What Exactly is sourcing? Definition, Approach, and Distinction Between Sourcing and Procurement. 14 Mar 2023

sourcing and procurement

Searching for fresh components, supplies, or goods for your line of work? It might be a big choice where you receive things from or how you source them. If you’re a brand or retail shopper who is unsure of what you’re doing, the sourcing may seem complicated, but it may have a big influence on the value, pricing, and accessibility of your items. We’ll guide you through the sourcing procedure so you can easily find, evaluate, and select your next distributor or supplier.

Strategic Outsourcing- Definition

In order for a company to leverage its combined purchasing power to discover the lowest prices in the market and match its purchasing strategy with business objectives, strategic sourcing formalizes the information gathering and usage process.

When procurement procedures change as a result of digital transformation, strategic sourcing is becoming more and more common. Analyzing what an organization purchases, from whom, at what cost, and in what quantity is necessary. Strategic sourcing varies from conventional purchasing in that it optimizes the sourcing process through continual market study and connections with suppliers, placing emphasis on the total cost of ownership in addition to the original purchase price.

What strategic sourcing has to offer

The benefits of strategic sourcing are innumerable. These are a few of them.

  • The main advantage of using a certified third-party company like Vidl Sourcing throughout the process is the decrease of risk. In the event that something goes wrong, you will have someone to turn to rather than having to handle it yourself and maybe being subject to further stress or even worse outcomes.
  • Future innovation is most likely to be encouraged by the strategic sourcing process itself. If you hire an outside service provider, they will make several ideas for extra enhancements that can be advantageous for your company and assist you in fine-tuning your business model.
  • Your productivity will grow dramatically as a result of the time savings. Also, hiring a service provider from a different party to conduct the procedure on your behalf might let you better concentrate on your core strengths.

Process of Sourcing

Sourcing consists of numerous steps. These are:

  • Doing expenditure analyses on the numerous goods and services that a manufacturing business needs.
  • Suppliers are chosen based on the needs of the business.
  • The manufacturer contacts the first suppliers and asks them for further information. In order to do this, the buyer sends the suppliers requests for information (RFI), quotes (RFQs), and proposals (RFPs).
  • To get information, the maker sends them to the suppliers. This will assist the manufacturer in identifying the ideal candidate in light of the demands and specifications. The name of this procedure is Supplier Qualification.
  • Following that, contracts are signed with the vendors. In this way, the suppliers become vendors and the procurement process gets underway.

Strategic Procurement

Regardless of the sector, strategic sourcing is essential for all firms. It’s a method of strategically organizing your company’s supply chain management process through indirect or direct procurement. This entails continuously seeking methods to enhance, whether it is through process streamlining, partner service research, and improvement, or cost-saving activity evaluation in your purchase. Efficiency is key to all operations, especially as the corporate world grows more complex. This is because efficiency is all about productivity.

A strong sourcing plan involves extensive study, as it should. Without a tactical procurement plan, your company simply cannot exist without all the products and services you depend on every day. It’s time to examine our strategic alternatives and see whether we can make improvements to our own plans in a time when we’re all attempting to reduce inefficiencies and cost bleeding.

Process of Procurement

  • Identification of the requirements:

The company must ascertain the requirements for the particular commodity or service. The thing could be brand-new or already in existence. It entails investigating the fundamental components of an enterprise’s requirements, such as the precise technical specifications, material type, part number, etc.

  • Submission of a purchase request:

Upon the completion of the business requirements analysis. The company is required to file a formal buy request via a purchase requisition in order to obtain the appropriate quantity of materials. The responsible department has submitted a purchase request for the necessary materials. It informs the buying division that it is necessary for it to exist.

  • Assess and Select Vendors:

Finding the best vendor and sending an RFQ, or request for quotation, is what this stage entails. To obtain quotes, the buying team sends RFQs to potential vendors. It facilitates comparing different possible vendors. In addition to price, reputation, timeliness, quality, and dependability are important considerations when evaluating providers.

  • Negotiation:

Prior to selecting a choice, it is advisable to obtain at least three estimates from the source. To do this, the business must thoroughly review each quote and bargain over the terms.

