What Are Procurement Strategies? (With Types and Importance)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 25, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Procurement is the process of obtaining items at the best possible price while maintaining quality and delivery time standards. There are many procurement strategies that you can use to get what you need while staying within your budget. Knowing about the different strategies can help you choose the right one for your business. In this article, we discuss what procurement strategies are, the different types, how to create one, their framework, and their importance.

What are procurement strategies?

Procurement strategies are the plans and methods that an organization uses to procure goods and services. These strategies help organizations get the best value for their money while maintaining quality standards. They encompass the methods and approaches you can use to find suppliers, negotiate prices, and ultimately make purchases. It's important to have a strategy to help you save time and money and ensure that you get the best possible value for your purchases. There are many strategies that businesses can use. Choosing the right one depends on several factors, including the type of goods or services it needs, the size of the business, and the budget.

Related: 7 Procurement Certification Options (With Benefits)

Types of strategies for procurement

There are many strategies that can help businesses save time and money. Some of the most common ones include:

Cost reduction

This is a common strategy that businesses use to save money. You can reduce costs by negotiating with suppliers, looking for cheaper alternatives, and streamlining your purchasing process. This strategy is most effective when you understand your current costs and identify areas where you can save money.

Green purchasing

Green purchasing is a strategy that focuses on buying goods and services with minimal environmental impact. This can include products made from recycled materials, low emissions, or energy-efficient products. Green purchasing is a good option for businesses that want to reduce their environmental impact and operate more sustainably.

Risk management

Risk management is a strategy that focuses on mitigating risks associated with purchasing goods or services. This can include identifying and assessing risks, developing contingency plans, and establishing risk-sharing arrangements with suppliers. Risk management is essential for businesses that want to protect themselves from potential problems from their purchases.

Related: Why Risk Management Is Important (With Strategies)

Global sourcing

Global sourcing involves buying goods or services from suppliers around the world. This can be a good option for businesses that want to find the best possible purchase price. Global sourcing can also help companies mitigate risks by diversifying their supplier base. It also allows businesses to tap into new markets and find innovative products.

Total quality management

Total quality management ensures that all products and services meet the highest possible standards. This can include setting quality standards, conducting inspections, and implementing quality control measures. This strategy is important for businesses that want to avoid problems with their purchases and ensure that they get the best possible value.

Supplier management and optimization

Supplier management and optimization focus on developing relationships with suppliers and working to improve their performance. This can include setting supplier performance standards, conducting audits, and providing training and support. This strategy is essential as it can help businesses improve the quality of their purchases and ensure that they are getting the best possible value from their suppliers.

How to create a procurement strategy

You can follow these steps to create a procurement strategy:

1. Determine your needs

The first step is to determine your procurement needs. You can do this by assessing the type of goods or services you need, the quantity you need, and the quality you require. You can also consider your budget and the time frame in which you can make your purchases. For example, if you need many items for a business, you can go for a bulk-buying strategy.

2. Assess your current situation

Next, you can assess your current situation, including your existing supplier relationships, purchasing process, and costs. This helps you identify areas where you can improve your strategy. You can also use this information to develop a baseline against which you can measure your progress. Plus, you can also assess market conditions and identify any risks that may affect the business.

3. Set your objectives

After evaluating your needs and your current situation, you can set your objectives. These objectives can be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, you can set a goal to reduce your costs by 10% within six months. Or you can set a goal to improve the quality of your purchases by establishing a total quality management system.

4. Outline your strategy

Once you have set your objectives, you can tailor your strategy to meet these goals. You can choose from various strategies, such as risk management, global sourcing, total quality management, or supplier management and optimization. You can also develop a hybrid plan that combines two or more approaches.

5. Develop a digital strategy

It's crucial to develop a digital strategy to stay ahead of the competition. You can use technology to streamline your procurement process, reduce costs, and improve supplier relationships. For example, you can use an online marketplace to find suppliers, request quotes, and place orders. You can also use online tools to manage your supplier performance and compare prices.

Related: What Is E-Procurement? (With Components and Advantages)

6. Implement your strategy

Implementing your procurement strategy involves putting your plan into action. You can start by assigning roles and responsibilities to your team. Then, you can develop processes and procedures for making purchases. For example, you can create a request for proposal (RFP) template when soliciting bids from suppliers. You can also create purchase order templates and contracts, develop relationships with new suppliers, and work to improve your supplier performance.

7. Monitor and review

Monitoring and reviewing can help you identify areas where you can make changes or improvements. You can also use this information to develop long-term plans for the business. For instance, you can track your progress against your objectives and revise your strategy if necessary. You can also conduct supplier performance reviews regularly to identify any issues or concerns.

What to include in a procurement strategy

There are a few key elements that you can include in your procurement strategy, such as:

  • Strategy statement: This is a brief statement outlining your overall procurement approach. It can comprise your objectives, target market, and key strategies.

  • Desired results: This is a list of the deliverables you expect from your procurement plan. For example, you may want to reduce your costs, improve your quality, or develop new supplier relationships.

  • Time frame: These are the deadlines you set for yourself to achieve your desired results. These deadlines can be short-term, medium-term, or long-term.

  • Tactical plan: This is a more detailed plan that outlines how you can implement your strategy. It can include a step-by-step guide, milestones, and timelines.

  • Measures: This is a list of metrics that you can use to track your progress and assess your results. This can include cost savings, quality improvements, or supplier performance.

  • Dedicated tools and resources: This is a list of the tools and resources to help you implement your strategy. This can include online marketplaces, software, and training programs.

What is the importance of a procurement strategy?

There are several benefits of developing a procurement strategy, such as:

Help save time and money

A good strategy can help you streamline your processes, reduce your costs, and improve your supplier relationships. It can also help you find new suppliers and negotiate better deals. For example, you can use software to automate your request for quotation (RFQ) process. This can save you time and help you get the best prices from suppliers.

Improve quality

It can also improve the quality of your purchases by establishing a total quality management system. It can also help you develop supplier performance standards and audit your suppliers. This can ensure that you get the best possible products and services from your suppliers.

Increase transparency

A procurement strategy increases the transparency of your process by providing clear guidelines and procedures. It can also help you develop a system to track your progress and measure your results. This can help you identify any areas where you can improve your process.

Improve supplier relationships

These strategies help you develop better relationships with your suppliers. This can lead to improved quality, better prices, and more responsive suppliers. You can also use your strategy to build a database of qualified suppliers, making it easier to find new suppliers and get the best deals.

Outline your strategy

A strategy can help you tailor your approach to meet your specific needs. For example, you can develop a digital strategy to use technology to your advantage. You can also implement green procurement practices to improve a business' environmental footprint. You can also create a global strategy to source goods and services worldwide.

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