What is Procurement Meaning & Definition?

Procurement meaning is the process of finding and buying the goods or services that a company needs to operate. The process of obtaining products or services for commercial purposes is known as procurement. Procurement is most commonly associated with companies since they must hire service providers or buy goods regularly. The last stage of purchasing is procurement, but it may also convey the process as a whole, which is crucial for businesses in their final purchasing decision.

The procurement definition is “the process of acquiring goods and services.” The purpose of the procurement is to get the best value for money by finding the most suitable products or services at the best price. This may involve negotiating with suppliers, issuing proposals (RFPs), or going through a bidding process.

How does Procurement work?

It’s quite easy for a company to be consumed by the process of procurement and purchasing. Managing procurement processes is typically a huge drain on resources. The majority of purchase budgets provide line managers with a predetermined amount they can use to acquire the goods or services they require. Procurement is frequently a key component of a firm’s plan because the ability to acquire certain goods or services might influence whether operations are profitable.

Running a company can be difficult at times. Navigating the procurement process is one of those tasks that can be hard to do on your own. Having a plan of action for doing this will help you in the long run. Company standards dictate the procurement process, often centralized by controls from the accounts payable division of accounting. A request is prepared, processed, and final payment is received and approved during the process.

This can include purchasing planning, standards and specifications development, supplier research, procurement selection, financing, price negotiation, and inventory management. As a result, many large organizations may require assistance from several parts of the company in order to succeed with procurement.

Why is Procurement important in business?

The process of procurement is important in business for a number of reasons:

  • To get the best value for money – this is achieved by comparing prices and quality from different suppliers before making a purchase.
  • For find the most suitable products or services – this may involve negotiating with suppliers, issuing requests for proposals (RFPs), or going through a bidding process.
  • To ensure that the company’s operations are profitable, some goods and services may be necessary in order to keep the business running.

Types of Procurement

A procurement process involves acquiring products or services. It can be defined as direct or indirect procurement, depending on how the firm will utilize the items. It may also be classified as goods or service procurement based on the things being acquired.

  • Direct procurement: This is how a company acquires goods and services it needs for its day-to-day operations. This type of procurement usually involves buying raw materials, office supplies, or machinery.
  • Indirect procurement: Indirect procurement refers to the acquisition of goods or services that the company does not directly use. These items are typically purchased for resale or used in the production of other goods.
  • Goods procurement: Goods procurement is the process of acquiring tangible items that can be physically seen and touched. This type of procurement typically involves purchasing products such as food, clothing, furniture, or vehicles.
  • Service procurement: Service procurement is the process of acquiring intangible items that cannot be physically seen or touched. This type of procurement typically involves purchasing services such as consulting, marketing, or legal services.

Nine steps in the Procurement process

The nine core steps of procurement processes vary greatly depending on the organization’s structure and demands, but they generally include the following:

1. Determine which products and services the company needs

The first step in the procurement process is to determine which products and services the company needs. This can be done by compiling a list of items required for day-to-day operations or researching new products or services that could benefit the business.

2. Develop requirements and specifications

The second step is to develop specific requirements and specifications for each product or service on the list. This may involve determining the quantity, quality, and other important factors to the company.

3. Conduct supplier research

Once the requirements and specifications have been developed. The next step is to conduct supplier research. This may involve looking for suppliers who can provide the products or services at a reasonable price or have a good reputation for quality.

4. Select suppliers and negotiate contracts

After the supplier research has been conducted, the next step is to select one or more suppliers and negotiate contracts. This may involve comparing prices, discussing payment terms, and agreeing on delivery schedules.

5. Manage orders and deliveries

Once the contracts have been signed, the next step is to manage orders and deliveries. This may involve placing orders with the suppliers, tracking shipments, and ensuring that the products or services are delivered on time.

6. Receive and inspect goods

The next step is to receive and inspect the goods when they arrive. This may involve opening packages, checking for damage, and verifying that the products or services meet the company’s requirements.

