That’s a good question. We often see these terms used interchangeably, but there are some specific differences between sourcing and purchasing that make us think of them are two different practices, each with their own concerns and skills.
We thought we’d take it upon ourselves to create a summary-style infographic that highlights some of the key differences between what counts as “purchasing” and what counts as “procurement.” In short: Purchasing is an activity that is a subset of the overall procurement process. But there is more to it than that.
We should make a caveat: according to some experts, arguing about the difference between these domains is a matter of semantics. The conditions are often interchangeable. But at least the discussion helps provide an overview of two different approaches to how companies buy the goods and services they need to operate. Unfortunately, some organizations still only deal with ‘buying’ rather than the more nimble and strategic approach of ‘sourcing’.
Check out the infographic below!
We hope you enjoyed the infographic. There are many different opinions about the definition of procurement and the definition of purchasing. There can be disagreements between industries, regions, and different levels and parts of your organization. Most importantly, individuals can have different views on these features, even when working side-by-side.
Please share your thoughts on this comparison!