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How Do You Manage Your Purchasing?
Much of management of your purchasing is about self control and common sense. The financial director part of you has to apply discipline, and CEO part of you has to watch over conflicts between purchasing and financial control. You, as purchasing manager, need to:
Be aware of your weaknesses, especially if you can be an impulsive spender. Be honest with yourself here. I am sure most of us have impulsive tendencies. They are not always a bad thing, but you do need to be aware of and manage them.
Stand back from situation and take a detached view of your purchases. This way you can fulfil your roles as CEO and financial director, as well as purchasing manager.
Have a purchasing budget, and review it regularly. Stick to it unless it is really necessary to change it.
Have a decision making process that brings you to best decisions over what you buy, who you buy it from, and what you are prepared to pay for it.
Challenge yourself for every purchase, whether it's for software, new computer, joining an online program, buying an ebook, or many other things.
Research your market for whatever it is you are intending to buy, and keep a record of suppliers, prices and product specifications so that you can compare them now or later.
Delay any purchase after first consideration, then go back to it. For example, a few months back I had a long list of ebooks, software aids, and marketing aids I wanted to purchase. Thankfully, my budget did not allow me to buy all. I could have transferred money from elsewhere to buy everything on list, but I stuck to month's budget. When I went back to list a couple of months later, I found that I no longer wanted or needed to buy all but one of remaining items.
Review once, review twice and maybe three times. Then buy if you really think such a decision is justified, and not a product of impulse or panic.
Keep cool when you are about to spend money. Purchasing is a cool discipline, as is much of running a business, whether your business is at home or elsewhere.
Have a review process for suppliers, services and products. Try to track effectiveness of your purchases, so that you know whether to use same supplier and/or product and/or service again.
The above are just a few ideas for improving your approach to purchasing. The underlying principles, though, are no different to how you should approach your domestic buying in local shops. Business purchasing may have a scientific veneer, but at its most basic is same as buying your weekly groceries.
Roy Thomsitt is the owner of the home online business website http://www.change-direction.com