The Best 7 Free and Open Source Purchasing Software
The concept of purchasing and procurement has transformed with the focus on improving internal processes and streamlining supply chain management. Buyers not only pay attention to negotiating the optimum prices but emphasize strategy-oriented purchase plans. This means making smart crucial decisions on when and what quantity of goods to purchase. The modern purchase plans are created with an intent to keep track of your orders and spendings, get more legal controls, and view the supplier report cards, etc.
Purchase managers and executives validate the purchasing process to maximize the value of every penny spent. It also brings spending management into the picture. But at the same time, the purchasing team also needs to create a purchase strategy, identify the potential suppliers, negotiate a possible price, understand the terms and conditions, and send the purchase order. This may prove to be a hectic and time-consuming activity. A viable solution to mitigate all these issues is implementing a purchasing software that automates the entire workflow process.
Introduction to Purchase Management
In layman words, purchase management is the process of managing and simplifying the purchase activities, ensuring that all ordered goods and services are delivered on time. The activity also involves determining the quality and quantity of goods received, controlling the costs, and maintaining stock levels. Purchase management also aims to improve the relationship with the suppliers and maximize profit levels.
Purchase management primarily focuses on five pivotal areas-
- Lower the Company’s Expenditure- The purchase managers always intend to keep expenses down when purchasing goods and services from suppliers. The entire focus is on negotiating the best price without compromising the product quality when sending the purchase requisition. The purchase managers also need to find out the best reliable suppliers, compare the costs, and then strike the deal.
- Keep Updating the Inventory Level- The purchase managers also have to keep the inventory level up-to-date. It also helps them to gain more control over stock and check which items are more in demand.
- Avert From Stock-Out Situations- Letting your customers go due to stock-out situations can be frustrating. Hence updating your inventory level becomes more than essential to avoid such unwanted scenarios. Creating an appropriate purchasing strategy helps you to make decisions on buying products and sending orders. You can maintain an accurate inventory level where items are neither over-stocked nor do they fall short.
- Streamline Supply Chain Process- The objective of purchase management is to organize and streamline the process. Purchase managers need to build a strong relationship with the suppliers and keep track of all goods shipped to ensure timely delivery. In short, they need to make sure that there is no gap in the supply chain process.
- Provide Optimum Customer Satisfaction-The purchase department can also play a pivotal role in improving and optimizing customer satisfaction levels. It buys the best quality products from the suppliers at affordable prices, ultimately reaching the end customers.
A Brief Discussion on Purchase Order Management
A purchase order is regarded as an integral part of the procurement process. It is an essential document or an official offer, which a buyer or purchase manager sends to a seller intending to make a purchase. The document usually contains all crucial details about the type of goods and services that need to be procured, quantity, price, time of purchase, and delivery.
It is critical to note that several organizations and buyers use a purchase order template while creating a purchase order. This is a specific document or form where the buyer has to enter all details related to the purchase before sending it to the supplier. He/she can create the purchase order document using Microsoft Word or Excel.
The Role of Purchase Order Management
Serves as a Foundation of Purchasing Process- The purchase order management can serve as a reliable foundation of the purchasing process. The company decides what products it wants to purchase, how much, and from which supplier. It first creates a requisition order, which, after getting approved, becomes a purchase order.
Acts as an Important Legal Document- An essential purpose of a purchase order is to serve as a legal document safeguarding both buyers’ and sellers’ interests.
Saves From Sudden Price Fluctuations- It saves buyers and sellers from entering into any conflict over price and quantity of goods ordered. It means that the supplier has to sell the products at the agreed price, and he/she cannot increase the cost suddenly. The buyer can also not request or force the supplier to decrease the price after entering a contract.
Helps to Track the Order Status- Next, purchase order management can play a crucial role in efficiently tracking the status of purchased items and ensuring that you have received them all.
Track and Control Spendings- You can also keep track of all your spendings and ensure that excess budget is not allocated for the purpose. You can see a detailed report and get insights on where every penny is being spent.
