10 Differences Between procurement and purchasing

Procurement vs Purchasing

Procurement vs Purchasing

Engaging 50-word intro to hook the reader to continue reading until the end of this article.

What is Procurement?

Procurement refers to the process of obtaining goods, services, or works from an external source. It involves everything from identifying the need for a product or service to selecting suppliers, negotiating contracts, and managing relationships.

Examples of Procurement:

  • Hiring a construction company for infrastructure development
  • Buying raw materials for manufacturing
  • Acquiring software licenses for an organization

Uses of Procurement:

Some common uses of procurement include:

  • Meeting operational needs of an organization
  • Reducing costs through strategic sourcing
  • Ensuring quality and compliance in the supply chain

What is Purchasing?

Purchasing refers to the specific act of buying goods or services to fulfil a specific need. It focuses on the transactional aspect of obtaining products or services, including issuing purchase orders, receiving goods, and making payments.

Examples of Purchasing:

  • Ordering office supplies for a department
  • Booking hotel rooms for employees on a business trip
  • Purchasing vehicles for a fleet

Uses of Purchasing:

Purchasing serves several purposes, including:

  • Meeting immediate needs of the organization
  • Supply chain management for efficient operations
  • Managing supplier relationships

Differences between Procurement and Purchasing:

Difference Area Procurement Purchasing
Scope Covers the entire process from needs assessment to contract management Focuses on the transactional act of buying goods or services
Strategic Component Highly strategic, involves supplier selection and relationship management Transactional, limited involvement in supplier selection
Responsibility Involves multiple stakeholders across various departments Usually falls under a specific department or individual
Timeframe Long-term, strategic planning based on organization’s goals Short-term, immediate needs of the organization
Risk Management Focuses on mitigating risks associated with the entire supply chain Primarily concerned with order accuracy and delivery timeliness
Scope of Suppliers Engages with a diverse range of suppliers to ensure competitiveness Typically deals with a limited number of preferred suppliers
Decision Making Requires complex decision-making involving multiple criteria Decision-making is more straightforward and transactional
Cost Focus Strives to achieve cost savings through strategic sourcing Focuses on obtaining the best prices for immediate purchases
Supplier Relationships Emphasizes long-term collaboration and partnerships with suppliers Primarily focuses on supplier performance and delivery
Contract Management Involves negotiating contracts and managing supplier relationships Limited involvement in contract management


In summary, procurement and purchasing are distinct but interconnected processes. Procurement involves strategic planning, supplier selection, and long-term relationship management, while purchasing focuses on the immediate transactional act of buying goods or services. Both play essential roles in meeting organizational needs and ensuring smooth supply chain operations.

People Also Ask:

1. What is the difference between procurement and purchasing?

Answer: Procurement covers the entire process of obtaining goods or services, including needs assessment and supplier management, while purchasing focuses on the transactional act of buying products or services.

2. How does procurement differ from purchasing?

Answer: Procurement is a strategic process involving supplier selection and relationship management, while purchasing is primarily concerned with placing orders and receiving goods.

3. What are the key responsibilities of procurement?

Answer: Procurement typically involves stakeholder collaboration, supplier evaluation, contract negotiation, risk management, and ensuring compliance.

4. Is procurement more important than purchasing?

Answer: Both procurement and purchasing are vital for an organization’s success. Procurement sets the strategic direction and ensures long-term benefits, while purchasing fulfills immediate needs.

5. Can one person handle both procurement and purchasing?

Answer: Depending on the organization’s size and complexity, one person may handle both roles. However, larger organizations often have dedicated teams or departments for procurement and purchasing.

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