Sourcing

Procurement vs. sourcing vs. acquisition

Procurement is one component of the broader concept of sourcing and acquisition. Typically procurement is viewed as more tactical in nature (the process of physically buying a product or service) and sourcing and acquisition are viewed as more strategic and encompassing.

The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) defines strategic sourcing as the process of identifying sources that could provide needed products or services for the acquiring organization. The term procurement used to reflect the entire purchasing process or cycle, and not just the tactical components. ISM defines procurement as an organisational function that includes specifications development, value analysis, supplier market research, negotiation, buying activities, contract administration, inventory control, traffic, receiving and stores. Purchasing refers to the major function of an organisation that is responsible for acquisition of required materials, services and equipment.

The United States Defense Acquisition University (DAU) defines procurement as the act of buying goods and services for the government. DAU defines acquisition as the conceptualization, initiation, design, development, test, contracting, production, deployment, Logistics Support (LS), modification, and disposal of weapons and other systems, supplies, or services (including construction) to satisfy Department of Defense needs, intended for use in or in support of military missions.

Acquisition and sourcing are therefore much wider concepts than procurement.

Multiple sourcing business models exist, and acquisition models exist.