4 reasons spot buy catalogs will soon be obsolete

Tarek Alaruri
COO & Co-Founder
Fairmarkit
5-minute read

The existence of spot buy catalogs is built upon the glaringly obvious premise that businesses often make emergency purchases on short notice. When these purchases are made, the purchased item is often a replacement for a broken or malfunctioning piece of equipment or machinery, or the result of a miscalculation made during the planning stages of a project. As a result, these purchases are irregular by their very definition, and often made only once.

While spot buy catalogs once served a useful purpose, time, technology and business processes have quickly condemned them to relegation as an anachronism that will soon become altogether obsolete.

Why has this occurred? The answer to this question is not particularly complicated once you have acquired a thorough understanding of the technological advancement within the world of procurement. In no particular order, here are four reasons why spot buy catalogs will be obsolete within five years.

The spot buying process is frustrating.

By their very definition, spot buys are on-the-spot purchases. Since these purchases are typically made on short notice, time is frequently of the essence when a spot buy is required. Therefore, the process of having to personally sift through an endless assortment of catalog items before making a purchase applies additional layers of frustration to an already inconvenient situation. As a result, spot buying is not an optimal process. Instead, it is a stop-gap method with its own set of troublesome constraints, including the plainly obvious lack of automation within a buying process that desperately requires it.

The spot buying solution is its own worst enemy.

One of the inherent problems with spot buys are the expense they generate. In virtually all cases, spot buys raise the costs to a business compared with situations where companies could strategically plan and buy the required parts or products at a lower rate. Businesses stuck allocating more money for products than they are comfortable with has helped to fuel the desire for more inexpensive remedies. In essence, the elevated cost of spot buy products has driven the need for companies to innovate their way into alternative procurement methods to eliminate the necessity to make the troublesome spot buys.

Spot buys are a short-term tool, not a long-term solution.

Spot buy catalogs were once a logical procurement option for companies without software solutions in place to optimize spending on irregular or emergency purchases. Thankfully, a lot has changed in the last decade. Now that businesses have ever-increasing access to purchasing data, and decision-making processes are now more strategically informed, SaaS procurement solutions are rapidly becoming a ubiquitous tool for managing the irregular and emergency purchases that spot buy catalogs were designed to handle. This necessarily means spot buy catalogs become less essential and useful with every purchase of procurement software by a company.

Spot buys are fading away.

Spot buy catalogs were once the standard, but they are now an outdated solution in a business landscape where nearly everyone makes use of a superior SaaS solution. Plainly stated, optimization of the procurement process through software is drastically reducing the number of spot buys that are being made by business enterprises. In fact, procurement software has become so specialized that many of the purchases which fall into the spot buy category would also fall under the umbrella of tail spend, and there is software devoted specifically to optimizing corporate spending within this and other isolated categories.

If your business is still reliant upon spot buy catalogs to satisfy emergency orders and irregular purchases, we strongly recommend that you invest in procurement software. Not only can this investment save you money when circumstances emerge that render emergency spending unavoidable, it can also help to reduce the time and inconvenience associated with making these purchases.

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