Purchasing guidelines

Purchasing guidelines serve to create binding rules for the procurement of all goods in a company. These rules reduce inefficiencies in purchasing and improve company results. For example, clear roles and responsibilities can be defined, the selection of suppliers standardized and processes made transparent, documented and improved. In addition, purchasing guidelines help ensure that purchasing is perceived more than before as a strategic success factor for a company. In large companies, the conception of such a guideline is associated with a considerable amount of work. In small and medium-sized companies, it is sufficient to agree on a relatively small number of regulations and rules that all employees must adhere to.

1. Concrete examples

By adhering to purchasing guidelines and bundling orders with a few suppliers, you as a company can easily achieve 5% to 10% savings because higher discounts and better conditions can be achieved.

In addition, savings in purchasing have an enormous leverage effect and are immediately noticeable and measurable in the company's results. A reduction in purchasing costs therefore also has a considerable impact on the rating result and credit terms.

The following examples show the positive effects that can result for your company.

Example 1 - higher discounts possible: A company has an annual purchasing volume of € 3 million without discounts. Because there are no guidelines for purchasing, every employee can order if necessary. Goods are currently being ordered from more than 15 vendors, which offer discounts of 5% on average. The company therefore has to pay € 2.85 million per year for the purchased goods. In order to achieve even higher savings, the company is improving its purchasing structures and introducing binding purchasing guidelines. These stipulate, among other things, that purchasing employees are only allowed to order from five named suppliers and that regular negotiations must be held with suppliers.

By bundling the orders and negotiating, discounts averaging 8% can be achieved. Thus - with otherwise unchanged conditions - only € 2.76 million have to be spent on the procurement of goods. In the ideal case, if there are no changes in sales and other costs, the profit increases by € 90,000 (€ 2.85 million - € 2.7 million).

Example 2 - Optimization by taking advantage of a discount: So far, no discount has been granted by the suppliers. By concentrating on a few providers and regular negotiations, it was possible to achieve a discount of 2% in all cases. In relation to the purchasing volume of € 2.76 million, this results in another saving of more than € 55,000.

2. Simple purchasing guidelines for SMEs

Below you will find an overview with suggestions and suggestions for purchasing rules, divided into

  • Purchasing and procurement,
  • Delivery and storage as well

The rules do not claim to be complete. Rather, you have to adapt the suggestions, at least in part, to the requirements and processes of your company. You can do this for. B. delete points, change or add new rules. Possible alternatives and additions to the rules can be found in the right column.

It is important that all employees receive the rules. In addition, you must announce when the provisions apply and that all employees are obliged to comply with these rules. At the same time, it should be checked whether sanctions are imposed in the event of violations, such as warnings or warnings. You should definitely speak to a lawyer in advance and, if necessary, involve the works council. The rules should be reviewed annually and, if necessary, adjusted and supplemented.

Rules for purchasing and procurement

  1. The purchasing rules apply to every procurement of goods and services. Additions may be necessary, for example: The rules also apply to assembly, maintenance and spare parts.
  2. All orders are placed centrally and exclusively in writing via purchasing. Alternatively / additionally: Office / consumables and the following materials can be purchased by each department itself (Important: Specify all freely procured goods to avoid misunderstandings).

    Orders must also be made in writing here.

    If necessary, name departments and contact persons, compile a list of goods to be procured centrally and decentrally and update them every three to six months.

    Note: Depending on the IT equipment, orders via EDI or Web-EDI can also be considered "in writing".

  3. Orders and the commissioning of purchasing may only be made by the department manager and his representative; alternatively, by naming persons for each area.
  4. Purchasing and ordering party have to sign each order. Here you can set individual rules for your company.
  5. The following data must be available for each order: Article, article number, order quantity, desired delivery date, if applicable with dates for partial deliveries, department, if applicable delivery address, order date and signature of the customer.
    If possible, use a form for orders with all requirements, in which further points may be listed, e.g. B. Delivery locations for companies with multiple locations, customer cost center or account assignment data.
  6. For orders that exceed an amount of € X, two (three) offers must be obtained.
    This also applies if several partial orders result in the total amount being exceeded.
  7. Office supplies and consumables may only be ordered from companies X and Y with whom there are framework agreements.
    Useful to negotiate higher discounts for standard goods and to simplify billing.
  8. All contracts necessary for the procurement are concluded by the purchasing department, the possibly decentralized procurer is informed about this.
    If necessary, name the departments or persons who are allowed to buy decentrally, e.g. B. IT or sales.
  9. A "free" purchase without contracts is only permitted in exceptional cases. Affected employees will only be reimbursed for their expenses if they present invoices / receipts that meet the legal requirements.
    Define exceptions precisely, for example if tools or materials are required at short notice during assembly on site at the customer. If necessary, describe the specific requirements that the documents must meet.
  10. If a discount is offered, there is an obligation to use this without exception. The receipts and information must be forwarded to the accounting department immediately.
    See also rules for delivery and storage.
  11. Before placing an order, each customer undertakes to check whether goods or supplies are still available in order to keep stocks low.
    If necessary, a corresponding note can be provided on the order forms.

