What exactly is Procurement & Supply?

SRSCC What exactly is Procurement Supply

Procurement is involved in the vast majority of business that deals in goods and services, yet lots of us don’t fully understand exactly what procurement is or why it’s important to businesses to keep them operating.

It may be the case that, in your business, it is called something different. Maybe you have heard the words acquisition or purchasing, as it is often referred to in some industries. The phrases can be used interchangeably and generally mean the same thing.

What is procurement?

In simple terms, procurement is the action of buying goods and services in order to allow a business to continue to operate efficiently and appropriately.

What is the role of procurement?

A procurement and supply specialist is a person who is responsible for the acquisition of raw materials, goods and services that are needed for a business to function. Their role is to manage and negotiate relationships with suppliers of the business.

Examples of procurement and supply

Let’s take a look at a few real world examples of procurement and purchasing in action.

1. Procuring Wholesale Equipment & Ingredients

Say you work in a bakery. As well as equipment such as industrial ovens and ingredient mixers, there is also a need for raw ingredients like flour, eggs and butter. These ingredients will be ordered in wholesale amounts and it is the responsibility of a procurement specialist to find adequate providers of these materials and equipment and negotiate the best prices.

2. Securing Supply of Network Resources

Another example would be the purchasing of network resources for a company such as broadband or company mobile plans. The procurement specialists would scour the market to find the best available contracts at the right price and get in touch with providers to discuss their requirements and negotiate a deal. It largely involves managing relationships and contracts with these providers to make the most suitable and profitable deals that they can.

What makes procurement so important to business?

Procurement is important in business because it directly affects the profitability of a company. If you’re spending more on raw materials than what you make when selling your product then your business is not going to be profitable. That’s why it’s important for a procurement specialist to negotiate the right deals at the right prices and maintain these business relationships going forward to sustain a businesses profitability.

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What is the responsibility of the procurement manager?

As well as sustaining business contracts and relationships and making sure that the business remains profitable, procurement specialist also need to consider legal and ethical factors of procurement and supply.

What is difference between purchasing and procurement?

Procurement is the focus on strategy of searching for a product or service, whilst the purchasing process pertains to how the products or services are bought, including ordering and payment.

Contract and Relationship Management/Negotiation

The primary responsibility of a procurement and supply specialist is to manage business contracts and relationships with their partners and suppliers. Much like that of a salesperson, this duty entails building and maintaining professional relationships with these suppliers and ensuring that the contracts offered are beneficial for both the supplier and their own business. It also entails keeping on top of these contracts and relationships by regularly reviewing their performance and making adjustments where necessary.

Ethics in procurement

Whilst maintaining business profitability through procurement and supply management, a procurement specialist must also consider ethics. They must ensure, at every step of the way, that the process is impartial, fair and transparent, from the negotiating of contracts, the logistics process, purchasing and adherence to any rules and regulations that are in place. This is especially true when doing business in other countries with potentially more relaxed rules and regulations, particularly when it comes to human rights.

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Market Research

Before all of this takes place, a procurement specialist must conduct extensive market research to determine the best and most profitable moves to make in relation to procuring goods and services. The results of this research will determine the profitability and suitability of these goods and services and distinguish what is the best option for the company at any given time.

Consider a career in Procurement with SRSCC

If you’re interested in a career in procurement and supply or simply have some further questions on what procurement is, please contact us today and we can help you determine whether procurement is the career for you.

Take a look at the latest procurement courses, available to study online.

Just starting out in your procurement and supply career? Here’s the perfect entry point with our CIPS Level 3 course.


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What exactly is Procurement & Supply?
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Jen Shepherd

Admin and Customer Service Manager

Jenn completed her Apprenticeship in Business and Administration in 2008 and has since built upon a foundation of knowledge and skills in the administration and customer support areas.

Jenn has a degree, as well as a master’s degree, in English which have helped support her commitment to compliance and attention to detail.

Since returning to work from maternity leave in 2020, Jenn has worked in education settings and has an in-depth knowledge on Safeguarding and Child Protection, which she believes is a key part of all employees’ role when working with learners.

Outside of work, Jenn lives with her husband and two young daughters. She had her first book published in 2022 and advocates for the mental wellbeing of new parents.

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Michelle Whalley

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Michelle prides herself on her ability to get the best possible outcomes out of people. This has been proven not only in the time she’s spent in education, but also in the set up and running of her own business.

Working in a fast-paced environment, especially becoming a Head of Year as well as teaching has consistently challenged her and ensured she’s flexible and adaptable

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Lucy Eckersley

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After recently graduating university and achieving a first-class degree in Drama, Lucy wanted to apply her production management experience to an administration role in business. Having worked part time jobs as a waitress and office receptionist during her education, Lucy has good customer service skills and enjoys helping customers and clients by addressing their queries. Lucy is excited to be working at SRSCC and is keen to use her process driven way of working to increase the effectiveness of SRSCC’s administrative processes. In her free time, Lucy enjoys watching musicals and running. She also enjoys spending time outdoors, and loves going hiking from her caravan in the Yorkshire Dales.
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Estelle Marsden

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Emma Jackson

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Emma joined SRSCC in 2019 on a freelance basis taking on a teaching and learning consultancy role. She has 20 years of experience in education as a qualified teacher, working in adult learning, secondary and primary school settings in the UK as well as abroad, namely Japan, Hungary, and France. 

More recently Emma has been teaching yoga, resilience, and mindfulness in primary schools to promote the physical and mental well-being of both pupils and staff.

Being multi-lingual and having a zeal for communication, cultural exchange and life-long learning Emma jumped at the opportunity to join the company as a Course Mentor. Building a good rapport with her learners, supporting them to overcome any challenges on their apprentice journey and facilitating them to fulfil their potential is her motivation.

Cumbrian born and bred in the Lake District, Emma enjoys the outdoors. When not relaxing in tree pose, she is most at home trail running in the hills with her husband and dog. Having clocked up 4 marathons to date, the application of her long-distance running mindset of perseverance, determination, discipline and patience is key to supporting her learners in their studies.

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Declan Hemingway

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Declan recently graduated University studying BSc Business and Management with Marketing achieving a 2:1 and was looking for a role in Business Development to put his knowledge and education to the test.

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