Solution 1: Communicate

Requesters and Procurement staff are famously bad at communicating with each other.  This seems to be true no matter what the country or culture.

It is your job as team leader to promote the communication habits that will be required for things to run smoothly.

Here’s the message you should give to staff (continuously) to help things along:

Both parties must be proactive in communicating with each other throughout the purchasing process.  Requesters and Purchasing Staff must communicate actively and frequently.

  1. People requesting purchases (Requesters) must make sure purchasing understands what they need.
    1. They should talk to purchasing before preparing their written requests (Purchase Requisition Forms).
    2. Their written requests must be clear, detailed, and realistic.
    3. They should talk to purchasing again when turning in their requests, making sure purchasing understands what is written and can carry out the purchasing in the right amount of time.
    4. They should make sure to get a numbered copy of the PRF after turning it in so they can refer to it when communicating with the Purchasing Staff.
    5. They should ask Purchasing Staff for updates during the process, if they are not already getting them.
  2. Purchasing Staff must talk to Requesters…
    1. As the Requisition Form is turned in, making sure they understand everything that is on the request and that it can be delivered in the time requested.
    2. As they start to get an idea about options for purchase and delivery times.
    3. At staff meetings with general updates
    4. By posting the PRF log in a public place and/or emailing a copy to all staff on a regular basis.
    5. If they have any questions or run into any problems.
    6. When they have finished the purchase.

Everyone should use the PRF number when communicating about a specific purchase.  If you are emailing, use the PRF number in the subject line.  This will make it easier for you to understand each other, and to find your electronic communications later.