Rules for delivery and storage

  1. Every delivery is checked for completeness and externally recognizable defects by means of an incoming inspection. There is also a comparison between the order and the delivery (delivery note).
    In particular, the following are checked: quantity, type of goods, prices, conditions and packaging damage.
  2. Purchasing undertakes this check for all centrally procured goods.
    Alternatively: The checking is carried out by the ordering department.
  3. The ordering department takes over the inspection for all decentrally procured goods.
  4. In the event of external defects or incomplete delivery, the supplier / shipping company must confirm this in writing, otherwise goods acceptance will be refused.
    Note: In this and the next rules, the processes of the respective company must be mapped. There may be major deviations from the proposals.
  5. Information about defects or refused acceptance is sent to purchasing and accounting. The purchaser / customer requests the supplier to make improvements; the accounting department checks whether the invoice amount can be reduced or suspended.
  6. Goods that have passed the incoming inspection are checked and recorded in the warehouse; the consistency of the delivery note and the goods receipt is confirmed. If this has not already been done, purchasing and ordering will be informed of the incoming goods.
    In particular, the goods are checked for faultlessness, insofar as this is not possible during the incoming inspection due to packaging, quantities, weight, etc.
  7. In the event of incomplete or faulty delivery, the supplier will be promptly requested in writing by the purchaser / customer with a specific deadline for subsequent delivery or fault-free delivery. Here, too, the accounting department is informed in order to reduce the invoice, etc.
  8. Every incoming goods is reported to the purchasing department immediately; necessary documents are made available to purchasing after the exams. The purchasing department forwards the documents to the accounting department immediately. Errors that justify a reduction in benefits are also reported to the accounting department.
    Alternatively: Every incoming goods is (also or first) reported to the accounting department.
  9. Upon receipt of the invoice, purchasing / accounting / ordering party check the consistency with the delivery and, if applicable, the conditions.
  10. A precisely defined time window for the delivery of goods is coordinated with the suppliers. Deliveries outside the time window can be refused.
    Background: Saving of working time and coordination effort.

Supplier selection rules

  1. The cooperation with the suppliers is designed for the long term in order to achieve a consistently high standard in terms of quality, adherence to delivery dates and conditions. Careful suitability testing of the provider is therefore of great importance.
    The supplier review is repeated annually in order to secure and expand the standards that have been achieved.
  2. For each supplier it is determined which products or services he should deliver.
    Minimum subdivision: material / raw materials and office / consumable material.
  3. The decision for a supplier must not be made solely on the basis of price and conditions. Each (new) supplier is additionally tested and obliged to comply with the following points:
    - Quality, adherence to delivery dates,
    - Exchange / goodwill behavior,
    - Environmental commitment / sustainability as well
    - Takeover and, if necessary, disposal of packaging, containers.
    Complete the list if necessary. In addition, what is to be understood by it must be described for each point. Quality can e.g. B. mean that the supplier complies with all specifications and requirements 100%.
  4. The suppliers are checked and selected by purchasing (alternatively: management).
  5. Each supplier has a personal contact person who can be contacted for orders, problems and negotiations. If the contact person is absent, representatives must be named in good time.
    If necessary, specify when the contact person must be available and the times within which inquiries or orders are to be processed.
  6. Suppliers are obliged to notify planned changes in good time (at least three months before they come into force).
    Record the period contractually and, if possible, measure it in such a way that one can switch to alternatives.
  7. The suppliers are obliged to report any identifiable bottlenecks immediately.
    Contractually agree sanctions in the event of violations.
  8. All agreements must be made in writing; Verbal appointments are only valid if this is confirmed by the purchasing department.
  9. Every offer is checked by the purchasing department; in case of doubt, a lawyer must be commissioned to carry out the examination.
  10. There must be at least one alternative supplier for each supplier.

Share this article. Choose your platform

All information and details in our articles and information have been compiled to the best of our knowledge. However, they are provided without liability. This information cannot replace individual advice in specific cases.