Nottingham University Business School
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Purchasing Strategies and Techniques

Please note that the following information may be subject to change.

Programme: Undergraduate

Module Code: N13321

Semester: Autumn

Convenor: Alexander Trautrims

Credits & Level: 10 credits; Level 3

Pre-requisites: None.

Co-requisites: None.

Target Students: Available to Part I and Part II students

Delivery: 1 two-hour lecture per week; 2 one-hour seminars

Assessment: One 1.5 hour examination (65%); 1,500 word individual coursework (25%); Negotiation exercise (10%)

Exam Format:Two sections: Section A answer ONE question from a choice of TWO. Section B answer ONE question from a choice of THREE. Each question carries equal marks.

Summary of Content Introduction to purchasing - its importance, role and impact in organizations. Strategic sourcing decisions and approaches. The stages of a typical purchasing process and introduction to various tools buyers use. Internal organization of the purchasing function such as centralization vs decentralization. Supplier evaluation and selection issues, Total cost of ownership (TCO) and quotation analysis. Portfolio and segmentation approaches to supplier management. Incentives and behavioural issues in managing suppliers. Negotiations. Special issues in purchasing: service sourcing and public procurement. Industrial case studies.

Aims Purchasing has a significant impact on company performance. The course provides an overview of purchasing concepts and methods to students. Attention is paid to purchasing activities, requirements and objectives. Students develop an understanding of the factors affecting purchasing decisions and learn about ways to organize the purchasing function and the basic tools used in purchasing.

Key Words: Purchasing, sourcing, procurement

Learning Objectives & Outcomes Knowledge and understanding
This module develops a knowledge and understanding of:
  • The dynamic and changing nature of business and the consideration of the future of organisations within the global business environment, including the management of risk
  • Leadership, management and development of people including the implications of the legal context
  • Leadership, management and development of organisations including the implications of the legal context
  • The management of resources
  • The management of the supply chain
  • The management of procurement
  • The management of logistics
  • The need for individuals and organisations to manage responsibly and sustainably and behave ethically in relation to social, cultural, economic and environmental issues
  • The different approaches for segmentation, targeting, positioning, generating sales and the need for innovation in product and service design
  • An understanding of the factors affecting purchasing decisions, organisation of the purchasing function and the basic tools used in purchasing.
Intellectual skills
This module develops:
  • The ability to analyse facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and identifying and selecting appropriate solutions
Professional practical skills
This module develops:
  • Self-analysis and awareness/sensitivity to diversity in terms of people and cultures. This includes a continuing appetitie for development.
  • People management, to include communications, team building, leadership and motivating others
Transferable (key) skills
This module develops:
  • An awareness of the interpersonal skills of effective listening, negotiating, persuasion and presentation and their use in generating business contacts
  • Ability to work collaboratively both internally and with external customers and an awareness of mutual interdependence
  • Self-management and a readiness to accept responsibility and flexibility, to be resilient, self-starting and appropriately assertive, to plan, organise and manage time
  • Articulating and effectively explaining information
  • Emotional intelligence and empathy



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Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus
Nottingham
NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6602
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 6667
email: business-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk