. 

Purchase_order_approvals

All the employee needs to do is submit the request for approval. 

 Once the request is submitted, the system notifies the approver of a pending request. 

 The approver can approve from the email without logging into the system or using the ProcureDesk mobile app for approvals. 

 

The requester can track the status of the purchase requisitions from the purchase request dashboard.

Requisition Dashboard

 

For example – you can see what requests are pending approval or if the buyer already issued the order for a purchase request.

Purchase order management

Once the requisition is approved, you can send the purchase order to the vendor. A purchase order management software automates this process. 

 If you have a purchasing team, they might want to review different requisitions to assess cost-saving opportunities. 

 For example, you can get a quote for the requested item to check the best price on that product. 

 You can quickly get quotes from different vendors with the supplier quote module. 

 Here is an example of comparing the cost of servers from 2 different vendors.

Supplier_quotes

 

Once you have completed the quote process, you can convert the quote to a purchase order and issue the purchase order to the vendor.

 Here are a couple of ways ProcureDesk helps you manage the purchase order management lifecycle. 

 Automated purchase order creation

 You don’t have to worry about converting purchase requisitions to purchase orders with automated purchase order creation.

 This saves time, especially when you don’t have a purchasing or buying team.

 You can identify what suppliers accept purchase orders, and the system can take care of the rest. 

 Here is an example of a purchase order that ProcureDesk automatically generates.

purchase_order_template

 

You can customize the purchase order template to include additional fields.

Merging purchase request into a purchase order

Many vendors have a minimum order threshold for free delivery. 

In some cases, the vendors have tiered pricing where you can get discounts if you purchase more quantity on the same purchase order. 

 That is why it is helpful to review the open purchase requisitions and decide if you can merge them into a single purchase order. 

Merge purchase requisitions

By merging the different purchase requisitions into a single order, you can save delivery and shipping costs. 

 The other thing to consider is negotiating free shipping with the vendor. 

 If you have a higher purchase volume, the vendor might offer you free shipping. 

Tracking vendor acknowledgment

It is more important than ever to keep track of vendor acknowledgments due to the current supply chain challenges.

 If a vendor doesn’t acknowledge the order, you don’t know when and if they will ship the product. 

 There are multiple ways to get order acknowledgment information.

 For example, you can add instructions on the purchase order for sending the order acknowledgment. 

 For example, you could set up an email, purchasing@yourcomany.com, where the vendor can send the invoice.

Purchase_order_email

 

The other alternative for the vendors is to use the ProcureDesk vendor portal to provide order acknowledgment. 

 Here is an example:

order_acknowledgement

Tracking order shipping information

 With ProcureDesk, you can track the delivery of your order without going to an individual carrier site.

 The vendor can send the ASN (Advance Shipping notice) electronically, or you can enter the shipping information on their behalf. 

 Here is an example of how you can track the advance shipping information:

Advance shipping notice

 Once you have the tracking information, the system can send you an email notification as and when the status of the package changes. 

 Receipts to confirm delivery of the purchase order

 Once you receive the product, you receive a supplier invoice. The Accounts payable team can do invoice matching and pay the vendor. 

 However, the Accounts Payable (AP) team has no way to know if you received the product or not. If you don’t have a receipt for a purchase order, the AP team needs to get invoice approvals before payment.

 That is why it is important to create receipts to let everyone know that you have received the product. 

 Here is an example of receipt:

Create Receipt

 

You can create partial receipts enter the serial number and asset tracking information.

 You can also track the expiration of items, for example, for different chemicals or other similar products 

The above features give you a complete order management system. 

Inventory management

With inventory management, you can easily track the inventory of stocked items. 

 To start tracking the inventory, you first have to identify the items and set up key inventory control.

 For each inventory item, you can manage the following information:

  1. Inventory location
  2. Min and max levels
  3. Re-order point

 Once you have the basic configuration, the system tracks the inventory for you. 

 You can upload the inventory of your existing items or let the system update the inventory as and when you receive a new item.

 Here is how you can track the inventory by location:

Inventory_by_locations

 

Once you start tracking information, you can set up automatic rules to re-order items once the item count falls below the set threshold. 

Inventory consumption

There are three ways to use ProcureDesk for tracking inventory consumption.

 You can create a release every time you want to use the product. Creating a release reduces the on-hand inventory and tracks who is using the inventory. 

 Here is a screenshot of the release. 

Inventory_release

 You can track when it was released, to whom, and for what purpose. You can also track other useful information like how the employee picked up the inventory item.

 The second option is to create a requisition. 

