6 Things to Get Your Purchase Order Requests Approved

We’ve already discussed why it’s important to present a Business Case when submitting a purchase request for new capital equipment or software.  The structure of your presentation is also important.  In order to have the most impact, it should include these 6 elements.

Executive Summary

The summary is a description of the situation and the solution.  It is designed to tell the reader what they will be reading in a succinctly written paragraph or two.  It is in effect the “set-up” for the rest of the document.

Current Situation

This section should describe the current process or problem that needs improving or requires a solution.  Discuss in some detail the current costs and issues along with the future risks, such as escalating costs or lack of compliance.

Proposed Solution

Describe in some detail the solution.  Explain how the problems, both current and future, described in Section 2 will go away.  This is the area to spend some time on.  Make sure to include a description of what is being proposed, how it solves the problem, what “hidden costs” it will eliminate and/or what increased revenue will result.

Financial Discussion

Here is where you describe the “Cost Avoidance” or “Return on Investment” using as detailed numbers as possible.  This is where you convince your manager of the benefits of your request.  Use graphs, charts, numbers from external sources, the company’s historical data – and present it as clearly and simply as possible.


Summarize the problem and the solution.

Supporting Materials

This is your appendix.  Use it to attach brief reports from your external sources, brochures of the product, software or service you are proposing, information about the vendor you want to use, etc.

Writing a Business Case may seem like a lot of work, but once you’ve done it you will have a template to use for future purchases.  If you demonstrate you understand the needs of your company and department, and take expenditures seriously, you will have a much better chance of getting your requests approved both for this one and in the future.