Purchasing managers/directors, and procurement managers/directors guide the organization’s acquisition procedures and standards. Most organizations use a three-way check as the foundation of their purchasing programs. This involves three departments in the organization completing separate parts of the acquisition process. The three departments do not all report to the same seniormanager to prevent unethical practices and lend credibility to the process. These departments can be purchasing, receiving; and accounts payable or engineering, purchasing and accounts payable; or a plant manager, purchasing and accounts payable. Combinations can vary significantly, but a purchasing department and accounts payable are usually two of the three departments involved.
Historically, thepurchasing department issued Purchase Orders for supplies, services, equipment, and raw materials. Then, in an effort to decrease the administrative costs associated with the repetitive ordering of basic consumable items, "Blanket" or "Master" Agreements were put into place. These types of agreements typically have a longer duration and increased scope to maximize the Quantities of Scale concept.When additional supplies are required, a simple release would be issued to the supplier to provide the goods or services.
Another method of decreasing administrative costs associated with repetitive contracts for common material, is the use of company credit cards, also known as "Purchasing Cards" or simply "P-Cards". P-card programs vary, but all of them have internal checks and audits to ensureappropriate use. Purchasing managers realized once contracts for the low dollar value consumables are in place, procurement can take a smaller role in the operation and use of the contracts. There is still oversight in the forms of audits and monthly statement reviews, but most of their time is now available to negotiate major purchases and setting up of other long term contracts. These contractsare typically renewable annually.
This trend away from the daily procurement function (tactical purchasing) resulted in several changes in the industry. The first was the reduction of personnel. Purchasing departments were now smaller. There was no need for the army of clerks processing orders for individual parts as in the past. Another change was the focus on negotiating contracts and procurementof large capital equipment. Both of these functions permitted purchasing departments to make the biggest financial contribution to the organization. A new terms and job title emerged – Strategic sourcing and Sourcing Managers. These professionals not only focused on the bidding process and negotiating with suppliers, but the entire supply function. In these roles they were able to add value andmaximize savings for organizations. This value was manifested in lower inventories, less personnel, and getting the end product to the organization’s consumer quicker. Purchasing manager’s success in these roles resulted in new assignments outside to the traditional purchasing function – logistics, materials management, distribution, and warehousing. More and more purchasing managers were becomingSupply Chain Managers handling additional functions of their organizations operation. Purchasing managers were not the only ones to become Supply Chain Managers. Logistic managers, material managers, distribution managers, etc all rose the broader function and some had responsibility for the purchasing functions now.
In accounting, purchases are the amount of goods a company brought throughoutthis year. They are added to inventory. Purchases are offset by Purchase Discounts and Purchase Returns and Allowances. When it should be added depends on the Free On Board (FOB) policy of the trade. For the purchaser, this new inventory is added on shipment if the policy was FOB shipping point, and the seller remove this item from its inventory. On the other hand, the purchaser added this...