Purchase Process – Digital Printing Company

16 to 20 man-hours saved every month for vendor payouts


A digital printing company managed the Purchase of their raw materials in a very ad-hoc manner. Various departments like Digital Printing, Indigo Printing, Binding and Design require various types of Paper in several units of measures like rolls, sheets and boxes. They would also need to buy different types of ink for printing, stationery and tools for binding etc. with overall inventory making up to about 500 SKUs. All department heads would write the requirement daily on a piece of paper called Chitthi and pass this to the owner of the business or sometimes someone from Accounts department to place the order. At times, department heads themselves would place orders with vendors they knew. This led to major chaos on various grounds. Chitthi would be lost, placing orders would be forgotten, total no. of orders placed and status of delivery was unknown, owner and Accounts team had to sit with all vendor bills at the end of the month for hours and ratify each bill with each department, there was no visibility or control on quantity and frequency of orders of same SKU. There was less control on best rates possible from vendors.


  • A Google sheet was made and access was given to each department head to fill purchase requests for each item required in a structured way with different labeled columns
  • One column range was protected and access was given only to owner to mark ‘Approve’ against all purchase requisitions
  • Since this could be accessed by owner via mobile phone as well, his presence in office to approve was not required
  • Column was also provided to update if invoice was received for the order
  • Another MS-Excel sheet called ‘Purchase Orders’ was created with neat column labels
  • One person was given responsibility to pick all requests and place in Purchase Orders tracker
  • Vendors coordinates were populated for each SKU in the Purchase Order file
  • ‘Status’ column was given for update of all orders as placed, received, canceled etc.


  1. Dependency on owner for purchases was removed 100%
  2. 100% visibility of frequency and quantity of purchase orders
  3. 100% visibility attained for order status
  4. 16 to 20 man-hours saved every month for vendor payouts
  5. 8 to 10 man-hours saved every month for order placing and follow-up with vendors