How to Keep Track of Purchase Orders

Types of purchase orders

For procurement professionals, purchase order tracking, made simpler with the right purchasing software, can prove to be a complex endeavor. While it might appear straightforward from a technical standpoint, especially for those with a technical background, the purchase order process generates a substantial amount of paperwork. This holds particularly true in a traditional, paper-based ecosystem.

Let's look at how PO management doesn't have to be complicated.

A traditional approach to the procurement process

Traditionally, companies keep track of purchase orders using a database system or with spreadsheets. Prior to the computer age, managing purchase orders was done entirely by hand. During that time, there would be huge filing cabinets full of every PO issued within a tax period, and for several years before that. 

Unfortunately, managing purchase orders can be complicated using older methods. Especially in an era of computing, there is less tolerance for errors than they used to be. In addition, the procurement process has become more precise overtime. Not only does this reduce maverick spend, but it also means there are more purchase orders than ever.

For many companies, the purchase order process can be lengthy. Especially for large purchases, or purchases that several departments will take advantage of, there can be many levels of management involved with each PO approval. Then, each PO must be carefully documented and tracked. Purchase order management includes adding a PO number to each document at each step. This traditional approach is prone to errors and document loss. 

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Purchase order software makes life easier

Fortunately, fast-growing companies no longer need to use a manual purchase order system. instead, modern software can help with both purchase order management and overall supply chain stability. For instance, ControlHub helps you manage the entire procurement process from requisition and vendor approval all the way to vendor payment. In addition, you can create, track, and store purchase orders within the software. This way, it is very difficult to lose track of these important documents.

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