Procurement vs. Supply Chain Management: What's the Difference

10 - March - 2023

Have you ever observed the confusion surrounding the contrast between procurement and supply chain management when keeping up with industry news and opinions? Questions like whether procurement reports to the supply chain or vice versa and if their responsibilities overlap may have emerged. It is also worth considering whether procurement specialists require knowledge of supply chains and vice versa and whether they should work collaboratively. Understanding the variances between procurement and supply chain functions within a company can enhance your comprehension of business leaders' careful resource management and planning. This article delves into a comparison of procurement and supply chains and investigates the advantages of both.


What is Procurement?

The process by which a company obtains the products or services required to maintain its operations is known as procurement. Even though anyone can acquire resources, they are frequently associated with businesses that regularly engage in procurement.

The type of products that the company purchases depend on its operations. Items like office supplies, furniture, hardware, printed materials, raw materials, technical equipment, and communication devices can be included in this category.

In addition, businesses can purchase services like employee and equipment testing. The procurement process must maximize the company's value, which is where marketing professionals come in. They examine management, employee needs, and business processes to determine the company's needs. A company's efficiency can be maintained, and a steady cash flow can be guaranteed with the help of procurement.

To avoid keeping capital in storage for an extended period, sales and marketing managers might decide to sell or dispose of supplies after purchasing them for operations.

Direct and indirect procurement are two different processes that managers are in charge of. Indirect procurement, on the other hand, refers to the process by which managers acquire resources to support a company's operations rather than its direct products. Direct procurement is the acquisition of components to manufacture a company's products.


What is Supply Chain Management?

The supply chain management practice involves effectively managing all the pertinent aspects involved in delivering your products to end-users in the most efficient manner possible. Its primary purpose is to streamline the supply chain, minimize any potential obstacles and ensure a seamless process from producing goods or services to their eventual delivery to customers. The ultimate goal is optimizing the supply chain's performance, enabling it to function effortlessly and eliminating unnecessary complications.


Who Oversees Supply Chain Management?

A supply chain manager is responsible for handling all of the business’s aspects as well as making sure that the logistics operation is coordinated. Here are some of the responsibilities that are overseen by the supply chain management:

● Quality of supplier

● Planning and strategy of supply chain

● Delivery of goods

● Return of defective products

● Sourcing of raw materials

● Cost minimization

● Shortages management

● Flow of goods and services

● Managing production’s quality

● Ethical business practice adopted by suppliers

All these functions are necessary for a business to source and produce their goods efficiently while maintaining the budget of your business.


Exploring Supply Chain Management vs Procurement

Before understanding the importance of both supply chain management and procurement, it is important to what differentiates them in the manufacturing processes for businesses.


Procurement focuses on the production aspects of a business exclusively. It details how, where, and when a company obtains the resources to operate and produce results. Management practices procurement to save capital and resources for a business, building professional relationships to ensure a company has reliable suppliers.

Procurement concerns only a product during the developmental and storage stages, not the entire process. Supply chains focus on different aspects of the production line. From an idea to the first customer's purchase, supply chain management helps ensure that each step in the process is efficient.

Supply chain management focuses on multiple aspects of the raw materials as well as the product development by analyzing the response of a customer to the certain product or services, while the objective of procurement is handling the resource management at its very initial stages.


Procurement refers to the activities involved in identifying, selecting, negotiating with, and managing suppliers to ensure that the required goods and services are procured at the right price, quality, and delivery time. It is a critical component of the supply chain, aiming to secure necessary resources for producing goods or services.

However, supply chain management goes beyond procurement to include the planning, execution, and control of all activities involved in bringing the final product or service to the customer. This includes coordinating the processes and stakeholders involved in the production, logistics, distribution, and customer service.

Therefore, while procurement is an essential aspect of supply chain management, it is just one piece of the entire puzzle of managing the end-to-end flow of goods and services efficiently and effectively.


Procurement activities often focus on achieving immediate objectives related to a specific purchase, such as identifying a suitable supplier, negotiating favorable terms, and ensuring timely delivery. The primary goal of procurement is to meet the organization's immediate needs cost-effectively without compromising on quality or reliability.

On the other hand, supply chain management takes a longer-term perspective that looks beyond individual purchases and considers the overall performance of the entire supply chain. Supply chain managers are responsible for designing and implementing strategies that optimize the flow of goods and services in the whole supply chain, from sourcing to delivery to the end customer.

It involves analyzing data, identifying trends, and making strategic decisions that can improve performance and cost savings over the long run. By taking a holistic approach to managing the supply chain, supply chain managers can ensure that the organization is well-positioned to meet current and future demands while minimizing risks and maximizing efficiency.

Performance Metrics

Cost reductions, supplier quality, and delivery times are frequently considered when assessing the effectiveness of procurement activities. These metrics ensure purchasing decisions are cost-effective and meet organizational needs.

