Every day a soft squeak breaks the silence in corporate hallways. Sometimes it’s more pronounced than others, and every so often the pace quickens. As the cadence picks up, a sense of urgency echoes across tile, over wood and inside carpet fibers.
It’s the sneaker network hard at work.
Feet patter in and out of offices to complete purchases essential to the operation of the apartment business. Sign here. Sign there. Approve this. Pay that. Fax here, there and everywhere.
At the end of the day, exhausted toes and ankles bark over the stacks of paper filling in boxes and out boxes. There is no rest for the weary; the routine will restart after the next sunrise.
Unless you’re trying to get in your 10,000 steps in for the day, plying the sneaker network that supports buying items and services the old-fashioned way is just burning unnecessary tread. It also puts an organization at risk for paying too much or overspending, including ordering nonessential items − maverick spending.
And as purchase orders circulate throughout the building with little or no transparency into what’s being bought, budgets come under fire. Before you know it, the company has exceeded spending on door knobs or air filters – or sneakers.
The spend lifecycle from purchase order to approval to billing doesn’t have to involve physically walking documentation around a building. Electronic spend management systems that integrate with accounting systems take a lot of the footwork out of rental housing operations.
The result is more controlled spending and fresh legs.
Ease of online shopping and visibility in accounting
Spend management has blossomed from manual documentation on spreadsheets to online sourcing that helps control purchases and ensure that the right suppliers at the best pricing are being used.
RealPage has taken the practice a step farther with a solution that adapts to the specific purchasing needs of multifamily operators. RealPage Spend Management can perform inclusively within the company’s Financial Suite or integrate with other solutions.
A key feature of controlling spending is an online storefront, a shopping cart experience using managed catalogs with vendor discounts, as well as leveraging the buying power of a group purchasing organization (eSupply GPO). The solution also includes workflows from order creation, receipt of goods and approval of electronic invoices. With no legwork.
“Easy Does It: The RealPage Financial Suite + Spend Management” details the simplicity of the online purchasing system and capability of tying expenditures to accounting functions well beyond approvals and invoicing.
The catalog includes pre-established pricing for specific properties with approved vendors, and users can immediately see how purchases impact the budget within RealPage Financial Suite.
Catalogs can be set up for specific properties or an entire portfolio and include multiple items from a wealth of vendors that are visible throughout the shopping experience. Separate purchase orders for different properties or spend categories can be generated while making add-to-cart purchases.
Once submitted, orders automatically follow through the Approval Policy Manager function, which tasks managers and stakeholders to either approve or reject the purchase.
When an order is approved, the vendor is made aware of the purchase and gets product delivery in motion. Vendors have their own view of the system and can electronically invoice to speed the payment process.
Nobody needs sneakers to run down the hall.
Controlling costs and boosting NOI
The greatest benefit is that properties and portfolios stay in step with spending. And when spending is controlled, costs are reduced and NOI increases.
Watch the video and learn more about RealPage Spend Management.