Purchase follow-up is the act of monitoring the orders made. It begins when the order is placed with the supplier and goes until the customer relationship management. So, the follow-up is the supervision of every step involved in the process until the delivery of the product.
Therefore, this is one of the aspects that make the procurement department strategic. Assuring and controlling the efficiency of the acquisition flux and financial resources. Then, it must also make sure that negotiations are working.
With that you can avoid mistakes and problems and keep your inventory healthy and well optimized.
What is follow-up?
As previously established, the follow-up is the process that will guarantee the supply of a company. So it can attend customers orders and keep itself on market. So, the most important function of a follow-up process is to maintain stock at all times.
With the procurement team maintaining the process, the deliveries are done in the correct timing and the customer is satisfied and probably will keep doing business with your company.
Not only the delivery date must be kept, but also the quantity and quality of the order. The customer must receive exactly what he wants and the follow-up can participate in that. A delayed order can impact the whole supply chain and the company.
Purchase and Sales Follow-up
We’ve been talking about the purchase follow-up that deals with the negotiations with suppliers to keep items on stock and avoid inventory problems, stockouts and lost sales for the company.
The sales follow-up is the process of contacting and negotiating with prospects, leads and clients. That is part of the buyer’s journey with a specific brand. So, the function of the sales follow-up is to conduct consumers through the sales funnel and sell your product.
Types of Follow-up
There are two basic types, each with its own uses and specific scenarios. Although they share the same objective, they are used in different aspects. They are the preventive and corrective follow-up.
As the name suggests, the preventive seeks to prevent occurring problems in the process. Its main focus is to keep dates and delivery conditions as previously decided on the negotiations. Usually, the preventive follow-up is to keep a functional process.
The corrective process will act on problems and mistakes and find ways to avoid their repetition. This happens after the manager or the system identifies a mistake and then the follow-up will try to minimize the impacts on the operation.
For a fully optimized project, you need the two of them working together and always improving the activities.
The important steps
So, it’s important to keep attention to some points when defining a follow-up process on your operation. Let’s highlight some of the most important ones:
- Make the preventive and the corrective follow-ups.
- Plan ahead an routine and establish your daily activity based on that plan.
- Choose the right suppliers and partners and adjust your operations accordingly to the needs of everyone.
- Pay attention to the important KPI’s and always try to maximize them.
- Invest in softwares and technologies that will make your process more efficient and optimized.
The follow-up process is fundamental to avoid mistakes at the operations and to maintain a healthy stock and procurement activity. It’s also important because it allows companies to have records of every situation of the process, with details of how the negotiation went.
With that in mind, managers can evaluate KPI’s and transform the activity in strategic ways, increasing efficiency and profitability on the whole company.