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Procurement training is available from a wide range of community colleges and universities. Procurement is another term for purchasing or buying. It is used to describe purchasing activity on behalf of a business or organization. There are three different levels of procurement training: basic data processing, procurement analysis, and management.
Data processing is an important area of procurement training. The vast majority of procurement activity is completed using computer software programs. The ability to correctly enter the required data is an essential part of the procurement process. This type of procurement training is available at the community and career college level. This course may be focused on a specific software program or general enough to be applied to the most commonly used products.
Procurement analysis training is available through either a college or university degree program. Data analysis is used to determine where the company or organization can save money or improve the business process. The primary concepts used in this type of training include data management and normalization, statistics, outliers, and data cubes. All these skills can be utilized for any other type of data management or analysis programs.
Management procurement training incorporates both procurement analysis and financial reporting. The training required for a position in management is typically a post-graduate program or certificate. These one-year programs provide the additional training required in this important business function.
Within a large company, everyone who is processing purchase requisitions or purchase orders is typically required to complete procurement training. This training is divided into three areas: internal procurement policy, finance obligations, and data quality. Compliance with procurement policy is essential to avoiding costly lawsuits and disputes.
Training on finance obligations related to procurement activity is a crucial aspect of budgeting and cash management. Large firms typically create a spending budget for different products or activities. The accurate training of purchasing activity against this budget is absolutely necessary to properly track spending. It is important to remember that a purchase order is a binding contract. Once the materials have been delivered, the customer is obligated to pay the value on the purchase order. Mismanagement of procurement can result in cash flow problems and over-commitment of funds.
Data quality and integrity is very important in a procurement system. A commonly used example is the creation of vendor master records. Ideally, one vendor account is created for every supplier. All purchases, invoices, goods receipts, returns, and credits are recorded against this vendor account. Reports can be run on the account to determine the total dollar value of spending with the supplier over a period of time, and the materials purchased. If multiple accounts are created for the same supplier, the reports are all incorrect, and the company will miss opportunities to negotiate pricing contracts, based on a specific dollar value of purchasing activity.