 This process is very helpful when your employees need a single place to request items from the vendors or directly from the inventory. 

 When the user searches the product, she can see the available inventory and then order directly from the inventory. 

 The system creates an inventory order and sends it to a buyer to release the inventory. 

 When the inventory is released, the on-hand is updated. 

The third option is to do a physical inventory count and then update the data in the system.

 You are doing a physical inventory count at the end of every month. In that case, you can upload the inventory report and update the inventory count. 

 Inventory valuation report

 An inventory valuation report gives you a snapshot of the total inventory value at any time. 

 Suppose you are using ProcureDesk to issue the inventory. In that case, you always have an accurate record of your on-hand inventory. 

 Here is an example of the inventory valuation report:

Inventory_report

 The price of the item can be an average price. You can also use other inventory valuation methods like LIFO (Last In First Out) and FIFO (First in First Out).

Supplier Management 

 Is managing suppliers a problem for you? 

Supplier management features can help. 

With supplier management, you can keep track of your supplier information in one single place. 

 Managing vendor information

With ProcureDesk, all your supplier information is in one single place. 

Suppliers

 

You can track key vendor information like Vendor tax details D.B.A name, delivery locations, and key contacts. 

Here is an example of the supplier profile:

Supplier_profile

 

Suppliers can use supplier portals to respond to requests for quotes, track open purchase orders, and submit invoices against the purchase order. 

 Here is an example of a supplier dashboard:

Supplier portal

 The supplier portal enables self-service for vendors, thereby reducing the number of inquiries the AP team receives. 

 For example – a supplier can track the status of the open invoice and track the payment status. 

Cost Control Dashboard

 Want to get better cash flow visibility – The cost control dashboard provides you with exactly that.

 You can see all your spending in one dashboard with the Spend management dashboard. 

 For example: 

 You can see what you are purchasing, from whom and who is purchasing within your company. 

Spend Dashboard

 

You can track monthly Spend trends so that you can keep a pulse of purchasing behavior within your company.

 Or you can track the payment terms across the vendors and identify opportunities for negotiating better payment terms.

 Extending the payment terms is probably one of the most important levers in increasing the cash flow.

 Of course, you need good credit history with the vendor for that to happen. That is why it is important to move to an invoicing process so that you can build up the credit history with the vendor. 

 As you scale your operations, you would have opportunities to pay the vendor sooner than the agreed terms and avail of any early payment discounts.

Spend_by_payment_terms

 You can review the open order report if you want to track your open commitments. 

 An open report gives you a quick snapshot of how many purchase orders are open, what is already invoiced and what is pending to be invoiced.

 You can use this information to better plan your spending.

Next steps:

Want to know more about ProcureDesk?

  1. Click here to schedule a demo with one of the product specialists.
  2. Click here to see the pricing information for ProcureDesk.

Procurify

Procurify

 Procurify is a spend management company that helps companies control their spending. 

 Its procurement platform allows companies to implement a central model for purchasing control cost through custom approvals and budget controls.

 We will cover a brief overview of the key capabilities across the five feature groups in the following sections.

 Purchase Requisition management

 Procurify requisition management modules help employees to create purchase requests easily. 

 With the inbuilt catalogs, it is easy for employees to create purchase requisitions. 

 Procurify supports both self-managed catalogs and catalogs managed by the vendors, also called Punch-out catalogs. 

 You can create unlimited catalogs; however, the support for punchout catalogs is limited to a few vendors.

 With the customizable workflows, you can route the request for approvals to different stakeholders. Procurify also supports approvals using a Mobile app. It makes it easier to approve requisitions on the go. 

 You can set up workflows based on the amount, location, department, GL account, and other common variables. 

 With the built-in budget management, you can track budget consumption in real-time. This supports better Spend management and ensures the departments stay within the budget. 

 Here is a snapshot of the budget control:

Purchase order management

With purchase order management, you can convert a purchase requisition into a purchase order. 

 You can also consolidate the purchase requisitions into a single purchase order. 

 The purchase order gets dispatched to the vendor.

 It is not clear whether the system has any inbuilt vendor acknowledgment process. It might be a manual process to confirm the order receipt by the vendor.

 However, you can create a receipt to track the purchase order delivery. This helps with the 3-way match process because the system can match the invoice with the purchase order and receipt. 

Procurify has most of the common purchase order management system features

 Inventory Management

 As per the Procurify website, there is no capability to track the purchased items’ inventory. 

 Supplier Management 

 Procurify allows you to track all your suppliers in one single place. 

 You can create and manage existing suppliers.

 In addition to the basic supplier data management, Procurify also provides you with a performance scorecard. 

