Effectively sourcing new IT hardware, software and services is an essential part of any businesses’ strategy for achieving manageable growth. Without it, you would not be able to give your team the support it needs to scale up and work to the best of its ability.
It is generally agreed upon, among 79% of Chief Procurement Officers (CPOs), that striking a stern balance between quality tech and low cost is the main goal to achieve when procuring new IT.
But how can this be achieved when there are so many difficult hurdles standing in your way?
In this blog we are going to take a look at the top 5 IT procurement best practices that you can put to use in order to get the best tech for a low cost.
What is IT Procurement?
IT procurement refers to the management process by which businesses source and acquire new IT assets to support their current and future operations.
The general goal of any IT procurement strategy is, as mentioned above, to acquire a quality level of information technology that meets all the business’ needs while simultaneously providing a significant measure of cost savings.
Generally speaking, the following tasks within the procurement process are undertaken in order to acquire new technology:
- Submitting Requests for Proposals (RFPs)
- Issuing Requests for Information (RFIs)
- Leveraging Supplier Relationships with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs)
- Conducting Research on Market Options
- Performing negotiations with Suppliers Regarding Support and Pricing
- Sending Purchase Orders and Managing Stakeholders
Most certainly, you will face specific challenges unique to your business and industry. But, regardless of your position, these 5 IT procurement best practices will help you maximize your IT procurement spending and assist in whatever digital transformation your business requires.
The Top 5 IT Procurement Process Best Practices
Here are the most important 5 best practices in IT procurement that you can use to acquire quality hardware, software and IT services for your company:
1. Cut out Manual Processing and Go Fully Digital
With many businesses still relying on paper-based, manual processing for IT procurement, the potential for increased efficiency, procurement organization and supplier management optimization is incredible when adopting digital procurement processes.
Digital and SaaS technology is the driving factor behind modern IT procurement, and many cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms are available on the global market.
To better facilitate the growth of your business, it’s better to rely on digital solutions that can automate procurement cycles and supply chains, as an IT procurement best practice.
2. Be Completely Transparent about Spending
All procurement professionals agree, working to maintain 100% transparency on your IT procurement spending is paramount to sustainable, strategic sourcing.
By carefully cataloging and communicating every aspect of your IT spending history, you retain top-of-mind visibility not just for yourself, but for your business’ finance department and major stakeholders as well.
It allows you to maximize your cost savings and rein in your spending where needed.
A few key steps to guarantee spending transparency, as an IT procurement best practice is to:
- Have well-defined and implemented procurement policies in place
- Catalog every step of the procurement management process
- Create and maintain a dedicated list of reliable suppliers and OEMs
- Practice strict, fiscally-responsible contract management
- Perform regular audits
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3. Establish Strong Vendor, OEM and Third-Party Relationships
While this isn’t something that can be done overnight (unless you know a guy who knows a gal who knows a guy), forming strong business relationships with high-quality IT vendors or OEMs can pay massive dividends down the road.
Having a mutually beneficial, two-way partnership with the right providers can help to:
- Facilitate discounts in bulk
- Remediate adoption issues more effectively
- Provide integrated solutions ( e.g. when buying multiple software systems)
- Establish base-line standards
- Generate a framework for everyone to continuously improve the relationship
4. Leverage Modern Technology to Optimize Your Inventory
When you have too much inventory, you’re paying those excess logical costs. Too little inventory and you’ll fail to meet your customers’ demands.
It’s clear that neither situation is tenable, therefore an IT procurement best practice would be to leverage AI and data analytics to optimize and streamline your inventory practices.
Implementing AI and data analytics for inventory management can help:
- Determine optimal inventory levels at any given time
- Predict inventory needs for the future
- Avoid under or overstock situations
- Improve supply chain tracking
- Better track metrics and indicators
5. Train Your Procurement Teams
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A cliched term, to be sure, but an apt one for this topic.
If a team is well-trained, it is better able to carry out processes efficiently, sidestep and manage surprise issues and overall perform their tasks effectively.
Ensure you provide your procurement teams with formal, in-depth training and maintain strong lines of communication and you’ll find that your IT procurement endeavors are successful.
Getting the Help of an IT Managed Service Provider to Ensure IT Procurement Best Practices
In order to be most effective at all of the above IT procurement best practices, there’s no better option than having a dedicated MSP on your team.
Here at Executech, we have decades of experience in IT procurement, have fostered long-time relationships with third-party vendors and OEMs in order to give our clients access to the best, most cost-effective hardware, software and IT services.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in taking advantage of for your company, please feel free to contact us today for a free consultation where we can come up with a custom solution unique to your business’ needs.