Speed and efficiency are top priorities when doing business in today’s climate. Slow purchase order processes can significantly hamper your business operations. There is no place for archaic legacy purchase order processing systems if you want to be competitive and realize cost savings. This is where online purchase order software comes into play.

With this software, you can say goodbye to tediously slaving over spreadsheets and email chains, as online cloud-enabled request order solutions streamline administrative processes.

But before looking at how you can manage purchase orders using this technology, let us first define online purchase order software.

What is Online Purchase Order Software?

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) define a purchase order as:

“…a commercial document issued by a buyer to a seller confirming the goods or services required together with the quantity and specification needed.”

Online purchase order software is typically cloud-based software that manages the issuance of request orders to vendors. It’s designed as an end-to-end purchase order process management system.

It must be noted that online purchase order software is not created equal. Take time to compare features before deciding which software and plan best suits your organizational needs and complements your procurement process.

The Case for Online Purchase Order Software

Do you know how much it costs to manually process purchase orders? Well, according to an APQC study on average $506.52 per purchase order. That’s quite costly.

In addition, the back and forth of the documents that must be processed in one single purchase order is tedious. Not to mention the bottlenecks created when seeking approvals from various stakeholders.

It’s evident that processing purchase orders manually presents several pain points:

· It’s expensive

· It’s often inefficient

· It’s labor-intensive

· It’s time-consuming

· It’s extremely error-prone

· It creates bottlenecks

· It lacks visibility

· It requires lots of storage space and,

· There are always compliance issues

This all leads to the benefits or advantages of using online purchase order software.

The Advantages of Using Online Purchase Order Software

 1. Customize purchase orders

Online purchase order software allows you to tailor your request shipments, make corrections and adjustments as necessary. This ease-of-use enhances efficiency meaning there are no delayed POs or misplaced orders.

2. Quickly create purchase orders

No more wasting time drafting POs in Microsoft Word and across spreadsheets. Through online purchase order software, quickly create POs from templates and fill in with your inventory and quantities before sending vendors. Improve PO processing times.

3. Easily convert purchase orders into invoices

And once goods and services have been fulfilled, with a few short clicks, convert your POs into invoices and get payments cleared faster.

4. Keep track of purchase orders

Through this software, you’ll be able to see which orders have been dispatched, delivered, and which are outstanding. It makes inventory management a hassle-free affair. 

So, now that we know what online purchase order software is, what its benefits are, let’s turn our focus to how this software allows us to manage orders.

How Online Purchase Order Software Allows Procurement Teams to Handle Purchase Orders

By considering various steps that make up the purchase process we can examine how the integration of the software helps procurement teams manage request shipments. 

Step 1: Purchase Order Creation

Typically purchase orders are generated from purchase requisitions by the procurement team. Without dedicated software, this is done across multiple channels including spreadsheets and Word documents.

Step 2: Approval Loop

In legacy setups, purchase order documents are then emailed back and forth to be signed and authorized – from the requisitioner to the sign-off authority, to the finance team, and then finally procurement officers. With purchase order software, orders are visible to all stakeholders with access, and approvals are granted faster.

Step 3: Purchase Order Dispatch

Traditionally, as soon as purchase orders are approved, they are sent to the vendor in one of several ways – either via email, fax, or paper. Thankfully, with online purchase order software that has been integrated into a procurement solution, dispatch happens within the system in which the vendors already have access meaning they get to see requests faster.

Step 4: Binding Contract

POs created using online purchase order software have terms and conditions pre-set in them so procurement teams don’t have to worry about writing them out each and every time a dispatch is issued.

Step 5: Goods delivery and matching

Goods are delivered and the buyer conducts a three-way matching to ensure that all is as described in the purchase order. Any discrepancies can be cross-checked by easily accessing the original PO from the online system. 

If everything checks out, an invoice is generated using the same PO and then sent to the finance department for payment processing. 


Online purchase order software boosts the request process efficiency, inventory management, decreases costs and improves the buyer-vendor relationship. The benefits of automating the purchase order process are numerous indeed.

If you’re looking for an intuitive and trusted procurement solution with a purchase order management system look no further than ProcurePort. Our clients include enterprises and organizations such as UNOPS, HUD.GOV, and conEdison.

To discuss procurement software with a consultant or to schedule a demo of our solutions, contact us today.