Sourcing and Procurement-What’s the difference ?

Interchangeable words or unique, complementary activities that together can unlock superior business performance. As a smaller brand or business without a Procurement or buying team where do you start and do you need both ?

Sourcing and procurement are two related but distinct activities that are essential components of an overarching strategic supply chain management plan.

  1. Sourcingrefers to the process of identifying potential suppliers and selecting the best among them to provide goods or services to a company. It includes activities such as supplier identification, supplier evaluation, negotiation, and contracting.
  2. Procurementon the other hand, refers to the process of purchasing goods or services from a supplier. It includes activities such as ordering, invoicing, payment processing, and supplier management.

While sourcing and procurement are distinct activities, they are closely related and often overlap in practice. A strategic sourcing approach can help companies optimize their procurement activities by ensuring that they are working with the best suppliers and getting the best possible prices and terms. Procurement, in turn, is an important part of the sourcing process, as it involves executing contracts and managing supplier relationships to ensure that goods and services are delivered on time, at the right quality, and at the agreed-upon price.

Building a strong Sourcing Strategy and Executing the resultant Procurement Strategy can deliver a range of benefits

  • Reducing costs
  • Improving Quality
  • Improving efficiency
  • Managing Risk
  • Ensuring Regulatory Compliance
  • Speed up innovation
  • Improve Customer Experience and Brand Reputation

So where do you start creating your Sourcing Strategy ?

a pair of hands painted with a map of the world.

The key to creating, delivering, and benefitting from a strong Sourcing Strategy is to work with a partner who shares and understands your commercial ambitions. In addition, they should have:

  1. Experience operating in the markets that could be of interest particularly China. Delivering established contacts and factory relationship networks
  2. Offices established in all product markets to ensure language, time zone and business operating styles are no barrier to delivery
  3. Experienced colleagues who can support your requirements whether they are for consumable or industrial products

Independent QA teams who can ensure your confidence in the delivery of your products both to specification and to time

At ET2C we have been working with our clients for over 21 years. Acting as our clients bridge to their Strategic Sourcing partners. Creating and delivering Strategic Sourcing plans, including independent on the ground QA.

Working with Start Ups and E-Commerce companies to accelerate their competitive advantage, delivering quality and compliance. We have over 250 colleagues based in seven countries to give you feet on the ground to ensure your Sourcing plans are delivered effectively.

If you have any questions or would like to explore how you could benefit from our experience please drop us a call at 

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