A purchasing department is responsible for buying the products or raw materials necessary for the company to produce the products or services being sold in the business. The purchasing department must know how much is in the company’s inventory at any given time so the production of products and services does not come to a halt due to the lack of raw materials. Since there are many aspects of the purchasing process that can go wrong, the purchasing department may have some weaknesses, which are often addressed over time.
Buying Without a Plan
Purchasing managers or employees are responsible for purchasing the necessary items or raw materials needed to create products for sale. One of the major weaknesses of a purchasing department is to purchase items without a plan. The lack of a purchasing list or plan can cause the purchasing manager or employee to purchase products the company doesn't need just because a supplier has a sale or discount in place. The company will end up with items in the inventory that are unnecessary for the production of goods.
Buying Without Checking Inventory
Some purchasing managers or employees will create orders for supplies and raw materials without checking the inventory first. This is a common weakness for purchasing departments. If the items in the inventory have expiration dates, the company may end up throwing out unused items or goods, which is costly. Rather than saving the company money, the purchasing department is spending more.
Failing to do Research
Another weakness of a purchasing department is failing to do research before settling on a supplier. Some purchasing managers will use the most popular supplier on the market before researching other suppliers, who may be cheaper and offer the same quality products or raw materials. Doing some research can save the company money.
Choosing Price Over Value
The budget is another concern for the purchasing department when scouting the market for suppliers and distributors. A purchasing manager will quickly discover that some suppliers offer more products for a lower price, while others charge more for fewer products or supplies. Purchasing cheap supplies of a lower quality is another purchasing department weakness. Although a business would prefer to save money, few companies would risk the quality of the products in favor of a lower price.
Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.