7. Make payments

After the goods have been received and inspected, the next step is to make payments. This may involve issuing invoices, processing payments, and keeping track of spending.

8. Evaluate supplier performance

The next step is to evaluate the supplier’s performance. This may involve assessing how well they met the requirements, whether they delivered on time, and whether any problems occurred.

9. Recordkeeping

Finally, it is important to keep track of all the procurement-related paperwork. This may include invoices, purchase orders, supplier contact information, and any other relevant documents.

Stages of Procurement

The nine primary phases of the procurement process can be divided into three categories: sourcing, purchasing, and delivery.

  • Sourcing stage: The sourcing stage includes all activities related to identifying and assessing potential suppliers. This may involve conducting supplier research, evaluating proposals, and negotiating contracts.
  • Purchasing stage: The purchasing stage includes all activities related to placing orders and making payments. This may involve issuing purchase orders, processing invoices, and tracking spending.
  • Payment stage: The payment stage includes all activities related to issuing payments and keeping track of expenses. This may involve recording invoices, issuing cheques, and reconciling accounts.

Three components of Procurement

The procurement process consists of three phases: people, procedure, and documentation.

1. People

People are generally in charge of starting or authorizing each stage of the procurement process. Other stakeholders, such as accounts payable and business groups that request the goods and services, are also involved. The number of stakeholders involved, especially in high-value transactions, is often determined by the value of the items and services; more people may be needed to establish and approve large purchases.

2. Process

A successful procurement process may assist a firm in succeeding by lowering expenses and ensuring that products arrive on time. The first thing of a well-designed and systematic approach is precision and timeliness. Every individual involved knows exactly what they must do and how long they have to finish it, promoting accuracy and timeliness. On the other hand, a confusing procurement process leads to inefficiencies and the possibility of costly blunders. Overpayments, for example, may have a detrimental impact on the financial health of an organization. Late payments can harm relationships with suppliers and result in overcharges.

3. Paperwork

Paperwork is an important but often overlooked part of the procurement process. All businesses must keep accurate records of their expenses. This includes maintaining invoices, purchase orders, and supplier contact information. Good recordkeeping practices help businesses track spending, monitor supplier performance, and avoid problems in the future.

Principles of Procurement

In the public sector, the procurement procedure is often comparable to that used in the private sector — with a few key distinctions. Because public funds are handled, procurement procedures typically must follow stringent standards. These principles may be viewed as an ethical code of conduct that requires public officials to account for their purchases. Some of the ideas might also be useful to businesses in the private sector.

The concepts differ somewhat depending on the firm. Here are seven of the most prevalent procurement principles:

  • Value for money: Procurement must be focused on achieving the best value for the company. This means getting the right goods and services at the right price.
  • Fairness: The procurement process must be fair to all suppliers. This means that all suppliers have an equal opportunity to bid on contracts and that no supplier is favored over another.
  • Competition: There must be a sufficient level of competition in the procurement process. This helps to ensure that prices are reasonable and that quality is high.
  • Efficiency: The procurement process must be efficient, meaning that it should take the minimum amount of time and effort to complete.
  • Transparency: The procurement process must be transparent, meaning that all stakeholders know what is happening at each stage. This includes disclosing the criteria used to select suppliers, providing feedback to unsuccessful bidders, and making contract information available to all interested parties.
  • Integrity: The procurement process must be conducted with integrity, meaning that all stakeholders act in good faith and comply with the rules.
  • Accountability: Procurement must be accountable to senior management and the board of directors. This means that decisions made during the procurement process can be traced back to those individuals whose responsibility it is to ensure the procurement process is carried out fairly and transparently.


The Procurement process is a critical part of any business. It helps to ensure that businesses get the products and services they need at the right price. A well-designed procurement process can also help companies to avoid costly mistakes. To be successful, businesses need to understand procurement principles and how to apply them in their organizations.