Supply chain management employs a broader range of performance metrics to evaluate the overall health and effectiveness of the supply chain. Supply chain managers monitor customer satisfaction, inventory turns, order cycle times, on-time delivery, supplier quality, and other metrics that reflect the supply chain's performance in addition to cost savings and delivery times.

Supply chain managers can learn more about how the entire supply chain is performing by monitoring these additional metrics, including how well it meets customer demands, manages inventory and fills orders, and works with suppliers and other partners in the supply chain.

Optimizing the supply chain for maximum effectiveness, efficiency, and customer satisfaction is the primary goal of supply chain management by ensuring the company makes strategic decisions that will lead to long-term improvements in the supply chain process by monitoring a more comprehensive range of performance metrics.


Procurement is mainly concerned with managing the organization's relationship with external suppliers, negotiating contracts, and ensuring that all procurement activities comply with legal and ethical standards.

Building trusting relationships with suppliers, spotting potential threats and opportunities, negotiating advantageous terms, and monitoring supplier performance are all necessary to ensure that all products and services are delivered as promised.

In contrast, the role of supply chain management is much more significant and necessitates close coordination with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. To ensure that all activities are coordinated and optimized for maximum efficiency and effectiveness, supply chain managers must also work closely with customers, logistics providers, and other partners in the supply chain. This is in addition to managing supplier relationships.

High levels of coordination and communication between various organizational departments and functions are necessary for this collaborative approach to supply chain management. The organization will be in a better position to meet customer demands, reduce risks, and improve performance over the long term if supply chain managers work closely with all parties involved in the chain.


Similarities b/w Procurement and Supply Chain Management

You have seen the critical differences between procurement and supply chain management; however, they also share many similarities that prove fruitful for a business.

The similarities between supply chain management and procurement are listed below:

● The two production processes assist in fulfilling both the targets as well as the business goals.

● Both supply chain management and procurement can handle your business operations if proactively managed.

● Supply chain management and procurement are internal functions; they may need input from outside parties, but your organization still controls them fundamentally.


Why Do Businesses Need an Efficient Procurement Process?

A business can experience several benefits by ensuring an efficiency procurement process:

Reliable Seller

Businesses can find trustworthy and high-quality suppliers to fulfill their products and supplies through an effective procurement team. Meetings between procurement teams and supplier members ensure prompt and consistent deliverables. To allow staff to handle each shipment properly, procurement teams work to minimize the delivery process per every business's schedule.

Capital Increase

Procurement teams aid businesses in cost-saving by efficiently managing resources. For instance, if a company foresees the need for 3,000 project parts but uses only half of that, a procurement team can sell the surplus parts to generate more profit instead of allowing them to accumulate in storage facilities. This approach also facilitates the efficient management of storage units, prioritizing features that hold future value.

Additionally, procurement teams play a crucial role in enhancing a company's potential capital by closely monitoring suppliers. By terminating relationships with suppliers that no longer contribute to the company's profits, these teams help all departments reduce unnecessary expenses. Procurement teams can streamline these processes and optimize cost-saving opportunities by focusing specifically on resource input and output.

Improving Efficiency

Procurement teams can potentially enhance process efficiency in departments related to resources. Discontinuing partnerships with sellers that no longer provide value to a company can enable the sales department to concentrate on collaborating with retailers who supply high-quality resources. Procurement managers can also establish and enforce policies that facilitate the prompt delivery of goods to various business areas. Moreover, a procurement system can afford employees more time to complete their tasks by implementing automated solutions to address departmental issues.


Why Do Businesses Need an Efficient Supply Chain?

A business needs to ensure a smooth supply chain management for the following reasons:

Improved Process

Processes in various departments can be significantly improved with the assistance of supply chain managers. The fact that these managers are in charge of the entire supply chain means they can research and comprehend how process efficiencies can raise the caliber of the final product. These managers use their business knowledge to streamline departmental operations while keeping the entire process in mind. By streamlining the techniques, they ultimately assist in facilitating the production of the final product.

Clear Instructions

While streamlining processes, supply chain managers also assist in making employee instructions more understandable. An inefficient system may occasionally result from poor instructions given on the work location. Like QA teams, supply chain teams assist departments in assessing their current state to identify inefficiencies, whether related to processes or process-related instructions. All employees can benefit from clarity by simplifying a process, which reduces the time it takes to transfer a commodity within departments.

Employee Awareness

Supply chain managers see employees as components of the manufacturing operation since they see it as a single, extensive chain of events. As a result of the adjustments made by supply chain staff, other team members may become more aware of those in other departments, which may enhance communication and mutual expectations. Process speeds can be increased by raising awareness among employees across the organization.


Choosing Businessbid

Now is the time for businesses to meet customer needs by speeding up their production processes through automated procurement processes and supply chain management to reduce risk and increase performance. Check out businessbid procurement and management software to boost your business’s position in the manufacturing process with its centralized transaction management and integrated platform to reduce risks while improving budget controls.

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