This is a procurement textbook that does not attempt to compete with, or cover the same ground, to any extent, that existing procurement textbooks cover. Rather, we have taken the view that a text was needed to provide what might be termed a detailed overview of and introduction to, the fundamentals of procurement.
We have covered many of the basics of procurement such as tendering and supplier selection and general procurement methods such as the use of ‘call-off’ orders and negotiation – staple fare for any procurement text. Additionally, however, we have tried to introduce students to some of the newer aspects of procurement such as eProcurement.
Whilst focusing on the fundamentals of procurement we have, nevertheless, attempted to provide an introduction to some of the more strategic aspects of procurement, some of which are the topics of much discussion in general business circles and in particular, procurement circles, today. These are topics such as strategic partnerships, outsourcing and the purchasing of services and purchasing ethics. There is much discussion today about the merits, or otherwise, of entering into strategic partnerships with suppliers, a discussion that we hope to have contributed to. Outsourcing is an aspect of procurement that is becoming more and more important as organisations seek to outsource more and more services and as organisations spend more and more on goods and services, in terms of percentage of turnover or budget, the focus on purchasing ethics becomes ever greater.
The main focus of this text is on procurement but we have also attempted to provide an introduction to some of the ancillary aspects of supply chain operations and management such as logistics, including international logistics – increasingly important in these times of globalisation.
Lastly, we have provided an introduction to a concept that is becoming more recognised and well known, that of relationships. Here, we have looked at both internal relationships and external ones, the view being that buyers must be aware of these relationships, how maintaining sound relationships both internally and externally can be of benefit to the buying organisation.
Ray is the Director of DPSS Consultants (Developing People Serving the Supply Chain), which is an international training and development consultancy made up of 20 specialist consultants. Steve is a freelance Procurement trainer and consultant. His early career was spent working in a purchasing capacity for a number of companies in the West Midlands, all involved in the heavy engineering sector. Paul is an accomplished Supply Chain professional with expertise in the area of procurement, supply management and supplier development.