Steps Involved in Managing the Purchasing Process
To be honest, the purchase management process follows a typical purchase cycle that involves a few pivotal steps. You can go through the diagram below to have a better understanding.
The Drawback of Managing Your Purchase and Spend Manually
The business organization may encounter several other challenges, such as lack of visibility and reporting abilities, but innovative technologies allow them to upscale their processes and operations. The advent of purchasing software with advanced purchasing software has minimized and mitigated many purchasing issues.
What is Purchasing Software?
The purchasing software is an automated system that enables companies and buyers to automate their entire procurement cycle from creating a purchase requisition document to finally receiving the ordered goods and making the payment. This advanced innovative process also passes through various points such as preparing a budget estimate, managing the spending, contracts, and suppliers with full control over purchase order.
The purchase management software also helps companies to develop electronic purchase orders, digitally manage inventory, and track goods and services in real-time. The tool is essential to optimize stock levels and determine what products and quantity to purchase.
Typical Features of Purchasing Software
- Audit Trails- Helps to validate the recorded transactions in the purchase order document.
- Compliance Management- Compliance management in purchasing keeps a vigil on all people associated with purchasing or selling goods to ensure that they adhere to terms and conditions.
- Contract Management- Contract management in purchasing is a legal document that defines the terms and conditions of purchase, the agreed price of the purchased goods, mode of payment, etc.
- Inventory Management- The purchasing software also allows businesses to efficiently manage and streamline their inventory levels, avoiding excess stocking and stock-out situations.
- Supplier Management- Strengthen and manage your relationship with suppliers getting the best quality products at affordable prices and trace past interactions.
- Invoice Processing- Create, process, and manage the supplier’s invoice unless they get complete payment for the goods dispatched.
- Request for Quotation-Create a purchase order and invite quotations from multiple suppliers for the product or service.
- Purchase Order- Create and manage a purchase catalog that indicates the type of goods needed, quantity, and agreed prices for the products.
- Sourcing Management- Helps to negotiate an optimum price between the buyer and the supplier.
- Spend Management- Gain control over your spending and ensure that the suppliers are paid following the procured goods’ agreed price.
- Spend Dashboard- A spend dashboard enables you to track your expenditure and view the spending analytics through graphs and statistics. It helps you to control unwanted spendings.
Who Can Use a Purchasing Software
Various industries and business domains are predominantly implementing and using free and open source purchasing software. The vital ones include-
Potential Benefits of Purchasing Software
- The purchase management software helps to automate the creation of digital purchase requisition and purchase orders in real-time.
- The advanced software enables you to gain more control over expenditure and day-to-day transactions.
- You can negotiate the best price with the suppliers to procure the optimum quality of goods and services.
- The software provides modern and advanced purchasing workflows, eliminating the paperwork and minimizing the time for approvals.
- The purchase order software provides high-end reporting and innovative tools to track purchasing performance.
- The software can seamlessly integrate with other tools and applications such as inventory management systems, CRM software, ERP Software, procurement tools, etc.
- The tool helps a great deal in establishing a robust and viable relationship between the buyers and the suppliers with zero fraudulent chances.
- Business organizations can unleash the benefit of the latest transforming trends to gain more visibility of future markets and demand to make more improved decisions regarding purchasing items.
- Anyone can access information from any device, anywhere.
- Many purchasing software provides multiple languages, and currencies support helping you to procure goods from worldwide.
What are the Best Free and Open Source Purchasing Software?
Today the best free and open source purchasing software has gained more prominence because many startups and small businesses are unwilling to invest a considerable chunk of their resources into buying tools. They also want to keep pace with the market trends, and hence these free and customized applications become more than handy. These tools are also popular amongst large and medium-sized enterprises.
