Question

In: Operations Management

Purchase Process in COVID-19

Being new to the business, the company is also unaware of how the purchase process would be followed.
You as a financial service provider, help them in what procedure to follow in the purchasing process of
inventory and also guide them on how does their approach of purchasing change during this Pandemic
Covid-19 situation?

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Expert Solution

 

Answer

With the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases growing exponentially, client countries have requested emergency support and help from the World Bank as they tackle the pandemic. Procuring medical goods on an emergency basis – such as masks, gowns, respirators, hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, and ambulances – is critical. The same goes for procurement of consultancy services to raise public awareness and to develop laboratory and medical protocols, especially as many hospitals lack capacity to manage the number of cases and the internal organization needed to prevent intra-hospital infection.

Procurement specialists are working round the clock with government counterparts and Bank colleagues on needs assessments and design of faster, more efficient arrangements to jump start project implementation. They are facing many challenges, such as market availability, border closings, and coordination with the government. Procurement specialists are also managing day-to-day activities of ongoing projects in all sectors and must now address challenges posed by the pandemic – such as broken supply-chains, workers not being able to report to work, and restrictions and delays at borders that affect contractors and suppliers’ ability to implement contracts. Most procurement specialists are in countries where the World Bank now requires work from home: this can slow coordination with other project team members as well as implementation units.

One of these is the state of the market for supplies and workforce that are vital to contain and combat the pandemic. Goods and services are not readily available, and we’re seeing price inflation as demand across the globe far exceeds the supply. Under normal circumstances, the global market regulates itself. But we are now in an unprecedented situation, where there is neither an automatic correction of the markets nor a global regulation in place to address market failures. And as COVID-19 is progressing very rapidly, new cases are being reported in many countries across the world, which makes the assessment of needs very difficult.

Impact on ongoing operations: Procurement processes may be delayed or cancelled in some ongoing projects because of COVID-19. The procurement specialists are advising countries on actions to take, but there is a strong possibility of contracts being delayed or terminated due to force majeure situations, as contractors and suppliers are not able to carry out their contracts due to border closings or self-isolation. So we needed to update the purchasing procedure for inventory.In the following decribing the purchasing procedure during pandemic situation.

The Need

This stage you prepare a list for needed raw materials or goods.

Needs Clarification

Once the need’s been identified, the variety (e.g., brand), amount required, and delivery schedule need to be established.

Requisition or Order

With the details settled, the requesting party has a couple of options. Generally, those without the authority to approve direct purchase orders will first create and submit a purchase requisition, which is an internal document requesting that approved parties obtain goods and services. Upon approval, the purchase requisition is used to create a purchase order, which is the actual order sent to the supplier for the goods and services required.

Authorization

The purchase order (generated from a purchase requisition or not) must also be approved. The purchase order process benefits from automation and artificial intelligence (AI), usually through the use of purchase order software that’s part of a comprehensive procurement software package.

Not only does automation permit role assignments and automatic routing and tracking of all purchase orders and approvals/rejections/revisions, but it allows for real-time adjustments and transparent communication between all parties involved. In addition, automatic reminders can be created to ensure no PR or PO is left to languish.

Supplier Review

If you’ve already integrated an automated procurement solution into your workflow, chances are the list of approved and available suppliers will obviate this step in the process—especially for repeat orders. But if you’re adding new products, or new suppliers for existing products to the system, then each candidate must be reviewed for compliance, performance, and reliability.

Supplier Selection

At this stage, the purchaser chooses the supplier who’ll be filling the order, either from the pre-vetted list in their software catalog or through other means.but this pandemic situation it is very difficult to find a good supplier so in this situation we are searching the interent who is the better supplier.In other words, in Covid-19 Situation the total market is down so the all peoples using internet for their business.using interent for communicate the business related matters and doing the business on internet so in this situation all suppliers is availble on internet.

Price and Term Negotiations

This step is also made infinitely easier if your workflow is built around procurement software automation. Centralized contract and document management and information sharing means previously-negotiated contract terms and best price are already available for each vendor on the approved list. New vendors being added to the system will have this information added as your legal team completes and certifies your company’s agreement(s) with the vendor.

If your company doesn’t use automation, then your team will need to sit down with the vendor to negotiate payment terms and conditions.

Order Placement

At this point, the buyer officially places the order and creates a binding purchase agreement between your business and the vendor on through internet.

Receiving and Inspection

It is the very difficult stage in the Covid-19 Situation ,In this situation take goverment approval for delivering the Material but this not our job ,it is for suppliers job. so no tension about that but Inspection of material not easy at this situation because lack of employees so ask some times for Inspecting the materials.

Payment

The invoice is reviewed for accuracy against the purchase order, invoice,quality of material and other documentation. Depending on the terms established for the supplier and the approval of the reviewing party, payment is issued (usually within 30, 60, or 90 days).but In this situation ask more times to Settle the amount.

Records Management

Businesses still using manual systems follow up by updating their inventory totals and purchasing ledger. Purchasing software automates this step, as documents are cross-connected and update automatically across all departments.


Detailed guidance for purchase process in quarantine situatuion is briefly discussed

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