It’s no secret that small businesses face challenges on a daily basis. Current supply chain woes need all levels of attention as problems arrive in every shape and size. Small businesses are seeking many – often any – opportunities to help keep their lights on and doors open.
The gap between businesses thriving, surviving, and boarding-up windows is a fine line.
The incredible challenges over the last few years brought rapid innovation and adoption of new technologies to supply chains, which has helped small businesses purchase essential supplies to keep operations up and running.
Small businesses make up the fabric of local communities and keep main streets populated and vibrant. Big business also plays a role in developing technology and solutions on a scale that reflects the scale of the challenge – in this case, global supply issues creating challenges at every level of business.
When it comes to the challenges that small businesses continue to face with remote work and supply chain disruption, there is an opportunity for small businesses to partner with other small and local businesses to help survive the economic climate, while also supporting the local community.
One of the first steps is to help small and local businesses connect with one another. This is where new technology and innovation help the local business community get in touch, with a mutually beneficial purpose: to buy from each other.
Innovation from digital purchasing solutions helps small businesses make a greater impact on the local community. Current technology can help direct the purchase of products and supplies to (other) small businesses in the local community
All businesses have a unique story to tell. Ask any business owner and they’re sure to award your curiosity with their tales of success and hardship.
Many people are familiar with the words “Smart TV” or “Smart Phone”, while less people know “SMART” stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. SMART objects and processes have gained awareness where they were once considered inanimate.
Not only have advances in technology brought new efficiencies to the purchasing process for small businesses, but the benefits of innovation and digital procurement solutions have introduced a variety of fresh ideas and approaches from this resulting innovation.
Using digital procurement solutions not only enables small businesses to more easily pinpoint cost savings, reveal opportunities, and turn insights into action, but business leaders get time back to invest in organizational strategy and business growth.
Small businesses can leverage the power of machine learning technology and use these solutions to find and purchase business products from other small and local businesses. In turn, this helps their small business community and local economy.
Digital procurement solutions simplify the buying process, helping small businesses easily purchase business-relevant products while shifting spend to support other small and local businesses.
Businesses can shop from hundreds of thousands of sellers, buy products in bulk, and access quantity discounts on supplies, which starts with the purchases of two or more of the same products.
The purchasing platform does the work of finding, retaining, and nurturing suppliers. Businesses can then create buying policies to prefer sellers based on criteria that match the company’s values and goals, choosing suppliers with certifications for diversity, local businesses, and more sustainable products.
Organizational purchasing goals can be proactively measured by tracking purchases of products from certified local businesses and can also be filtered by certification, zip code, city, and state.
Once small businesses can locate and purchase products from other small and local businesses, the process becomes simple and repeatable. This allows small business owners to introduce more organization to their purchasing, while also benefiting from a more simplified purchasing process, overall.
mall businesses can now easily separate work from personal purchases, automate buying and shipping preferences, create out-of-the-box reports, and streamline the entire procurement process.
Current innovations in purchasing can help identify purchasing behavior, discover new products and sellers, and measure progress toward purchasing goals. Small businesses can continue to focus on building and growing, along with pinpointing opportunities for savings, while also helping support other businesses in their communities.
Whether your small business is a recent startup or a quickly-growing organization, digital procurement solutions help make running your small business easier while connecting you with other small businesses. As a collective, you can keep lights on throughout both your digital and physical “Main Street” which, in turn, benefits your own small business.
This article was originally published on Entrepreneur.com
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