What is a purchasing procedure?


A purchasing procedure outlines the process of obtaining goods and services through your supply chain. As a business, you need to purchase goods and services to meet your needs, in turn, meeting your customers’ needs.

Customers want and expect quality in the services or products they purchase. As a business, you want and expect the same from your suppliers. But how do you ensure optimal return from your purchasing?

Every business needs an efficient method to manage its purchasing. How well your company implements its purchasing procedure can have a major impact on its performance, profit, risk, and reputation.

Why is it important to have a formal purchasing procedure?

A formal purchasing procedure is valuable for all organisations, but especially those looking to scale. It makes the purchasing process faster and more efficient because it creates transparency for all stakeholders involved and helps ensure better management of operational spend.

How to manage your purchasing procedure

With greater transparency, the purchasing process is effective in allowing all stakeholders to have the visibility needed to avoid bottlenecks, keep track of operational spend and facilitate accountability for auditing purposes.

Here are our top five best practices for a successful purchasing procedure:

  1. Greater transparency – Ensure information and status updates are available to all relevant parties.
  2. Accessible budget – Ensure your key stakeholders are equipped with real-time, up-to-date budget information.
  3. Stay legal and secure – Ensure all legal and security policies are up-to-date and understood and that they are being complied with before any purchase is made.
  4. Maintain a preferred supplier list – This helps requesters know who the company is working with and whether there’s already a registered vendor who can fulfil their needs before they onboard a new vendor.
  5. Maintain good supplier relationships- Supplier relationship management is important in ensuring they are still suitable and accessible, for your organisation to benefit from shortened processing times.

By managing and continually improving your purchasing procedure through a quality management system, such as ISO 9001, you will be better equipped to manage your purchasing procedure and protect your business from unwanted costs.

ISO 9001

ISO 9001 is the world’s most recognised quality Standard. It is designed to help businesses of any size implement a management system that will help to ensure they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders, by having a framework in place that helps to ensure consistent quality and drives improvement.

Purchasing requirements in ISO 9001

The purchasing requirements in the ISO 9001 Standard help to ensure the services and products you purchase from suppliers meet your needs. Having processes in place to reduce risks and provide consistency within your supply chain is an important part of your quality management system.

Clause 8.4 of ISO 9001:2015 covers key steps along the purchasing process to ensure quality is maintained and you and your customers are happy with what you deliver.

Communication is key – ensuring suppliers understand what is expected from them, if requirements are unclear it may lead to non-conforming or defective services or products. Monitoring and inspecting services or products is essential to ensure they meet your requirements and are of the correct quality. With a continuous improvement feedback loop a key focus of ISO 9001, quality can be maintained at every step of the purchasing procedure.

This ensures you’re focused on the future and can drive continuing success by positioning your business to keep growing.


Want to find out more about ISO 9001 and its requirements? Visit our dedicated product page or give the QMS team a call today on 0333 344 3646.

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    Susannah Peck

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    Digital Marketing Executive

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