Will Buyers Be Replaced by SPOs?

Will Buyers Be Replaced by SPOs?

There’s a common misconception about suggested purchase orders (SPOs); that they automate purchasing and eliminate the need for buyers. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality, SPOs allow buyers to play a bigger and more valuable role in the purchasing process.

Most buyers pick items and quantities by running pages of sales data through various formulas. Essentially, they spend a chunk of their day doing math problems. SPOs can perform the bulk of those math problems, and then some.

SPOs run multi-step computations on a range of variables. (For instance, SPOs in the Agility ERP system use an item’s buy point, reorder point, usage, lead times, and average daily sales.) Because SPOs use so many factors, the results are more precise and consistent than those based on manual calculations. Buyers can run an SPO for certain criteria such as a supplier or product group, and produce a list of recommended purchases. Then they can decide whether to adjust quantities, or add or omit items before creating a PO.

SPOs aren’t a replacement for purchasing staff. Agents still have the final decision about what buys are made. They’re simply able to make better decisions because they have better information.

To learn more about how an SPO is calculated, read our article in Building Products Digest.

Anthony Muck is manager of customer service for DMSi Software.