Free and Open Source Purchasing Software
- Odoo Purchase
- Axelor ERP
- O2B Technologies
Comparison Table of Best 7 Free and Open Source Purchasing Software
Dolibarr (Free and Open Source )
Dolibarr is the best free and open source purchasing software that streamlines and efficiently manages all the purchase orders workflow. The software also allows you to restock your warehouse with ease. This is also a free and open source ERP and CRM tool that supports all business enterprises, regardless of their size, including the startups. Besides providing purchasing, CRM, and ERP solutions, Dolibarr caters to various other sectors, such as simplifying human resource management, offering a viable CMS and POS platform, streamlining the finance and billing, marketing, and integration development, and more.
Dolibarr supports both on-premise and cloud-based deployment, enabling you to install the application at your preferred location. The software is free, with the basic version starting at 9 Euros or $10.50. It also offers a 15-day free trial period.
Image Source: Dolibarr
- Create purchase orders with ease to receive and bill them.
- Permit users and groups on the workflows.
- You can receive the goods and products for your warehouse using the stock dispatching wizards.
- The software helps to calculate the weighted average cost automatically and maintains updated valorization of inventory.
- You can automatically generate the purchase orders and check the wrong quantity using open customer and purchase orders.
Odoo Purchase (Free and Open Source)
Odoo is a leading Enterprise Resource Planning Software, while Odoo Purchase is one of the best free and open source purchase management software. The software helps you manage all your purchase orders and suppliers hassle-free to boost inventory performance. One of the biggest USPs implementing this fantastic tool is automating the purchasing workflow process, allowing you to send requisitions for purchase orders automatically.
You can streamline the inventory management process with systematic procurement rules that depend on stock levels, sales orders, etc. You can simply get the supplier’s lists and information on product availability. It helps you to make quick and smart decisions regarding the purchase of goods. You can also track the supplier’s stock in real-time and view your mobile application’s order status.
The purchase tender helps you to negotiate the best price with the suppliers. You can use reporting to analyze the quality of products from suppliers. Odoo Purchase provides real-time and accurate purchasing that helps you forecast, analyze, and plan your further purchases. This is also a free purchasing software with a 15-day free trial period.
Image source: Odoo Purchase
- Odoo Purchase offers a modern, intuitive user interface to manage inventory quickly.
- The purchase tenders and the blanket order agreement help you to negotiate the best price.
- Easily create the request for quotations or RFQs for suppliers with a customized message. You can even send the RFQs automatically through emails.
- Gain more control over vendor bills and compare information on purchase orders always to pay the accurate bill.
- You can track real-time order status and the estimated delivery date. You don’t need to generate drafts.
- Modernize and streamline your procurement process to automatically place the orders. Efficiency, manage the incoming delivery of products.
- The purchase order software helps you to manage the invoice and billings innovatively. You can also get control over future orders or purchases.
- Handle and manage all your products seamlessly with different innovative tactics such as real-time stock checking, adding supplier reference, specifying the storage location, adding POS, setting the accounting rules, and more.
- The advanced dashboard helps in analyzing and forecasting inventory orders.
CatalystK (Free and Open Source)
CatalystK is a free and open source purchase requisition management software that helps you to generate purchase orders, requests quickly, and goods received note (GRN). You can manage the purchase invoices with ease.
In addition to being a viable purchasing tool, CatalystK is also the best-in-class free and open source manufacturing software. It helps all small manufacturing companies and units to improve and enhance their production process.
It is important to note that the open source purchase requisition tool is integrated with free CRM software and free GST billing software. The tool is further aligned with ERP software, rental software, inventory management system, artificial intelligence, and more than 500 reports. You can also maintain the product inventory and track purchase transactions along with the generation of purchase reports. It provides free registration to all.
Image source: CatalystK
- Generate purchase orders and requests, displaying complete details of the suppliers.
- Track the status of purchase requests in real-time to check whether it has been approved, pending, or rejected.
- Quickly track and analyze the suppliers providing optimum quality goods and services and manage supplier contracts.
- Efficiently manage the procurement process with vendor details, purchase orders, invoice verification, and quotation with images.
- You can also send revised quotations, quotations without any image, email, or SMS your quotes.
- Get a comprehensive overview of sales orders that include sales projections, achievements, proforma invoices, etc.
