Effective Purchasing for Small Business, Blog 5 of 5

The Buyful Revolution

The previous posts in this series show how a strategic purchasing process can benefit your small business in many fundamental ways. When you use Buyful to optimize your purchases, you can also save a more valuable commodity: your time. Buyful is designed to revolutionize the way small businesses purchase—delivering all of the benefits of best practice purchasing for very little investment in time and at no cost to buyers.

Specifying the Items You Want to Purchase

The second post in this series outlined the benefits of starting the purchase process with a thorough, written specification of the products/services you need. When you create your items specifications with Buyful the process is easy and fast. You can use predesigned templates to insure that your specification is complete, re-use specifications that you’ve previously created, or start from specifications created by other businesses like yours in the Buyful community. In all cases, the standard specification format insures that your needs are clear and complete.

Choosing Suppliers

The second post also described how expanding your vendor base can be worth the effort. You just need a better way to both find and evaluate vendors. With Buyful, your vendor search starts from your specification; you get a list of vendors who sell the specific items you need. You can filter the list to show only your current suppliers, suppliers recommended by people you know, suppliers in your region, or all suppliers. When considering new suppliers, you can read reviews from businesses you know who have purchased from a supplier. These trusted referrals can greatly reduce the risk involved in working with someone new. We describe reviews in more detail below.

Requesting and Comparing Quotes

Our third post covered the problems associated with comparing bids from different vendors. Even when your specification is clear, vendors might respond with different products or in different formats, making it hard to do an “apples-to-apples” comparison. Buyful gives you an easier way by requiring that suppliers respond in a unified format based on your needs.

When you request quotes online with Buyful, you are assured “apples-to-apples” responses. All of the quotes follow the same standard format. Any changes from your specified terms are highlighted. There are no faxes or emails to track down. All of you quotes are available to you on your Buyful “home” page. By following the specification-multiple vendor-quote process, you can insure that each purchase delivers the best value to your business.

Buyful helps you track the items through the receiving and payment process—with all payments conveniently online.

Delivery and Payment

Buyful also gives you the convenience of having all of your purchase history in one location. You’ll always know who you purchased from and what you purchased and when. You can track payments, and, if you prefer to pay online, you can pay all suppliers and store your payment information in one, highly secure site.

Rating and Reviewing your Suppliers

The fourth post in this series described the benefit of keeping a vendor “report card” documenting how well the vendor performed and whether you recommend using that vendor again. Buyful also makes this process effortless.

Each online transaction concludes with the opportunity for each partner—buyer and suppler—to provide a descriptive review of the other partner and a rating of the transaction process. After each subsequent transaction between these partners, there’s an opportunity to revise the review and rate the new transaction. In this way, Buyful tracks both overall impressions (reviews) and transaction performance (ratings) over time. In addition, the system provides additional subjective ratings based on factors such as making timely payments and keeping commitments. You can balance these subjective system ratings against the more subjective partner ratings to get an accurate overall assessment of a potential supplier.

When you use Buyful to search for new suppliers, you can see all ratings and reviews from other Buyful members to whom you are connected. Because reviews are from trusted business partners, you can consider them trusted referrals to new suppliers.

When you buy, Buyful reviews reduce the risk of working with new vendors. When you supply, positive reviews can deliver new business.

Join the Revolution, Join Buyful Today

Buyful offers optimized purchasing free to buyers. Suppliers pay only a small transaction fee on completed purchases. Sign up today to get the strategic benefits of optimized purchasing for your small business.

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