The process generally starts with a Demands process, either for a physical part or a service. A Purchase Request, which encompasses multi vendor requests, or a Purchase Requisition, for a single vendor, is then issued. These detail the requirements of the end requestor and initiate an action in the Procurement Department.

Once the request is received by the Procurement Department they may issue out a Purchase Order or it may be appropriate to issue out a Request for Quote(RFQ). The RFQ process encompasses the search for the best offer for the needed goods or services from one or more potential vendors. The selection is most often based on price but availability, quality and shipping speed can be important factors as well.

Once the vendor has been selected a Purchase Order is then issued to the winning Vendor. The most common Purchase Order is a one time purchase. Planned and Blanket Purchase Orders can also be used depending on the ordering needs and Vendor relationship.

Once the order is placed the supplier will deliver the goods and send an invoice. Tracking the receipt of goods and invoices against the Purchase Orders is then undertaken to make sure the costs and quantities adhere to the original order .

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