 With the supplier performance scorecard, you can track the supplier’s overall performance. The system calculates the performance score using delivery time, quality, and user ratings.

 You also have the capability for the employees to rate the vendors. 

Cost Control Dashboard

With a central Spend dashboard, you can see all your purchases in one single place, 

 For example, you can see total orders by the department and the top Spend categories.

You can then filter the spend report by different date ranges and so on. 

Kissflow

Kissflow
Source: Kissflow

Kissflow Procurement cloud helps companies simplify their purchasing process.

Kissflow, at its core, is a workflow engine that helps automate different processes in an organization.

Kissflow is a modular product. 

They have products that solve different use cases. 

Procurement Cloud is one of the components designed to support the purchasing use case.

Here are the key features of the Kissflow Procurement cloud.

Purchase Requisition management

 With the purchase requisition module, employees can create purchase requisitions electronically. 

 You can eliminate the manual paper process with purchase requisitions. 

 Like other vendors, Kissflow supports catalogs; however, the support for catalogs is limited to internal catalogs – the catalogs that are self-managed by the customer. 

 This could be an issue when the vendor provides many items, and the pricing often changes based on the market demand. 

 You can also set up Budgets for cost control. 

 The users can select the budget when creating a purchase request. 

 The approvers can see the budget consumption in real-time without calling their finance department. 

Purchase order management

 You can convert purchase requisitions into purchase orders with the purchase order management module.

One unique purchase management feature is that the approvers can see Spend insights while reviewing the purchase order. 

 The spend insights provide you with past purchase history. You can see past Spend and transaction details.

Inventory Management

 At the time of the writing of this blog post, Kissflow doesn’t support inventory management capabilities. 

Supplier Management 

 Kissflow allows you to set up and manage vendor information. You can create new vendors as well as edit information for existing vendors.

 Kissflow also allows you to set up a workflow for vendor evaluation. 

 Let’s say you are a manufacturing company with very specific requirements around documents, certifications, etc.

 You can set up a new workflow so that the vendor request gets routed to different stakeholders that need to review and approve the documentation provided by the vendor. 

That speeds up the process and gives you a central place to document all vendor-related documents. 

Cost Control Dashboard

Kissflow has analytics capabilities to support different reports and a cost control process. 

You can see the budget vs. accrual trend or overall vendor performance. 

 The system allows you to track vendor quality trends and delivery performance like lead times. 

 

Tradogram

Tradogram 

Tradogram is a cloud-based purchasing system that allows finance and procurement teams to implement cost control processes across the organization.

 Tradogram position is that of an affordable solution for procurement teams. So if you are a cost-conscious customer, this might be a good solution for you. 

 Here are the key features of the tradogram purchase order software:

Purchase Requisition management

 Tradogram’s purchase requisition management module allows a simple purchase requisition process. 

 Employees can create purchase requisitions from an internal catalog or use different online stores. 

An online store is also referred to as a punch-out catalog. 

You can also add items that are in the catalog.

 The request gets routed for approval, and there is support for a flexible approval workflow. 

 For example – you can set up named users and alternate users if the main user is not available. You can set up a single-level or multi-level approval workflow. 

With budget management, you can set up budgets to track spending. 

The budgets can be created and managed at the department, user, or category levels. 

This gives finance departments much flexibility on how they want to create and manage budgets. 

 However, if you are a large organization – you probably don’t have user-level budgets. 

 Purchase order management

You can convert purchase requisitions into purchase orders with purchase order management. 

 You can set up automatic conversions of the purchase requisition or convert a purchase requisition into a purchase order manually. 

 The system supports automatic dispatch of the purchase order to the vendors and tracking purchase orders. 

 With order tracking capabilities, you can easily create receipts to confirm the delivery of the product by the supplier.

 With receipts, the 3-way match process becomes easier because the AP team can see if the ordered product is received or not. 

 Inventory Management

 With the Tradogram inventory management module, you can track the stock levels for different items. 

 Just set up the items for which you want to track inventory, and then the system will start tracking the inventory for you. 

 You can then create a release to adjust the stocking levels or manually adjust the inventory. 

 You can also set up reorder points. You can set up a notification process to inform the respective stakeholders that they need to order the items.

Supplier Management 

 You can create and manage supplier information within the system with supplier management.

 You can maintain basic supplier information like locations and contacts and create supplier performance scorecards.

 With each purchase order, the user can rate the vendor’s performance. 

 If you have a limited number of purchase orders, this feature lets the employees rate the vendors easily. 

However, it could be cumbersome to rate each purchase order for a large purchase volume. 

