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Free Book: Guide to Purchasing Management in a Manufacturing Business


Guide to Purchasing Management in a Manufacturing Business

A Step by Step Guide to Purchasing and Supply Chain Management

Guide to Purchasing Management in a Manufacturing Business

Jim Black, the owner of a small foundry, complained bitterly one day about the amount of defective material he was receiving. "The raw material is guaranteed to meet quality specifications so as to contain less than.005% impurities. For the past three weeks, though, our castings have been turning out rougher than they should. I'm sure that last shipment of raw material wasn't as pure as it should have been. What do I do now?"

In another plant, Joe White was wondering what to do about a new supplier of electronic components he had just purchased from. "I got a good price on the first shipment, and so signed an order for two more shipments. The bill I got for this last shipment is almost $600 over that of the first. I told the supplier to take it back or reduce the bill, and he said that his quotation gave him the right to increase prices as inflation and labor expenses rose for him. I know I could get the shipment for less, elsewhere."

Both these situations highlight the need to follow good purchasing procedures to reduce the incidence of such problems.
In this guide you will review the activities which lead to effective purchasing.  Specifically, you will explore the procurement cycle which concerns decisions on:

How to determine the firm's purchasing needs
Finding a supplier who will best satisfy purchasing needs
Negotiating and making the purchase
Communicating the purchase decision to the supplier and to relevant Personnel within your firm, and
A follow-up procedure for evaluating your purchasing decisions

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Purchasing Objectives
3. The Procurement Cycle
4. Determining Purchasing Needs
5. Make-Versus-Buy
6. Selecting Suppliers
7. Sources of Information About Suppliers
8. Making The Purchase
9. Preparing The Purchase Order
10. Receiving And Inspection

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Sample Content:

2. Purchasing Objectives
It is often helpful to state the goals of purchasing for your business. In this way, you will never lose sight of the purpose of the purchasing function and will be able to make more intelligent purchasing decisions.
Here is a sample list of purchasing objectives:
to provide an uninterrupted flaw of materials and services for company operations
to find reliable alternative sources of supply
to buy at the most economic order quantities
to buy the best value: a combination of right quality at the best price with the best supplier service
to maintain good relations with vendors

3. The Procurement Cycle
Effective procurement consists of a series of steps which form a cycle. The steps in the cycle can be described as follows:
1. Determine needs. Before you buy anything, it is necessary to know what you need to buy and how much. It is important to remember that determining what you need involves not only quantity, but quality decisions as well. Determining and specifying appropriate quality requirements, in some situations, is a more difficult task than deciding what quantity to buy.

2. Select the supplier(s). When there are many suppliers to choose from, it is not simple to choose those who will give the best value - not only in price but in service, and consistent quality as well. Selection of suppliers may also mean finding more than one acceptable vendor if the purchased product is so important that you would suffer substantial losses if it were not available. In such a situation, in case the primary supplier cannot meet your needs as a result of a heavy workload, strike, unavailability of raw materials, etc.

When deciding to use more than one supplier, you have to weigh these advantages against the possible disadvantages of higher price and poorer service when you buy smaller quantities from two vendors rather than larger quantities from a single, reliable one.
3. Negotiate the purchase. In addition to specifying quantities and obtaining agreement on price, this can involve guarantees, method of payment, containers and packaging, delivery dates and other details of the purchase. Proper documentation of the purchase agreement is part of negotiation and assures that any questions or disputes that may arise will be settled in line with your expectations.

4. Follow-up. Here you look at the quality of product and service as well as the accuracy of quantities to determine what improvements, if any, are needed for the future.

4. Determining Purchasing Needs
Determining Quantity
The quantity of material you will need to buy depends on:
a. how much material you will use in production
b. how much may be lost through damage or defects
c. what you have in inventory when you place the order, and
d. the average inventory you are willing to carry
To hold total costs of materials, including purchase price and inventory carrying costs, as low as possible, it is desirable to separate purchased components into A, B, and C categories.
These categories are determined by the characteristics of the materials, their use, and their supply. The more erratically used, expensive, perishable and/or exceptionally bulky class "A" components are generally kept under tight inventory control. Status of these components is reviewed frequently and they are purchased in relatively small quantities against a production schedule (see next heading - Determining Quantity Based on Production Schedule).

Class "B" components are less expensive than the "A" components and are either erratically used or perishable or bulky. They are best controlled using perpetual inventory records which show an order point and the quantity to be bought. In this way, purchasing is a fairly routine activity except during the seasonal or annual review periods when all ordering decisions are evaluated.
Class "C" components are the least important components of the inventory. These "C" components can be kept on a simple visual control system where an order is placed whenever reserve stock has to be used. These materials are usually ordered infrequently and in fairly large quantities.
For the class "B" and "C" materials, optimal order quantities exist (economic order quantity) based on purchasing acquisition costs, set up costs, and inventory carrying costs.
Determining Quantity Based on Production Schedule
Most manufacturers who use the same component for a number of different products, use a material scheduling table, similar to the one that follows, to calculate production requirements.

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