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Buying Policies: Guiding Employee Behavior with the Right Policies

It all starts with a need. Every day, thousands of users rely on Coupa to help them get the goods, services, or information they need to be successful. Given the wide variety of organizations we work with, each with their own policies and guidelines for employees to follow and comply with, the question often arises as to how we achieve this in a single solution.

Specifically, how do we take all the policies around each of our customer's needs, and provide them with the ability to guide employee behavior, at the right moment, so their employees get what they need when they need it. And this all happens seamlessly, in align with the right policies.


Coupa's Buying Policies help your employees understand how they're expected to make purchasing decisions, guiding them to request the right items and services, based on those policies.

How They Work

Every time a user searches for something, the results include your company’s buying policies, based on the policy name, commodity or tag. You can easily set up different buying policies for different departments using your content groups. For example, marketing could have a Trade Show Services Policy that development never sees.

You can also set up policies to be shown during checkout. Coupa looks at each line item for matching and displays them at the top of the buyers Cart on the checkout page.

Lets use a “Marketing Event Policy” use case and show you the steps to get it going quickly. This “Marketing Event Policy” essentially allows you to provide employees with guidance on booking booths at marketing events.


Setting Up Business Policies

  1. Go to Setup > Purchasing Tools > Buying policies and click Create.
  2. Provide a name for your policy (i.e. Marketing Event Policy) and choose a default commodity (i.e. Facilities) that the policy will enforce.
  3. Add keyword tags (i.e. booth) related to your policy’s commodity.
  4. Choose the content groups you want to see the policy, or choose Everyone.
  5. Enter the policy content in the Text field. 
  6. When you're done, click Save.

The Marketing Event Policy is now in effect, and shows up in search results when employees search for things like marketing or booth, since those keywords are tied to the policy's name, default commodity, and tags.

If you're looking at using Business Policies or are already using them, we'd love to hear about it in the Coupa Community.

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