Magazine article Management Today

MT Learning Curve: Procurement

Magazine article Management Today

MT Learning Curve: Procurement

Article excerpt

What is it? Buying and selling is the heart of business. The price of an asset is what a willing buyer and a willing seller are prepared to do a deal on. So the fancy name for purchasing - procurement - in fact refers to the guts of what capitalism is all about. Why do we hear so little about it, then? Well, it is not always very glamorous - cue the cliches about paperclips and photocopy paper. But good procurement is the key to value, efficiency and lasting profitability. If you spend too much, or buy the wrong things, you are heading for trouble.

Where did it come from? Bartering can only get you so far. And once money had been invented - perhaps around 3,000BC in Mesopotamia - buying and selling were bound to become formalised. But procurement was not terribly scientific in the past. Gut feel, precedent and close-knit social networks sorted out pricing disputes. Today, it's a lot more professional, with qualifications issued by trade body (CIPS) and a whole literature of buying and selling. …

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