Purchase Order Automation

Meeting Demand Through Purchase Order Visibility, Management & Strategy

That’s the first essential rule of supply chain management, and it is the rallying cry for anyone working in manufacturing, consumer packaged goods (CPG), or retail. Consistently hitting delivery goals requires complex planning and process management, not to mention an awesome team.

To get an order from beginning to end on time and in full, hundreds of decisions must be made along the way. Supply chain teams always seem to be under fire: searching for information, requesting updates from suppliers, trying to find that one lost email or sticky note. These slow processes mean decisions are delayed, or worse, made using faulty or old data. 

Successful supply chain teams need accurate, real-time data, all the time. This includes purchase order visibility, which allows buyers, leaders, and suppliers to see the status of every purchase order (PO), at any stage of the game.

This article will cover aspects of supply chain visibility, how manual processes make it impossible, and how to boost your purchase order management through automation and collaboration.

Strong Purchase Order Management Relies on Purchase Order Visibility

PO management is a major key to success for every supply chain team. Buyers must communicate with suppliers, PO changes must be acknowledged, and shipments must arrive on time and as expected. But, many companies still process their POs manually, which leaves them vulnerable to costly errors.

It is time to get out of the dark ages. Teams need visibility and technology provides it. SourceDay’s automation and collaboration solution keeps a digital record of every PO for its entire lifecycle.

The moment a PO is generated, the buyer’s ERP is updated and the supplier is immediately notified. The supplier then acknowledges the PO in SourceDay, and the buyer receives an update.

Our research shows that over half of all POs will change in their lifetime, so it’s critical to have systems in place for managing those changes. Because SourceDay provides clear, 100% accurate purchase order visibility, both companies always know exactly where to focus their attention and what strategic decisions to make.

Strategic, Not Tactical

Speaking of strategic decisions, there’s no way buying teams have the capacity to focus on them if they’re buried in clerical work. The truth is, managing POs has traditionally been a big task that requires many hours of data entry, searching through spreadsheets, and communicating through email, text, or phone calls.

First, we can talk about the wasted hours teams spend and how much those hours cost the company. Automation takes care of this. One buying team adopted SourceDay, and within the first year their buyers had reduced their PO workload by 30%. That’s a huge savings for the company, protecting their revenue and shielding their employees from burnout.

Because SourceDay provides purchase order visibility, buyers and leaders can now use their free hours to think and work strategically on goals. They can adjust forecasting or demand planning on the fly, based on real-time updates to changes that are made. If a shipment is late or partial, the buyer knows as soon as the change is made to the PO.

SourceDay’s real-time supplier scorecards give procurement teams the info they need to set and adjust supplier strategy. Most direct materials manufacturers rely on multiple suppliers who are often located around the globe.

So, if one primary supplier has had consistent struggles delivering a part, the buyer can onboard a secondary supplier to pick up the slack. If there’s a large anticipated disruption in one area of the world, buyers can look to a supplier in another geographic area. 

Supply chain visibility starts with purchase order visibility. When the PO process is streamlined and efficient, every downstream aspect of production is benefited.

You, Purchase Orders & Your ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are vital to any supply chain operation, but they’re only as accurate as the data they’re fed. Because most supply chains rely on manual data entry, their ERP is often outdated. Some teams only batch their data into the ERP once every 10 to 14 days.

This process is a mess, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Purchase order visibility requires that every piece of ERP data is completely accurate all the time. SourceDay does that by immediately writing all POs, updates, and changes directly to the ERP. That is true supply chain visibility.


This isn’t 1980, or 90, or even 2010. We’re in a whole new world of purchase order management, which requires new strategies, new approaches, and a lot more streamlining.

The first step is to keep everyone informed, and that’s where purchase order visibility is so critical. Buyers, suppliers, leaders, and every other stakeholder must have a clear view of every PO’s status so that they can keep supply moving and hit on-time delivery goals. 

Meeting demand is the name of the game, and SourceDay makes it possible. Ready to learn more about how SourceDay can deliver full supply chain visibility and efficiency? Drop us a line and let’s chat about it.