Procurement vs Purchasing: What’s the Difference?

procurement management courses online

The terms Procurement and Purchase have often been used interchangeably in an organization. Many confuse both terms with having the same meaning. However, despite similarities, both terms have completely different meanings and usage. Procurement is related to the strategic buying of goods and services, while Purchasing is more transactional. We can say that procurement is proactive while purchasing is reactive. Here we will understand the difference between the terms and the need for enrolling in purchasing and procurement online courses to understand both concepts in depth.

The Meaning of Procurement

Procurement is the process of procuring goods and services from suppliers and third-party vendors required by an organization to achieve its aims. Procurement is all about understanding the real value of goods and services and negotiating with the vendors to get the right terms and prices. 

In procurement, it is important to assess your suppliers’ quality, efficiency, and timeliness and make the wisest decisions to ensure that you buy the best products and services. You can opt for a procurement certification for beginners that will help you understand the process better for overall growth. 

Procurement deals with:

  • Tactical procurement of goods and services
  • Negotiation with vendors
  • Choosing the right products strategically
  • Approving purchase requests
  • Obtaining the products

You can sign up for procurement management courses online and learn the process in detail.

The Meaning of Purchasing 

Purchasing is acquiring goods or services and usually involves an immediate, day-to-day transaction between a seller and a buyer. This means ordering goods and services and paying for them.

The process of purchasing includes:

  • Approval of expense claims and purchases
  • Creating orders
  • Receipt and inspection of products and services
  • Adding slips to purchases
  • Passing approved purchases and sending the details to the concerned department for billing of the same

Get a purchasing certification online to understand the detailed procedure of purchasing.

Difference Between Procurement and Purchasing

Here are a few points of difference between the terms.

The End Objective 

Procurement is about understanding organizational needs and procuring those needs. Purchasing is all about organizing the organization’s expenditures and buying goods and services for the company.

Assessment of Goods and Services 

Procurement is about assessing the true value of an item rather than concentrating on the cost of the item. On the other hand, purchasing focuses more on the price rather than the true value of an item.

The Areas it Benefits 

Procurement is related to fulfilling the end-to-end activities of the organization related to acquiring necessary goods and services. Purchasing is involved when there is a need to purchase goods and services.


Procurement involves item recognition, sourcing, negotiation, contract closure, and record-keeping, while Purchasing is about ordering, expediting, and paying for the goods and services.

Dealing with Suppliers

Procurement is about setting up a long-term relationship with suppliers and creating a win-win situation for both – suppliers and the organization. Purchasing is not about developing vendor relationships but more about having a transactional relationship with them.


Despite the similarities and confusion in understanding the meaning of both, procurement and purchasing are two different terms but are often used interchangeably. Sign up for the purchasing and procurement at cudoo online courses to learn details about both activities that are of paramount importance to an organization.

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