What’s in a name?

1 October 2010
A fortnight ago SM editor Steve Bagshaw challenged readers to vote for what we should call the profession. He said then: “Our own research last year revealed under half (49.7 per cent) describe what they do as “procurement” – this was the most popular choice.” And he added his personal vote for ‘procurement’ to that. Much debate followed here on our Buyography blog and in our most recent letters page – the overall view there was, again, that ‘procurement’ was the way to go. Well, hundreds of you cast your ballots in our online poll and I can now reveal that in fact ‘purchasing’ was far and away the most popular choice, sweeping up just shy of 56 per cent of the total vote. ‘Procurement’ came second place with 21 per cent, followed by ‘supply chain management’ with a 10 per cent cut. With less than 5 per cent of the vote was ‘purchasing & supply’, followed by ‘strategic sourcing’ (3.52 per cent), ‘other’ received 3.1 per cent. With 0.56 per cent of the vote apiece was ‘sourcing’ and ‘buying’ and finally in last place was ‘commissioning’ with just 0.28 per cent. We asked for one definition, but I get the feeling this debate isn’t over yet…
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