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Last edited 20 Dec 2021
Difference between procurement and purchasing
While the terms 'procurement' and 'purchasing' are frequently used interchangeably, there are actually differences between them.
Procurement is the strategic process of purchasing goods or services. This process may include a number of activities required in order to acquire the goods or services from a third party vendor, including the preparation of information, invitation to tender, submission of tenders, assessment, negotiation and contracting.
On construction projects, procurement can involve a team of consultants, following a set sequence of procedures based on a predetermined procurement route that will satisfy the long-term objectives of the client.
Purchasing is a more general term associated with the shorter term activities relating to actually buying something. It can be a subset of procurement, and generally refers to the administrative process of generating documentation such as purchase orders.
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