Difference Wiki

Procurement vs. Purchasing: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 29, 2023
Procurement is the strategic process of acquiring goods and services, while purchasing is the act of buying them.

Key Differences

Procurement encompasses the entire process of acquiring goods and services, including planning, negotiation, and strategic selection. Purchasing is the specific act of buying or the transaction itself.
Procurement involves steps like identifying needs, selecting suppliers, and managing contracts. Purchasing, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with the exchange of money for goods or services.
The goal of procurement is to acquire the necessary items in the most efficient and effective manner. Purchasing focuses on the immediate transaction, ensuring goods or services are bought.
Procurement requires a strategic approach, often considering long-term relationships with suppliers. Purchasing can be a one-time transaction without ongoing relationships.
In procurement, the emphasis is on obtaining the best value for money and managing supplier relationships. In purchasing, the focus is on the immediate fulfillment of a requirement.

Comparison Chart


Strategic process of acquiring goods and services
Act of buying goods or services


Long-term efficiency and effectiveness
Immediate transaction


Planning, negotiating, supplier selection
Exchanging money for goods or services


Best value for money, managing relationships
Immediate fulfillment of a requirement


Long-term supplier relationships
Often one-time transactions

Procurement and Purchasing Definitions


Supplier Selection
The procurement team evaluated several vendors before deciding.


Transaction of Goods
Her role involved the purchasing of office supplies.


Management of Contracts
Effective procurement ensured favorable contract terms.


Act of Buying
The purchasing of new equipment was completed yesterday.


Strategic Acquisition
The company’s procurement of new software improved efficiency.


Exchange of Money
The purchasing process was quick and efficient.


Acquisition Planning
Procurement planning helped streamline their operations.


Immediate Buying
The emergency required immediate purchasing of medical supplies.


Process of Obtaining
Procurement of quality materials was essential for the project.


One-Time Acquisition
The purchasing of the property was a major investment.


To get by special effort; obtain or acquire
Managed to procure a pass.


To obtain in exchange for money or its equivalent; buy.


To bring about; effect
Procure a solution to a knotty problem.


To acquire by effort; earn
Purchased the victory with the loss of many lives.


To obtain (a sexual partner) for another.


To pull or haul by means of a mechanical device, such as a winch.


To obtain sexual partners for others.


The act or an instance of buying
The sudden purchase of a car.


(uncountable) The purchasing department of a company.


Something bought
That hat was a wise purchase.


(countable) The act of procuring or obtaining; obtainment; attainment.
He was responsible for the procurement of materials and supplies.
I have a lot of experience in the procurement of construction materials and sub-contracts.


A hold or position that allows the application of power, as in moving something
Got a purchase for her foot and climbed up.


Efficient contrivance; management; agency.
They think it done by her procurement. -Dryden.


A device, such as a pulley, used to obtain mechanical advantage.


The act of procuring or obtaining; obtainment; attainment.


A means or advantage that allows the increase of power or influence.


Efficient contrivance; management; agency.
They think it doneBy her procurement.


Present participle of purchase


The act of getting possession of something;
He was responsible for the procurement of materials and supplies


An act or process of making a purchase.


A complex, organized process in large organizations for obtaining goods that may include identification of requirements, approvals, supplier management, negotiation, receipt of goods, and payment.


A part of an organization that manages such processes


The act of buying;
Buying and selling fill their days
Shrewd purchasing requires considerable knowledge


Is procurement just buying?

No, it’s broader, encompassing planning and supplier management.

What's crucial in procurement?

Strategic planning and long-term value are crucial.

Does procurement involve negotiation?

Yes, negotiation is often a significant part.

Is purchasing part of procurement?

Yes, purchasing is a component of the procurement process.

Is purchasing a strategic activity?

It can be, but it's often more tactical.

Does purchasing involve contracts?

It can, but often it’s a simpler exchange.

Does procurement involve contracts?

Yes, contract management is a part of it.

Can procurement affect a company’s strategy?

Yes, it can significantly impact strategic goals.

Are supplier relationships important in purchasing?

They’re less crucial in simple purchasing transactions.

What is procurement?

It's the strategic process of acquiring goods and services.

What does purchasing mean?

It refers to the act of buying goods or services.

What role do relationships play in procurement?

Supplier relationships are vital in procurement.

What skills are needed for purchasing?

Attention to detail and transactional skills are needed.

What’s key in purchasing?

The immediate transaction and exchange of goods are key.

Does procurement involve cost savings?

Ideally, it seeks long-term cost-effectiveness.

Is cost a primary focus in purchasing?

Immediate cost and transaction completion are often the focus.

What skills are important in procurement?

Strategic thinking and negotiation skills are important.

Can small businesses benefit from procurement?

Yes, effective procurement can benefit businesses of all sizes.

Is purchasing simpler than procurement?

Generally, yes, it’s more straightforward.

Is negotiation a part of purchasing?

Not always; it can be a straightforward transaction.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons