Mobile Procurement and the Modern Construction Company

Spend Matters welcomes a guest post from Vroozi.

In some industries, the majority of the company works outside their office most of the time. It’s the nature of the business—and a necessity to their employees—to embrace the demands of a mobile business operation.

When a company operates largely on the road, they need a solution as mobile as they are. For procuring items on-the-go, modern organizations are taking advantage of mobile procurement platforms for their searchability, ease-of-use, and simplified order process.

Let’s look at an example: Bill owns and manages a construction company that knows no other way but to fully immerse itself in a mobile business plan. His reputable business has been around for more than 30 years and performs hundreds of projects annually.

Bill manages a multitude of taskmasters, who work mainly in the field inspecting potential job opportunities and overseeing ongoing operations. Bill employs every role himself, from surveyors and architects to foremen and project managers, plus a small office team and over 100 field service workers and equipment operators. With so many roving representatives on his staff, Bill’s company needed to find a mobile solution that was adaptable enough to meet the needs of his operation.

In the company’s early history, Bill would simply make the rounds, note what a job site was in need of, go back to his office, and call it in to whichever vendor he felt might offer him the lowest price, earliest availability, closest proximity, and least aggravation. Looking back now, this dated procurement practice was aggravating. Also, because of the marginal difference between a profit and simply breaking even on many jobs, Bill knew that he had to restrict maverick spending when buying supplies. Purchase orders all needed to go through an approval process before being placed. Thankfully, as the business scaled, so did advancements in technology.

Mobile procurement allows all of Bill’s associates to tap into a single source of truth for procuring items through an approved vendor list. The mobile procurement system integrates with the company’s planning tools so that supplies and materials can be easily interchanged when developing estimates. The platform also helps keep procurement costs low by giving the team the capabilities to perform Boolean, parametric, and synonym searches.

Satisfying one of the larger concerns for Bill’s construction operation, mobile procurement allows him to still approve every purchase request before an order is placed. As other members of the organization make requests on their own mobile devices from their own job sites, Bill is alerted to call up the platform—right on his smartphone or tablet—and choose to approve, deny, or modify the request. That’s how you embrace connectivity in a mobile business operation.

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