  • Create purchase order:

Make a purchase order finish the purchase order, then send it to the supplier. In order to determine the proper collection of materials and supplies, it must be complete in every way. The provider can satisfy the company’s needs if only the purchase order is fulfilled.

  • Receipt and Inspection:

Verifying that the supplied goods are free of damage and of excellent quality. As a result, it guarantees that the supplies are there in the required amount. Moreover, it guarantees that the material’s quality is as predicted.

  • Three-way matching is performed:

Three-way matching is performed. By adding up the purchase order, order receipt, and product invoice, it is achievable. Before completing the final payment, any discrepancies are noted, and the problem is fixed.

When the three-way matching is accurate, the firm authorizes the invoices and makes the payment. Following that, it pays the provider.

  • Record-keeping:

In this, all papers, including invoices, receipts, order requests, and other documents, are kept on file by the company. They are crucial for a number of reasons, including taxation, auditing, restocking, and others.

Why Procurement and Sourcing Are Critical to Business

For every $1 billion spent, world-class organizations employ an average of 42.79 full-time equivalent individuals in procurement. The average score for other businesses is 60.6. What is the meaning of this metric? Your entire company may save time and money with efficient buying.

The procurement process may have a profound effect on your company. If sustainability is important to your company’s brand, environmentally friendly buying should be one of your top concerns. Furthermore, finding materials that suit those objectives is essential if you want to satisfy your clients’ standards for quality, efficiency, and affordability. Your business is powered by your supplies, whether they are ingredients for a product you sell or office supplies. Every business requires certain resources, and sourcing and procurement provide additional advantages.

  • Cost Optimization

  • Your business may save money with effective procurement management.
  • Your profit margins are impacted by the cost of the raw materials, components, and other supplies you purchase.
  • Your margins will be smaller the more you pay. Managers of sourcing and procurement analyze pricing among suppliers and bargain to secure lower costs and more palatable payment arrangements.

They also take into account the lifetime cost of ownership as opposed to the lowest pricing. For instance, ordering the more expensive model of printers for a business may end up being more economical in the long term. You may save money on future repairs by paying more upfront, and you won’t need to replace things as frequently.

Contracting with outside providers of services, like accounting, is another aspect of procurement and sourcing. An organization can save time and money by using business services rather than hiring a full-time employee. Professionals with experience may complete certain duties more quickly than an internal employee in a multifaceted position. Your company may focus more on its core competencies by choosing the proper suppliers, which can help you save time and money.

  • Supply Stability

An organization may find itself in a difficult situation if supplies run out at the wrong moment. Production may need to be delayed if raw materials are not available. Missed sales opportunities and strained client relations are consequences of being out of stock. Even having to buy more printer paper might have unanticipated consequences.
With careful planning, a good procurement strategy may avoid these situations. You can make sure you always have the resources you require by carefully anticipating demand and knowing how long it takes for your business to run low on essential supplies.

  • Risk Management

Dealing with outside vendors frequently entails greater risk. There are more opportunities for snags when you don’t have the direct control you do over internal resources and departments. For instance, a crucial supplier might fail, depriving you of a necessary raw ingredient. Also, you incur the danger of your suppliers not adhering to your requirements, ordering subpar raw materials, or skimping on quality control.

Intimate partnerships make it easier to identify and rapidly address supplier issues. To reduce those risks, a solid procurement plan calls for solidifying relationships with your main suppliers. It also entails developing alternative sources of supplies in case a natural disaster or other uncontrollable hazard disrupts your supply chain.

  • Procurement and Sourcing’s Major Differences


  • Finding suppliers, evaluating & contracting them, and maintaining a strong network of vendors to meet the demands of the company are all handled through sourcing.
  • Focuses on the who that makes the supplies possible
  • Sourcing is concerned with building and managing supply chains
  • Sourcing manages supply chains and builds alternatives for resilience


  • Procurement entails acquiring the commodities and services that the company needs.
  • Focuses on the what of supplies
  • Leverages supply chains to ensure a steady flow of inputs and supplies to the organization.
  • Procurement is primarily concerned with running already-created supply chains.

