Whether you’re a purchasing agent for a large design/build company or a sole proprietor wearing every hat in your business, procurement can be a major time suck.

Without using a standardized system for procurement, you have to deal with:

– Fluctuating prices from the same vendor

– Spotty availability

– Contacting multiple suppliers to compare inventory, pricing, and logistics options

– Processing multiple invoices with differing terms

– Jobs starting with only partial product delivered

– Lengthy quote development process leading to loss of jobs

The good thing is that you don’t have to go it alone. When you use a marketplace to streamline your procurement process, suddenly a job that might take 6 hours and 12 phone calls can be done in a matter of minutes.

What a Well-Run Marketplace Offers Buyers

A truly useful marketplace will be operated by a team of individuals that understands the unique challenges of the industry served by the marketplace. Logistics, pricing, timing, and substitutions are different if you’re sourcing mechanical parts versus sourcing living plants. (That’s the LandscapeHub difference — we are built from the ground up by green industry professionals matched with online marketplace tech experts, combining the best of both worlds.)

When a marketplace is configured to serve an industry, it will allow buyers to:

– Quickly source materials in one place at one time from multiple suppliers using real-time inventory numbers and accurate pricing

– Ensure high quality standards of material available for procurement

– Eliminate inventory availability surprises with transparent quantity data available from suppliers

– Build online quotes that can be exported and submitted for job bidding and then easily revised for final procurement

– Consolidate those materials from different suppliers on a single purchase order

– Pay one invoice (with advantageous terms and online payment capability) instead of multiple invoices

– Easily find substitutions when inventory is low for a specified material

– Coordinate deliveries to receive product on time and for the lowest delivery price

– Eliminate or greatly decrease delays in project completion due to delivery and sourcing issues

– More efficiently schedule labor due to improved accuracy of product delivery timing

– Schedule bulk delivery of materials to a job site or land an entire order at one supplier for consolidated pickup

How to Get the Most out of a Marketplace to Streamline Procurement

Using a marketplace to streamline procurement can take a huge load off your shoulders, but there are some tips to getting the most out of the services offered.

– Try to build quotes with plenty of lead time — 3-8 weeks is optimal. That’s not always possible, but more lead time will allow greater consolidation of product delivery and will cut down on shipping prices and logistics hassled.

– Respond quickly to questions from sellers or marketplace personnel. They’re available to help you be as efficient as possible.

– Be flexible with substitutions. Sometimes there’s a very similar option that will allow you to consolidate even more of your order and cut down on logistics planning and spend.

– Factor in the cost of fulfillment when building a marketplace quote. Sometimes materials might be less expensive from one supplier, but by purchasing from a supplier that is fulfilling another part of your order, you save on shipping and logistics costs overall.

– Work with the marketplace to consolidate deliveries and/or pickup at fewest sites possible.

Ready to get started? Sign up for LandscapeHub today. It’s free, and offers all of the best practices and features for a green-industry procurement marketplace. And with these tips, you’ll definitely see increased efficiency in your purchasing processes.

Questions? Get in touch!