Try Interactive Demo
Knack: No-Code Application Development Platform
In the ever-evolving tech landscape, no-code application development has emerged…
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, businesses are constantly seeking innovative…
Template Marketplace
Knack: No-Code Application Development Platform
Track current inventory by managing shipments and orders.
Retain customers by offering a self-serve portal.

The Ultimate Guide to Efficient Purchase Order Tracking

  • Written By: Cheyenne Kolosky
Purchase Order Tracking

Purchase order tracking is a vital component of ensuring efficient procurement processes in supply chain management. Without effective tracking, businesses may face inventory shortages, missed deadlines, and financial losses due to errors or inefficiencies. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the significance of purchase order tracking, exploring its role in optimizing workflows, mitigating risks, and fostering success in the dynamic realm of modern commerce.

Key Takeaways

  • Importance of Purchase Order Tracking: Purchase order tracking is vital for businesses to monitor the lifecycle of purchase orders, ensure timely delivery of goods/services, identify bottlenecks, streamline workflows, and maintain financial accuracy.
  • Challenges of Traditional Methods: Traditional manual purchase order tracking methods are prone to human errors, time-consuming, expensive, and require manual intervention, leading to inefficiencies, delays, and increased risk of errors.
  • Benefits of Purchase Order Tracking Systems: Implementing purchase order tracking systems streamlines procurement processes, reduces errors, saves time and costs associated with manual labor, enhances visibility into order status, provides valuable insights through analytics, ensures compliance, and fosters stronger supplier relationships.

What is Purchase Order Tracking?

Purchase order tracking is the systematic process of monitoring and managing the lifecycle of purchase orders within a supply chain. It involves tracking orders from creation through approval, fulfillment, and payment, providing real-time visibility into their status, and ensuring timely delivery of goods or services. 

By overseeing purchase orders, businesses can identify bottlenecks, streamline workflows, and optimize inventory management. It also enables organizations to maintain financial accuracy by preventing discrepancies between orders placed, goods received, and invoices processed.

Effective purchase order tracking minimizes the risk of errors, delays, and miscommunications. Ultimately, it empowers businesses to make informed decisions, maintain healthy supplier relationships, and uphold financial integrity throughout procurement.

Common Purchase Order Tracking Challenges

Traditional manual purchase order tracking methods present businesses with several challenges that must be addressed, such as:

  • Prone to Human Error: Manual data entry increases the risk of quantity, price, and vendor information errors.
  • Time-consuming: Manual tracking processes lead to delays in order processing and fulfillment.
  • Process Bottlenecks: Lack of visibility into order status can result in bottlenecks in approval and fulfillment processes.
  • Expensive: Traditional methods require significant investment in labor and paper-based processes.
  • Requires Manual Intervention: Manual intervention is often necessary, leading to inefficiencies and potential errors.

Track Efficiently with a Purchase Order Tracking System

Businesses are increasingly turning to purchase order tracking systems to solve purchase order tracking challenges. By centralizing and automating the management of purchase orders, these systems streamline the entire procurement process, from order creation to delivery. This efficiency saves time and reduces the likelihood of errors, ensuring smoother operations. It also helps businesses reduce operational costs associated with manual labor, inventory management, and supplier discrepancies.

Purchase order tracking systems have real-time tracking capabilities that give businesses visibility into the status of every purchase order in their system. This transparency enables better decision-making, as stakeholders can proactively address delays, identify bottlenecks, and optimize workflows to meet deadlines and customer demands. 

They also have robust reporting and analytics capabilities that offer valuable insights into purchasing trends, supplier performance, and inventory forecasting. Armed with this data, businesses can make informed decisions to optimize their supply chain, reduce lead times, and drive strategic growth initiatives.

Additionally, purchase order tracking systems provide a structured framework for managing purchasing activities and ensuring compliance with internal policies and external regulations. By maintaining a comprehensive audit trail of all transactions, these systems enhance accountability and mitigate the risk of fraud or unauthorized purchases.

Key Features of Purchase Order Tracking Systems

Purchase order tracking systems offer a range of key features designed to optimize purchase order management and improve overall productivity, including:

  • Automated Alerts and Reminders: Automated notifications ensure prompt action on pending approvals, delivery delays, and stock shortages, minimizing bottlenecks and missed deadlines.
  • Customization: Extensive customization options allow organizations to tailor the system to their unique workflows, terminology, and business rules, optimizing efficiency and user experience.
  • Integration: Seamless integration with ERP and accounting software streamlines data flow, eliminates manual entry errors, and enhances visibility into procurement processes.
  • Document Management: Comprehensive document management capabilities facilitate the storage, retrieval, and sharing of purchase orders, contracts, and related documents, improving organizational efficiency and compliance.
  • Supplier Relationship Management: Features for managing supplier information, performance metrics, and communications foster stronger supplier relationships, enabling better negotiation and collaboration.
  • Analytics and Reporting: Analytics and reporting functionalities provide actionable insights, empowering informed decision-making and strategic planning.
  • Mobile Accessibility: Mobile-friendly interfaces and applications enable users to access and manage purchase orders on the go, enhancing flexibility and responsiveness.

