Purchase Order Process


I started buying in 1998, at my first role I did have a computer on my desk but I’m not sure what it was for. We used triplicate order books and me and the other buyer would stick the requisition in the order book with the suppliers name, date and price filled in. Over the years I’ve looked at several different purchasing systems and spoken to several other Buyers to find out what they were using and their thoughts. It’s a question that if you listen closely is asked again and again. It seems every system on the market for the construction industry has been designed by a software developer or an accountant. No offence to either I’m sure in their own department they do very well and from what I hear most accountants tend to like the software products that are on the market, I suppose when faced with chasing the Buyer every month to close out queries you’d learn to love anything.

When developing SPUD my business partner and myself set out to design a system that would be appreciated by people working in construction. Purchasing is where I cut my teeth and so I wanted to include everything a buyer would need but make it user friendly and design it to reduce their workload. Easy enough task? I focused heavily on the glaringly obvious the data, it is clear from any process that the best place to catch the data is at the point of creation. In a previous role there was a lack of order in the way requests came into the office, within a few weeks I had managed to get all to place every request on a requisition. This put a few noses out of joint but they didn’t complain when every order was delivered and they got exactly what they ordered, in fact moving forward they ensured that everyone on their project completed a requisition. Now that was one part of the chain under control but it all fell apart between the requisition and the purchase order as I didn’t have time to fill out the hand written purchase orders. This meant there was no reporting and no way for the accounts department to clear the order without coming to me for approval.

This is where SPUD stepped up to the table, the project staff can now create a requisition or select from the products you’ve allocated them in the supplier catalogue, this is the data capture. The Buyer can select the supplier/s they want to price the requisition and this is automatically sent to them. On return the Buyer has a breakdown of all supplier prices and totals and can select from the most competitive and order. The Buyer can set spend limits for each user to ease the administration on smaller orders with set pricing structures, this is the transfer of data. The Project staff can confirm receipt of the goods and attach a GRN/POD to the order, now this I never dealt with but I hear its important. The accounts department have got full access to all order information including pricing, products and delivery information. You’d think if we had all that information we could auto match invoices and push them into your accounts package, we can, come and chat to us.

Now you add in our call off orders, plant hire and all this mapped to a CVR showing live data of current project status and you’ve got a software package no accountant could build.

If you found this interesting it would be nice to have a chat.


Paul Downey

Managing Director

SPUD Construct Ltd

01727 614 800