Introduction to Purchasing

NEW This programme will provide you with the skills to operate in a professional manner that, in turn, will reduce the risks and deliver cost benefits for your organisation. The programme can be tailored to focus on the current challenges within your business scenario.

Course overview

The number of people with a formal Procurement role in organisations is generally small in number. However, many people are involved in the process of purchasing, and many more have an influence on decisions about what to buy, from whom to buy it and how much to pay.

This highly interactive one-day programme provides a great starting point for those who are new to the formal procurement role. It also offers key insights for those who already have an involvement in the purchasing process.

Your next step is to call us now on +44 (0)20 7729 6677 or email us at or use our contact form and find out how we can help. There are no commitments, and if we cannot help our advice and recommendations are free of charge.

Why should you attend

This programme will provide you with the skills to operate in a professional manner that, in turn, will reduce the risks and deliver cost benefits for your organisation. The programme can be tailored to focus on the current challenges within your business scenario.

Sample programme

1. The role of purchasing:

We consider the changing face of purchasing within organisations and different structural models. Delegates discuss the way in which purchasing operates in their own business, the links to stakeholders, the issues which purchasing is facing and ways of addressing them.

  • Organisational models
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Setting and valuing priorities

2. Buyers, influencers and decision-makers

Here we look at the purchasing process through the eyes of the salesman or account manager. Who are they likely to target in your organisation? Who are the Buyers, Influencers and Decision-Makers in your business and how do you gain the most benefit from these important commercial relationships?

  • Who are the Influencers and Decision Makers in your business?
  • How do sellers try to gain influence on your spend?
  • How to open the door to opportunities

3. Controlling the Spend

We discuss the basic financial building blocks that are key to successful purchasing. Using an example, we consider the value of savings, the difference between annual and fiscal benefits, and consider the influence of purchasing activity on the P&L and on the cash flow statement.

  • Key financial measures
  • Profit and loss
  • The importance of cash flow to buyers and sellers

4. Planned purchasing

In this session we look at budgeting and performance measurement. We explore simple but effective methods of targeting and tracking performance improvement.

  • Categories of spend
  • Creating an expenditure model
  • Planning and monitoring benefit delivery

5. Placing orders, letting contracts

We consider the processes involved in successful management of the sourcing process: the simple placement of one-off orders, the use of call-off agreements and the management of complex tenders.

  • Requisitions and orders
  • Call-off agreements
  • Tendering and long-term contracts

6. Understanding costs

Here we explore a range of options for understanding costs. We discuss the seductiveness of cost breakdowns, why all may not be as it seems and how to turn a cost breakdown to your advantage. We also consider other options for achieving understanding of costs and then targeting challenging but deliverable cost reductions.

  • Fundamentals of cost analysis
  • Sources of information on cost
  • Introduction to should costing

7. Legal issues

All those involved in the purchasing process need to have a foundation level grasp of the law of contract. This is essential for the protection of the business. We also look at some of the legal issues surrounding tendering and fair competition.

  • Offer and acceptance
  • Remedies for non-performance
  • The rules for fair competition and the penalties for breach

8. Ethics of purchasing

You can only lose your integrity once. In this session we look at best practice in terms of the ethics of purchasing and reflect on the procedures in place in your business to safeguard the reputation of yourself and the organisation.

  • The importance of ethical behaviour
  • The risks of non-adherence
  • Managing an ethical procurement process

Recommended trainer

Robert Maguire runs his own consultancy and his experience spans the full range of outsourcing and vendor management issues from determining what to outsource, through developing an appropriate contract strategy and building a performance dashboard to negotiation and conflict resolution to deal with the inevitable management issues that arise in any long-term relationship. Through his consulting, coaching, mentoring and skills development interactions, he helps major organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sector transform their thinking and approach to their commercial relationships. Robert’s clients span a range of industries including pharma, consumer products, telecoms, transport and public sector both in the UK, the US and the Middle East. He is an accomplished line manager and consultant experienced in all aspects of purchasing and supplier management. Prior to establishing his own consultancy Rob was European Purchasing Manager for Reckitt & Colman plc where he established a European procurement function for the purchase of raw materials and sub-contracted products. He has worked as a consultant at Price Waterhouse and Ernst & Young, and has worked with a number of pharma companies including Glaxo Welcome (GSK).