Procurement is the sourcing and purchasing of goods and services for business use.
Individual businesses set procurement policies that govern their choice of suppliers, products and the methods and procedures that are going to be used to communicate with their suppliers. For example, businesses often have set procedures for calling for and evaluating proposals.
Issues in procurement include:
- identifying the needs of customers and suppliers;
- choosing and preparing tools and processes to communicate with suppliers;
- preparing requests for proposals and requests for quotations;
- setting policies for evaluating proposals, quotes and suppliers.
There are also general trends in procurement. One of the most recent of these is green procurement, with an increasing number of businesses creating procurement policies that emphasize sourcing and purchasing goods and services that are less environmentally damaging than comparable alternatives.
This Green Procurement Tool Kit from Public Works and Government Services Canada presents green procurement principles and resources while my article The 100 Mile Diet for Small Businesses presents an easy way for small businesses to put a green procurement policy into practice.