How Purchase Order Tracking is Traditionally Done

Traditionally, purchase order tracking is accomplished through manual processes. Let’s take a look at an example.

Example: Your Department Needs More Inventory

Your department is running low on printer ink. How can it get more?

Step 1: Contact the Purchasing Department

First, your department must submit a request to the purchasing department. The purchasing department then checks to ensure the ink is within budget before proceeding with the request.

Step 2: The Purchasing Department Fills out a PO

Next, a manager in the purchasing department reviews and approves the request. An employee in the department then fills out a PO detailing the request and addresses it to the printer ink supplier.

Step 3: Purchase Order Tracking is Sent to Suppliers

Once the PO is filled out, the purchasing department mails it to the company’s printer ink supplier. From there, the supplier is responsible for fulfilling and delivering the order.

Why This Process is Outdated

Traditional purchase order tracking methods are outdated because they rely heavily on manual processes, such as paper-based documentation and email communication, which are prone to errors and delays. They also lack real-time visibility into the status of purchase orders, hindering timely decision-making and procurement management.

How Knack Can Streamline Purchase Order Tracking

Knack is renowned for empowering users to develop custom applications, including purchase order tracking systems, perfectly tailored to their unique needs. Through its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, users can design and customize their tracking systems without extensive coding knowledge. This feature facilitates the creation of custom data models, forms, and views, ensuring that the system aligns seamlessly with the business’s specific workflow and terminology.

One of Knack’s key strengths is its ability to automate workflows and business processes within the purchase order tracking system. Users can set up automated notifications, approvals, and reminders based on predefined rules and triggers, ensuring efficient movement of purchase orders through the procurement process. Additionally, Knack offers seamless integration with other business tools and systems, ensuring data consistency across multiple platforms and facilitating real-time updates.

Knack also provides robust user permission settings, allowing businesses to control access to sensitive purchase order data based on roles and responsibilities. Administrators can define user roles, access levels, and permissions, ensuring only authorized personnel can view, edit, or approve purchase orders. 

It is a highly scalable, flexible platform that allows businesses to adapt their purchase order tracking system as their needs evolve. Whether adding new fields, customizing views, or integrating additional functionalities, Knack offers the flexibility to accommodate changing business requirements. 

Start Building Today

Ready to revolutionize your procurement process? Harness the power of Knack’s customizable platform to build a purchase order tracking system perfectly tailored to your business needs. Streamline workflows, automate processes, and gain unparalleled visibility into your procurement operations. Start building for free and take control of your purchasing journey today with Knack.

Not sure where to start? No worries! We have a library of templates for you to choose from, including:

  • Purchase Order Database Template: With customizable fields, automated workflows, and seamless integration capabilities, this template empowers users to streamline purchase order creation, approval, and tracking. Knack’s purchase order database template provides the flexibility and scalability to adapt to your unique requirements and drive operational excellence in procurement management.
  • Product Catalog Database Template: This template allows users to organize and track product information efficiently using intuitive interfaces and robust search functionality. Knack’s product catalog database template provides a user-friendly solution to centralize data, improve collaboration, and optimize product-related workflows.
  • Vendor Management Template: Knack’s vendor management template streamlines and centralizes vendor processes. With payment tracking features, automated workflows, and integration capabilities, this template enables users to efficiently manage vendor information, track contracts, and monitor performance. Whether you’re onboarding new vendors, negotiating contracts, or evaluating supplier relationships, Knack’s vendor management template provides the tools to enhance collaboration, mitigate risks, and improve vendor interactions.

Purchase Order Tracking FAQs

What are the seven steps in a procurement lifecycle?

The seven steps in a procurement lifecycle typically include identifying the need for goods or services, conducting market research and vendor selection, creating a purchase requisition, obtaining approvals, issuing a purchase order, receiving and inspecting goods or services, and processing payment to the vendor.

What are the best ways to keep track of purchase orders and procurement?

Some of the best ways to keep track of purchase orders and procurement are implementing a dedicated purchase order tracking system or software, utilizing standardized processes and documentation, and establishing clear communication channels with suppliers. By centralizing purchase order data, automating workflows, and maintaining transparency throughout the procurement process, businesses can ensure efficient tracking and management of purchase orders while minimizing errors and delays.