Is purchasing a bad word? (Procurement Foundry Special)

Posted on December 5, 2019


In this excerpt from a Procurement Foundry article Michael Cadieux asks; “Is purchasing a bad word?”

Quick question; what is the difference between purchasing and procurement?

If you do a Google search, you will find that purchasing involves the process of ordering goods and services.

Conversely, procurement involves the sourcing, negotiation, and strategic selection of goods that are important to an organization.

Of course, additional searches reveal many variations of the above.

For example, and in one instance, there is a further splintering down of the procurement definition to include sourcing as a third position.

Then there is the old purchasing only focuses on short-term objectives, while procurement takes a long-term view beyond the immediate acquisition of said goods or services explanation.

If It Walks Like A Duck

Regardless of the various definitions, or the trendy passing terms of the day, the name we give to what we do all boils down to one thing; we facilitate the acquisition of goods or services to enable our organization to achieve its strategic objectives while maximizing value for all stakeholders.

In other words, let’s not get caught up in titles but instead focus on what we do from the standpoint of impacts and outcomes.

A Digital Wake-Up Call

Whenever an organization talks about digital transformation, the elephant in the room is the looming question; will people lose their job.

Let’s not beat around the bush; the answer is Y-E-S. There, the truth is out and in plain sight. With technological advancement, job loss is inevitable.

A McKinsey Global Institute study reports that 800 million jobs will be lost worldwide due to automation. The other side of that two-edged sword is that while there will be “job loss,” automation will also create new jobs and redefine “existing roles.”

So, instead of hiding from or ducking the hard truths about the digital era, we need to call it as it is and then plan for the pending change. After all, change is inevitable, and those who fail to adapt will be left behind.

In the supply chain world, think of it has “moving” from being tactical to strategic. Automation will eliminate tactical positions while creating more lucrative strategic roles.

What will the new “strategic” roles entail?

Use the following link to read the rest of this article, and while there, check out the many other interesting articles and resources on the Procurement Foundry site.