- The software allows you to manage your tasks and streamline the purchase workflow process.
- Various other features can help in seamless business operations and improve your purchasing experience.
Axelor ERP (Free and Open Source)
Axelor ERP is another viable option if you search for the best free and open source purchase order management software. Though the company specializes in providing outstanding enterprise resource planning software, it also offers various other customer relationship management and business processing management tools.
You can choose Axelor ERP to get a wide range of commercial management applications that include sales, contract, marketing, etc. Also, it helps to manage the HR activities, finance, supply chain, and collaborative works.
The tool helps you to automate the purchase process and rationalize supplier orders with ease.
Get the best prices on all products by sending quotations to multiple suppliers. It becomes easier to compare the prices to get the best competitive offer. You can centrally store all your supplier and product information in one place. The software also provides accurate details on order status. There is a supplier portal as well that helps in international purchasing and integrated reporting. The software is free besides giving a free demo.
Image source: Axelor ERP
- The software automatically generates the required quantity based on the replenishment mode upon reaching the minimum level.
- Automatically create the delivery notes after the validation of the supplier orders.
- The software generates purchase proposals based on current inventory levels and forecasts.
- Check the product availability in real-time after assessing the supplier’s catalog and get customized price lists.
- Manage the supplier contract all from one place.
- Get real-time status of your orders and conduct a precise tracking of delivery and invoicing.
- Automatically generate receipt notes and invoices using purchase orders.
Flectra (Open Source But Not Free)
Flectra is a prominent open source ERP and CRM software that caters to other areas, such as providing the purchasing tool. The other territories that this software holds expertise includes project and inventory management, sales, accounting, human resource, manufacturing, marketing automation, and more.
You can expect to receive several benefits such as creating an instant requisition order, supplier management, managing purchase orders, and more.
Also, Flectra has simplified the procure-to-pay process to increase spend visibility and management. It becomes easier to procure raw materials and automate the transaction process. The cloud-powered solution also keeps your expenditure under control. The company has simplified access to purchasing software so that you have to spend less time and mitigate errors during the procurement process.
You can improve the purchasing process by minimizing manual tasks and intelligent spending. The software is not free but it charges a minimal cost of $4 per month for the starter version. It also offers a free trial version.
Image source: Flectra
- Automatically send Requests for Quotations and purchase orders to suppliers and make automatic payments.
- Empower your purchase managers to place orders, manage permissions, set customized rules for budget approvals and limits.
- Manage your inventory wisely streamlined purchase orders, workflows, sales, etc. to precise forecasts.
- The open source purchase management software helps to optimize the entire procurement process.
- You can easily integrate the potential suppliers into the supply chain.
- Efficiently manage your expenditures using advanced tools.
- Get comprehensive reports, insights, and statistics on all your purchase activities.
O2B Technologies (Open Source But Not Free)
O2B Technologies is a leading and top open source purchase management software company that provides a plethora of software solutions such as CRM, sales, manufacturing, POS, recruitment, event, employee management, inventory, and project management, and many more. All this software has been designed to cater to varied industry needs. The tools help a great deal in streamlining and innovating business workflows.
In addition to all these, O2B Technologies is also a best-in-class purchase management software that easily automates the purchase order process. The purchasing software can also integrate with other applications to gain more speed, visibility, accuracy, and control. The tool can also help you negotiate the best price with the suppliers. The software is open source, but it does not offer a free version or a free trial period.
Image source: O2B Technologies
- The software offers automatic and flawless purchase order processing management with a simplified pay-to-procure process.
- Speed up the purchase requisition, manage your vendors efficiently, and streamline the purchase invoice processing.
- The tool removes all the bottlenecks related to purchases, thereby reducing time and errors.
- You can easily integrate the purchase management software with other tools and applications, allowing you to create purchases in one click.
- The purchase tool is capable of managing multi-level purchases with ease.
- You get a clear picture of all audit tracks, whether orders are approved or rejected.
- Get accurate statistics on vendor performance through flexible reporting.
