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The difference between project and operational procurement
Idar Nouti |
April 15, 2024 |

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Project procurement and operational procurement are two distinct aspects of procurement management within an organization. They serve different purposes and involve different processes and considerations:

Project Procurement

  • Purpose: Project procurement is primarily focused on acquiring goods, services, or works that are specific to a particular project. These items are typically temporary and directly related to the project’s scope.
  • Duration: Project procurement is temporary and aligns with the project’s lifecycle. Once the project is complete, procurement activities related to that project cease.
  • Procurement Process: Project procurement involves unique procurement processes for each project. These processes are tailored to the project’s requirements and often include soliciting bids or proposals from suppliers.
  • Scope: The scope of project procurement is limited to the project’s needs, which may vary significantly from one project to another.
  • Example: Procuring construction materials and equipment for a specific building project.

Operational Procurement

  • Purpose: Operational procurement focuses on acquiring goods, services, or works that are essential for the day-to-day functioning of an organization. These items are typically ongoing and necessary for business operations.
  • Duration: Operational procurement is continuous and repetitive. Organizations engage in operational procurement activities regularly to maintain their operations.
  • Procurement Process: Operational procurement often follows standardized, routine processes. These processes may include vendor selection, purchase orders, and inventory management.
  • Scope: The scope of operational procurement covers a wide range of items needed for ongoing operations, such as office supplies, raw materials, and maintenance services.
  • Example: Procuring office supplies for daily administrative needs or sourcing raw materials for manufacturing operations.

In summary, project procurement is tailored to the unique needs of a specific project and is temporary in nature, while operational procurement is ongoing and focused on acquiring the goods and services necessary for the organization’s day-to-day activities. Both are essential components of an organization’s procurement management strategy, and they require different approaches and considerations.

Author: Idar Nouti

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