 You can manage supplier information or invite the vendors to a supplier portal to view purchase orders and requests (RFQs).

Cost Control Dashboard

 Tradogram provides detailed spend reporting so that you can track Spend by the user, department, and so on. 

 The system also lets you track the Spend against different projects to keep project spending under control. 

Spendwise

spendwise

Spendwise is a simple web-based purchasing system that allows companies to keep track of their purchases. 

 Here are the key features of SpendWise purchase order software:

 Purchase Requisition management

At the time of this writing, we couldn’t find any mention of purchase requisition on the Spendwise website.

 So we are assuming that Spendwise doesn’t have a purchase requisition feature. The tool supports purchase order setup, but there is no requisition process. 

Purchase order management

 The purchase order management feature allows purchasing teams or employees to create a purchase order quickly.

 You can type in the items that you are planning to purchase.

 The solution is straightforward and would work for a small purchase order volume.

 There is a mention of Amazon integration, so you might be able to set up a punchout with Amazon and enable a better purchasing experience for your team. 

 With the approval limits, you can set up a purchase approval process. The purchase order request can be routed for approvals before the PO gets issued to the supplier. 

Buyers can customize the purchase order workflow to meet specific approval needs.

You can also create a receipt to receive a purchase order. That enables the AP team to check if the invoice is ready to be paid.

Inventory Management

 Spendwise allows you to capture the stocking information and help track the inventory. 

 Once you define the item as inventory, you can start keeping track of that. 

You can also create inventory adjustments to adjust the quantity, price, and inventory valuation. 

 There is support for multi-location inventory tracking, so it is easy to track inventory across all locations. 

Supplier Management 

 Spendwise offers a basic supplier management feature where you can track the basic supplier information like name, address, tax id, etc. 

 You can also import suppliers into the system using a CSV so that you don’t have to create suppliers one at a time. 

 There is no advanced capability for advanced scorecard tracking or vendor ratings. 

 Cost Control Dashboard

 There is no central cost control dashboard. However, Spendwise offers around 25 canned reports. It allows you to get a complete view of your spending and helps you make better purchasing decisions. 

Precoro

Precoro 

Precoro procurement software helps companies save time and money by eliminating error-prone human work for tracking purchase orders. 

 Purchase Requisition management

Precoro purchasing requisition module allows employees to create purchase requests quickly.

 Employees can create purchase requests by entering the information manually, or you can select an item from an internal catalog.

 When writing this article, there is no capability for punchout catalogs. That means you have to spend more time creating and managing catalogs. 

 The purchase request is sent for approval, and once it is approved, you can issue a purchase order for the vendor.

Purchase order management

 With the purchase order module, you can create purchase orders from a purchase requisition or create a purchase order without a purchase requisition. 

 There is support for budgets so that employees can assign the budgets to a purchase order request. 

 You can also set up recurring purchase orders. 

 Inventory Management

Precoro supports the basic inventory management features. You can set up new items for which you want to track the inventory. 

 Once the inventory item is set up, you can track inventory across multiple warehouse locations.

 The users can then request an item from the inventory or purchase from the vendor. 

 The system also provides granular access control on who can order and request the release of inventory items. 

 Supplier Management 

 Precoro offers supplier management capabilities that include:

  1. Creating and managing supplier information. 
  2. Inviting vendors for self-onboarding. 

 You can create suppliers one at a time or simply import the suppliers in bulk. 

 With the self-service, it is easy to onboard new suppliers.

The system also allows you to gather supporting documents like insurance certificates.

Cost Control Dashboard

 The tools lack detailing reporting and a cash control dashboard.

 However, there are three reports that a user can customize.

 There is a purchase request report, order report, and a Bills report. 

 You can then filter and customize the report to find what you are looking for quickly. 

Now your turn!

 We hope that this comparison of the best purchase order software helps you find the software that best fits your requirements. 

 Here is what we recommend as the next steps:

  1. Create a list of your top 3 use cases, not the top 3 features. The difference between use case and feature is that use case captures the scenarios, and feature is just the capability. For example, easily creating a purchase order is a use case and creating a purchase order from an internal catalog is a feature.
  2. Shortlist 2-3 vendors that best fit your use cases. For example, if you create ten purchase orders per month, your use case is probably very simple. 
  3. Schedule a demo with the selected vendors and walk through your top three use cases.
  4. Select a solution that is easy to use, easy to manage, and affordable.

 

If you are curious to see if ProcureDesk purchase order software is a good fit for you, then go ahead and click on the button below to schedule a demo with one of our product specialists.

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