- Make your policy compliance easier to improve your inventory and purchase performance.
- Get access to product availability and vendor lists with ease.
Bellwether (Free But Not Open Source)
Bellwether is a free purchase management software that helps you gain complete control over inventory and purchase orders. The free purchasing software allows you to gain more control over the inventory and procurement process. Plus, you can also have more leverage to spend, minimize your costs, and improve compliance.
Bellwether’s purchasing software is known for its flexibility, scalability, and seamless customization. The tool also provides support for multiple languages. The powerful procurement system runs on various operating systems.
Bellwether even has a useful toolbox that allows you to easily track several products and unique parts using a single system. You have a comparison tool that helps you identify and differentiate the software’s various critical functionalities. Then there is an ROI tool that allows you to quickly calculate your total purchasing costs and check potential savings in a quick time. The software is free for three users or up to six months to use, but it is not an open source software.
Image source: Bellwether
- Bellwether provides two types of purchasing software - BPM or Basic Purchasing Management Software and ePMX or Purchasing Management Extra Suite.
- The BPM software is considered ideal for companies that usually want to start early.
- The software includes a set of viable features such as free purchase order requisitions, simplified approvals, fast receiving, invoice matching, and more.
- You can convert a requisition into a purchase order and create a PO from the start.
- Easily track your inventory status at one or more locations.
- EPMX Software is a comprehensive purchasing solution that helps voice, asset, contract, inventory management, etc.
- You can operate this software from any device.
- Bellwether is an entirely web-based software deployed on cloud architecture, which makes maintenance-free.
- The software is available to unlimited users, anytime and anywhere. Hence, it is known as on-demand software.
So far, the blog has briefly discussed and highlighted the best free and open source purchasing software that can help you to streamline your purchase orders and simplify the inventory management process. But if you are looking for a premier option with best-in-class features, you can choose PurchaseControl, a popular choice amongst business enterprises.
PurchaseControl is a prominent and leading SaaS-based purchasing software and a spend management system that helps you create purchase orders with ease with more control over financial expenditures. The software automates the purchase order process to offer improved spend visibility. It further enhances the entire workflow procedure, boosting efficiency, speed, and mitigating errors.
You can even eliminate the paperwork and manual process with a robust and secure cloud-powered documentation system. Convert the purchase requisitions into purchase orders quickly. You can track all your purchases and expenditures in one place.
PurchaseControl is also an e-procurement system and pay-to-procure software that manages the procure-to-pay workflows and invoice management. You can also integrate your existing software with the purchasing tool.
The software provides a free demo to all its users.
Image source: PurchaseControl
- PurchaseControl is a viable purchase order automation software that streamlines and accelerates all your purchase orders.
- You can easily manage all types of purchase orders and gain more visibility into the spendings.
- You can access the cloud-based purchase orders using any device.
- The software is also a smart document storage solution.
- The other features include efficient inventory and supplier management, getting the best negotiable price, etc. to maximize profitability.
- Quickly process the invoice and negate any possibility of improper payment or error.
- The software is both comprehensively customizable and flexible to suit the needs of every business domain.
- You can even create accurate, robust, and filterable reports.
The global purchasing and procurement software market is estimated to touch approximately $6.43 billion by 2023 at an annual growth rate of 2.6%. The hotbed trends such as business intelligence (BI) and artificial intelligence (AI) will help purchase managers to make real-time buying decisions. These tools are more efficient in carrying out accurate spend analysis, generating instant reports, and innovating the purchase cycle process. Also, the use of integrated chatbots will help in self-service requests.
There are various other purchasing software tools to explore alongside the seven free and open source purchase management systems. You can check out Kissflow, Tradogram, ProcurementExpress.com, Zycus, Sage Intacct, etc. A few of these also offer a free trial for a limited time.
In addition, you can also find out the best free and open source procurement software to suffice your business requirements. Also, read the purchasing software buyer’s guide to gain more knowledge about this amazing tool.
At Goodfirms, we encourage our readers and software users to provide valuable feedback on any previously used software and our blog.
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