It’s a good question. We often see these terms used interchangeably, but there are some concrete differences between Procurement and Purchasing such that we think they are two different practices, each with their own set of concerns and skills.
We thought we’d take it upon ourselves to do a summary-style Infographic that highlights some of the core differences between what’s considered “Purchasing” and what’s considered “Procurement.” In short: Purchasing is an activity that’s a subset of the overall Procurement process. But there’s more to it than that.
We should give a caveat: in some professionals’ opinion, arguing about the difference between these areas is a matter of semantics. The terms are often interchangeable. But at the very least, the discussion helps give some perspective on two different approaches to how organizations buy the goods and services they need to run. Some organizations are – sadly – still concerned only with “Purchasing” instead of the more nimble and strategic approach of “Procurement.”
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 differences of opinion between Industries, across Geographies, and from various levels and parts of your organization. Most importantly individuals may have different views of these functions even if they work beside each other.
Please share your thoughts on this comparison!