Although sourcing and procurement have many characteristics, we also need to consider their differences in order to fully comprehend each. The main distinctions between sourcing and procurement are listed below.

Moreover, the sourcing team uses the data produced by the procurement team to manage vendor relationships and decide whether to keep them going or discontinue them based on how well vendors perform over time. Sourcing makes use of resources like:

  • request for quotes for new products,
  • acquiring vendor information,
  • uploading vendor information into the vendor management system,
    defining lead time,
  • negotiations & agreements on pricing,
  • supplier risk analysis,
  • determining minimum order quantities, standard packing quantity, quality metrics, etc.

The procurement department then builds upon the sourcing team’s base to accept requests from inside the company, place orders, monitor deliveries, measure, confirm, and record quality and quantity measurements, among other things.

How sourcing benefits companies and retailers

There are several ways that sourcing aids merchants and companies in boosting sales, in addition to enabling them to provide consumers with the high-quality goods they’ve been seeking. This section will discuss how efficient sourcing may result in cost savings over the long term, strengthened supply chains, a better grasp of the market, and more.

  • Long-term cost reduction

Consider factors other than the cost of your initial order when selecting your next distributor or supplier during the sourcing process.

  •  Are they willing to negotiate prices and shipping fees with you?
  • Do they offer bulk order discounts?
  • Is their pricing consistent with those of their competitors?

You want to ensure you’re getting the best price on the market so you can in turn offer a competitive price to tour customers.

  • Higher-grade raw materials

The quality of your finished work may be substantially impacted by choosing the correct materials to use. For instance, using cheaper materials may result in a product that falls short of client expectations.

But, when premium materials are used, the product is more likely to last a long time, which makes customers pleased and encourages repeat business. Ask your supplier for a sample of the finished product, even if it will cost more, to make sure it lives up to the high standards your consumers have for quality.

Building a solid supply chain during the sourcing process may assist identify possible hazards and their remedies in advance, preventing delays, canceled orders, and displeased clients. Building connections with several suppliers or distributors is one method to do this, decreasing your reliance on one source in the event of interruptions. Whenever possible, try to diversify the sources of these products in case bad weather or shipping problems result in delays.

  • Increased sustainability of the supply chain

Customers are becoming more interested in the supply chain footprints of the things they purchase. People will even pay extra for brands that emphasize governance, social, and environmental problems. Your items become even more valuable and reliable when they receive third-party certifications. Find out which of your potential suppliers is devoted to sustainable practices and is open about where their raw materials and components are from.

As a result, your supply chain’s environmental effect will be reduced, and retailers will view your brand as more competitive.

  • Improved knowledge of the market

Businesses that have a thorough grasp of the retail sector have a distinct advantage over their rivals, but doing so might require years of effort and expertise. Joining together with reputable suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, and service providers gives you access to their industry knowledge and proficiency.

You may grow your firm in other ways since you won’t have to worry as much about keeping a consistent supply of materials and probable production interruptions.

  • Better negotiating position

Companies who are able to efficiently source their products in order to stay up with the rapidly expanding market in today’s society often have greater success negotiating better terms with suppliers, including cheaper costs, quicker delivery, and more palatable payment terms. As the company can better control expenses and boost its bottom line thanks to its greater bargaining power, this might result in more earnings.

Count on Velan as Your Procurement Experts

Each firm must engage in both sourcing and procurement. Your success depends on your ideas, goods, and services, and the acquisition gives you the funding to support your innovation. With the help of our RFP services, contract negotiations, and supplier relationship management we at Velan can help you find and vet suppliers.

By optimizing your whole procurement process with the help of our procurement advice, we can also help you with your procurement demands.

Find out more about our full selection of procurement services, then contact us to discuss your requirements.



Jack Manu

Outsourcing Consultant

About the Author:

Jack Manu, an outsourcing consultant at Velan, has more than a decade of experience in assisting real estate companies and real estate agents to improve the operational efficiency. He has been helping real estate agents including many REMAX agents to focus on their core business by offering transaction & listing coordinator services, accounting service and social media marketing assistance.Jack can be reached at jack.manu@velaninfo.com


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