The 7 Stages of the Digital Purchase Order Process

A purchase order (PO) is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of a purchase between a buyer and a seller. It provides detailed information about the goods or services being purchased, the agreed-upon price, the delivery date, and the payment terms. The digital purchase order process can be broken down into seven stages. In this blog post, we will discuss each of these stages in detail.

Identifying the Need for a Purchase Order

The first stage of the digital purchase order process is identifying the need for a purchase. This could be triggered by anything from an increase in demand for a product to a need for a new piece of equipment. The buyer identifies the need for a purchase and determines the specifics of what needs to be ordered, such as the item or service, quantity, and estimated cost.

Creating a Purchase Requisition

Once the need for a purchase has been identified, the next stage is to create a purchase requisition. This document outlines the item or service to be purchased, the quantity needed, and the estimated cost. It also includes any relevant details such as specifications, delivery location, and any special instructions. The purchase requisition is usually created by the department or individual using procurement applications that will be using the goods or services.

Obtaining Approval for the Purchase

The purchase requisition is then sent to the appropriate person or department for approval. This could be a department head, a manager, or a purchasing agent. The approval process ensures that the purchase is necessary, within budget, and complies with company policies. This step is important to avoid unnecessary purchases or spending that exceeds the budget.

Preparing the Purchase Order

Once the purchase has been approved, the purchasing agent or department creates the digital purchase order process. This document includes the details of the purchase, such as the item or service to be purchased, the quantity, the agreed price, and the delivery date. It also includes any additional terms and conditions such as payment terms, warranties, and guarantees. The purchase order is usually sent to the supplier through electronic means or by mail.

Sending the Purchase Order to the Supplier

The purchase order is then sent to the supplier. The supplier confirms receipt of the purchase order and begins processing the order. It is important to keep in touch with the supplier to ensure that the order is being processed efficiently and to address any concerns or issues that may arise during this stage.

Receiving and Inspecting the Goods

Once the goods have been shipped, they are received by the buyer. The buyer inspects the goods to ensure that they are of the expected quality and quantity. If there are any issues, the buyer contacts the supplier to resolve them. This step is crucial to ensure that the goods received are of the expected quality and are free from any defects or damages.

Processing Payment

Finally, the buyer processes payment for the goods or services received. This may involve issuing a check, paying electronically, or setting up an account with the supplier. The payment terms and conditions are usually agreed upon in the purchase order and may include details such as the payment method, the due date, and any discounts or penalties.


In conclusion, the digital purchase order process is a critical part of any business operation. By following these seven stages, businesses can ensure that they are purchasing the goods and services they need in a cost-effective and efficient manner. By properly managing the purchase order process, businesses can reduce the risk of errors, delays, and disputes with suppliers, ultimately leading to a more streamlined and successful operation. A well-managed purchase order process can help businesses to save time, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction by ensuring that orders are fulfilled correctly and on time.

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