While many of the 5 Key Benefits of a Company Store are focused on Marketing and Human Resources, here is one for our friends in Accounting (and we like to keep them happy since they have the checkbook!). An online company store is a great way to Control Purchasing and track which individuals, departments, teams or locations are spending the money.
The American Fidelity company store is a great example of how this key is best put to use. When items are added to the branded merchandise program, it’s the Marketing Department who pays for them. The store is designed to allow individual users to purchase products with their personal credit cards. However, certain members of the management team are able to charge items to their department’s spending account.
At the end of each month, ROBYN provides American Fidelity’s Accounting Department with a detailed report showing how much each department spent on the company store. The Accounting team then charges these departments and takes the cost out of the Marketing Department’s budget.
Not only does this make a clear picture about who is using the branded products and how much is being spent, but it also helps to understand the inventory reports ROBYN provides each month, too. When an organization is able to account for the usage and cost of their branded products, they are able to plan more effectively and truly control how and why items are purchased.
MidFirst Bank uses their online company store in a similar way. While every employee is able to access the store and purchase items for themselves, certain users have purchase order rights up to specified dollar amounts ($1500, for instance). When an authorized user places an order that exceeds this amount (such as purchasing 2,500 shirts for an event), the store automatically emails the supervisor to approve or decline the transaction. The supervisor then logs into the store, approves it and the order goes through. This is a fantastic way to prevent rogue spending!
Another great way to lock down spending while giving your team the freedom to make its own decisions can be found in how GTE Financial is launching their new company store. Each employee has $100 assigned to an individual account on the store. While the store features a variety of categories of branded merchandise, this $100 credit is only for apparel items. The credit shows as an option at checkout only if all items in the cart are apparel items. Users have to create a separate transaction for additional items.
This ingenious way of controlling spending can be taken to another level, too. Let’s say you want to budget $5,000 for tradeshow give-away items for next year. You can set this as the limit for this category on your online company store. Once the limit is reached, you would have to give approval for employees to purchase more items under this expense account. And, you can set it renew automatically each year, quarterly or even every month. Your team gets to purchase what they need. You get to control how much they spend… and when they spend it.
From coupon codes to spending accounts, P-Card purchases to departmental codes, category budgeting to gifting employee accounts… An online company store from ROBYN provides a powerful set of tools for you to manage your company’s spending. And, with detailed monthly reporting, you always know exactly where you stand. This is how you control spending!
Posted on Wed, November 6, 2013
by Brian Blake