Procurement is the act of obtaining goods or services, typically for business purposes. Procurement is most commonly associated with businesses because companies need to solicit services or purchase goods, usually on a relatively large scale.
Procurement generally refers to the final act of purchasing but it can also include the procurement process overall which can be critically important for companies leading up to their final purchasing decision. Companies can be on both sides of the procurement process as buyers or sellers though here we mainly focus on the side of the soliciting company.
Procurement and procurement processes can require a substantial portion of a company’s resources to manage. Procurement budgets typically provide managers with a specific value they can spend to procure the goods or services they need. The process of procurement is often a key part of a company's strategy because the ability to purchase certain materials or services can determine if operations will be profitable.
In many cases, procurement processes will be dictated by company standards often centralized by controls from the accounts payable division of accounting. The procurement process includes the preparation and processing of a demand as well as the end receipt and approval of payment.
Comprehensively, this can involve purchase planning, standards, specifications determination, supplier research, selection, financing, price negotiation, and inventory control. As such, many large companies may require support from a few different areas of a company for successful procurement.
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