There’s a reason getting the right parts at the right time, place, and price is a profession all its own. It’s about managing large amounts of data just as it is about managing relationships. That takes skill, experience, and great organizational abilities.
Without a system in place to manage that data, companies have a hard time using prior purchasing data or even fully utilizing current quote information to make better decisions. Information can get lost in email accounts and personal files. It can be hard to keep track of changes, part availability, and pricing over time. Aligni knows this and has built our vendor management system to make it easier to get more out of that data to make better decisions about parts and supplier choices.
Introducing Aligni ActiveQuote
Aligni’s ActiveQuote makes it easier to guarantee the right parts get ordered and arrive on time for production. To do this, the ActiveQuote vendor portal collects purchasing data, events, and outcomes in one searchable area. It is designed to facilitate communication between buyers and vendors in a system that’s easier to use than email processes.
In this article we go into detail about how Aligni’s ActiveQuote system can help buyers make better, more informed decisions when common purchasing situations are driving choices.
Selecting by delivery time
When supplying a production operation, there’s more than just getting the best price. Getting the parts there on-time is just as important. That’s where Aligni comes in. Being able to see a vendor’s historical delivery times and current lead time and inventory within new quotes helps buyers make the right decision to keep production running.
The ActiveQuote system allows buyers to compare several quotes to determine which order will guarantee on time delivery at the best price. The system also makes historical delivery timeliness metrics easily available for review. Purchasing managers and buyers can then analyze delivery patterns of previous orders to further guarantee parts get delivered on time.
Selecting by availability
Whether it’s for speed or specificity, sometimes it all comes down to if you can just get the part. Using ActiveQuote can help cut that time down while more accurately conveying the correct part specs. The system does this two ways. The first is helping the project move faster internally. Using Aligni for developing the BOM means it can be quickly handed off to purchasing. This reduces the need to output details from one system and somehow get it to another department. A connected process is a faster process with a lot less chance for errors.
Aligni also helps find speed with the external aspects of sourcing. It does this by connecting the parts needed to the vendors found during the product development process. The vendor list – including alternate parts – is handed off with the BOM. This reduces the time needed for buyers to search out suppliers. That work is already done. When buyers do reach out, they can do it digitally by contacting vendors through the system to get updates, collect prices, and track conversations. No need for calls or digging through old emails.
Selecting by quality
Sometimes selecting the right supplier comes down to connecting as much information together as possible. Aligni lets you do that, especially with quality data. Having information on-hand about the performance of the parts being purchased provides buyers with better insight whether the part to be sourced will work for the company’s needs. It can also provide leverage with vendors and reduce issues later on in the process.
Selecting by price
All of the above aside, price is still an important aspect of selecting the right components for a production build. To do that, supplier quotes have to be compared. Aligni’s ActiveQuote makes that process easier to accomplish. When pricing is loaded into the system, either by the buyer or by the vendors themselves, ActiveQuote provides the ability to put these quotes side by side to determine which is best for what the company needs to achieve.
Aligni goes further than just comparing current quotes. It provides the ability to search through historical quotes and orders in the system. This ability helps buyers understand price movements over time, not just right now. Buyers can use this to determine if part costs are rising from one vendor over another to be more strategic in their processes.
The above situations are just a few examples of how Aligni’s ActiveQuote system can help buyers use the information they have to be more strategic and agile. At a tactical level, using an advanced purchasing system that’s tied into product needs can help sidestep common pitfalls purchasing managers find themselves in.
Chances are, If you’re not using a quoting tool like ActiveQuote, you’re probably spending a lot of time entering and maintaining a record of vendor quotes, taking costly shortcuts including relenting to buying from over-priced catalog vendors, or focusing on one or two prime vendors instead of getting the most out of the competitive landscape. Migrating to a purpose-built system to manage complex purchasing can be your way out.
If you’re ready to make that change, it’s time to sign up online for Aligni MRP today.
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