Modernizing Purchasing

Author: Vincent Bull in: Business Solutions

Modernizing Purchasing

January 23, 2023

Keeping up with the competition needs smarter business practices. This has never been truer in manufacturing. Gone are the days when ‘this is the way we’ve always done things’ can be assumed. Improving productivity by cutting waste and improving efficiency needs to be addressed at every point of your operations.

One of the overlooked areas for improvement is purchasing. This crucial department is passed over because of the concerns at how change can affect your daily operations. After all, if you look at the LEAN methodology, there aren’t many wastes that are not improved, or exacerbated with a better purchasing department, but since purchasing is part of everything, any change can become a major issue if it is not done correctly.


Examples of wastes related to the purchasing department:

  • Defects, Overproduction, and Extra Processing – Poor sourcing from unreliable vendors creates quality issues
  • Waiting, Inventory, Motion, and Transportation – Late or excess orders lead to shortages or crowding in your warehouse
  • Non-Utilized Talent – Complicating purchasing means more staff make less work

These are just some of the issues that you may have seen arise from a purchasing department that hasn’t kept up with the times.

The good news is that most ERPs come equipped with 5 key tools to ensure your purchasing department starts off the new year with improved productivity.


As you well know, adding automation to any process in manufacturing is a game-changer. With less labor overhead and more precise machinery, you can drastically improve productivity, quality, and profits.

This same notion applies to purchasing. A modern ERP with a smart Manufacturing Execution System will include automated purchasing that will make what was once a sluggish operation into a well-oiled machine. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you plug in some good data and it’s off to the races. But it does open up time for your staff to go from reading pages of information and scouring shelves to doing what is important.

In short, automating your purchasing department with OnRamp ERP will net you the following benefits:

  • One database means one source of truth, with all the data reported immediately
  • Scanner-ready warehouse apps that improve inventory accuracy
  • Kanban and safety stock ready auto-reorder points
  • Instant access to inventory levels
  • Quickly action information to hunt for better discounts with bulk orders
  • Low-resource warnings so purchases can post the rush to fill a customer that’s in a hurry
  • Spot and adjust orders where the material isn’t a match for the sales order
  • Completely paperless

With OnRamp ERP, you can centralize and track all your material, parts, and supplies. And with automated purchase orders, you can greatly reduce the time you spend placing your purchases while improving the purchasing departments productivity.


Of course, having all this information in a central location is good, but to make it great, you have to add an ease of use. OnRamp Dashboards bring all your important data to an easy to use and customizable interface. All what you need to know to make the right decisions, with that data updated in real-time. This means that your staff never have to waste time searching through multiple locations to find the right information for the next purchase order ever again.

Purchase Order Dashboard

The OnRamp PO dashboard allows your purchasing team to stay up-to-date on all their information in one easy to understand interface. This dashboard will show your buyer what is due, what is late, what orders have been confirmed by your vendors, and more.

PO Dashboard

Our dashboards allow you to analyse and action your data. With OnRamp, you can quickly modify or confirm a receipt without having to shuffle between screens and reports. These quick and simple fixes can really help cut down on time needed per order. With less tasks that are performed faster, your purchasers will have everything they need to prevent delays due to shortages.

Vendor Dashboards

The VRM (Vendor Relation Management) dashboard places all your relevant vendor information on one page. With it, you have an immediate view of what is happening with your vendors, or a specific vendor. The VRM dashboard displays all the past and future data, including due POs for the vendors, which allow your team to make better decisions when sourcing the material you need.

VRM Dashboard

With data, like on-time deliveries and vendor quality, you will find the vendor dashboards to be very useful when planning long-term procurement and future contracts based on previous performance.


The OnRamp ERP Notification system is ready at launch but infinitely customizable. This means that once a person is subscribed to a notification, they are automatically notified when that action occurs in the ERP. By consulting with our partners, we know that we have built our notifications to let you know of any important action that happens at your manufactory. But you can also create a notification yourself if you can’t find one that doesn’t quite do what you need.

Imagine that a member of your sales team updates a sales order due date. Whether earlier or later, this will definitely impact planning and, by extension, procurement. With OnRamp ERP, your purchasing department receives an email, SMS, and in-system notification the minute the change is made (their choice on 1 or all 3). So, they can make any adjustments they need to with more than enough time to ensure your operations are not disrupted by an erratic customer. Or if another purchase order from that unreliable vendor comes in late. That notification is immediately passed to the subscribed staff so that they can start adjusting their production schedule and purchasing can start the act of finding a steadier supplier.

You no longer have to rely on a game of phone tag, or emails that are lost, or not sent at all. OnRamp ERP takes care of it all immediately.

Beyond notifications, OnRamp ERP also includes the MRP Action Messages [S1522] screen, which compares your current demand from purchase orders to current inventory levels and identifies any upcoming mismatches. Your purchasers can quickly look at the screen, review the data, and make a decision that avoids any future issues.

Vendor Part Preferences

In OnRamp ERP, one more tool for purchasing at your disposal is setting up how you will split purchase orders between your many suppliers. You can make it so that OnRamp automatically knows to place all your orders with one vendor while you can keep a record of the prices and other information from the other vendors, just in case. This is done with the Split percentage field on Vendor Part Master [S1148].

You can also input the information to automatically convert supplier orders into inventory stock if the supplier’s unit of measurement varies from your own. For example, if you are buying sheet metal by the tonne but you store it as a unit, then you can setup OnRamp to calculate how many tonnes to order when you need, for example, 200 sheets.


By having the best data always accessible to all your tools, your ERP can greatly increase the productivity and precision of your purchasing department. With more fields and more accurate data, your shop will see gains for all departments.

By adding automation and a way to be notified of any changes to your orders, you will find that the benefits felt by purchasing will quickly cascade down to your other business units.

With an ERP that is ready to go 100% paperless, you can start improving the time to send orders to customers and invoices to clients while minimizing the daily stresses on you and your staff. These improvements in efficiency and productivity are always reflected in your bottom line.

For more information on how OnRamp ERP can help improve your bottom line, contact us today!

Agree/ Disagree? Tell us what you think below!


  • Vincent Bull

    Vincent Bull is the current VP of Sales and Marketing at On-Ramp Solutions Inc. On-Ramp provides comprehensive, flexible fully integrated ERP, MES software solutions to manufacturing and services based companies. He is seasoned in the interaction between software solutions and pairing that with helping human resources improve their abilities to increase their production capacity. Vincent has a passion as well for sports such as basketball and has long been a supporter of such initiatives as The Guelph Board of Approved Basketball Officials. He also has volunteered at Special Olympics Ontario, for a host of different sporting events. Vince is a graduate of Georgian College in Ontario, holding a degree in Computer Programming.

  • Paul Henriques

    Paul Henriques is the current Manager for the Documentation and Training team at OnRamp Solutions Inc. Paul has over 15 years of experience in writing training material and documentation for various software companies. Having had to learn OnRamp ERP to better document it’s features and write training material; Paul is constantly stunned by the amount of thought that goes into each feature and the capabilities that are within the program, with features for all the various business units of a manufactory. Paul spends most of his free time keeping up to date on all the latest news and best practices for the manufacturing sector. Paul’s favorite manufacturing quote: “There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.” – Henry Ford

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