Operational Purchasing

Operational purchasing is all about managing the daily logistics of a company, which includes purchasing and deliveries.

What is operational purchasing?

Operational purchasing means to continuously provide the business with the purchasing of services or products. You might place new orders and monitor deliveries. But it can also mean to solve problems that may arise during the purchasing process and beyond.

How does it work?

Operational purchases are a part of the purchasing work of an organisation. It’s often a decentralised function of the company. Close contact with suppliers is central to the work. The person or persons who work with operational purchasing often possess great knowledge in logistics in order to manage the challenges that may arise on a daily basis.

The person responsible for operational purchases in a company usually also ensures that the supplier base is utilised to the max. Unlike tactical and strategic purchasing it usually does not include signing agreements, carry out procurements or developing the relation with suppliers.

Those who work with operational purchasing have a lot to keep in mind during daily operations. Among other things, they need to keep track of the overall purchasing function, which includes regular contact with suppliers and control of the logistics flow.

For example, the person needs to consider aspects such as:

  • What might affect the logistics flow?
  • How much capital is tied up in stock?
  • How should unknowns in supply be handled?
  • How often should purchases be made – purchasing frequency?
  • What is the lead time from order placement to delivery?
  • What routines can be created to make operational purchases more efficient?
  • How should deliveries be monitored?
  • Who accepts and checks the deliveries?

Most organisations tend to value if the person responsible for purchasing can contribute to reduced costs without affecting profitability. The ability to influence this aspect can sometimes be limited for operational purchases, but there’s always room for improved efficiency and to improve how the logistics chain works.

How PostNord can help you with operational purchasing

PostNord has efficient tools to make everyday life easier for those who work as operational purchasers. In Portal Business, you have access to a toolbox to give you a better overview and make the logistical flow more manageable. Here, you can easily schedule shipping and send packages. You also get a complete overview of everything that’s going on. Using our integrations, you can take control of the workflow and integrate our services with your business systems.

More information about logistics

If you are interested in learning more about the logistics behind business and transportation, we recommend a visit to the logistics section of our delivery guide. In it, we have collected all our articles about logistics on one page.

Frequently asked questions about operational purchasing

What is operational purchasing?

Operational purchasing is the continuous purchasing of products or services used by an organisation. This includes placing orders, monitoring deliveries and solving problems related to purchasing and deliveries.

What is an operational purchaser?

An operational purchaser is a person who handles a company’s purchasing on an operational level. The person places orders and monitors deliveries on a daily basis.

Can a company’s costs be reduced with operational purchases?

Yes, by using carefully selected services for transportation and logistics, you can save both time and money by optimising the logistics flow.

Are there more ways to make the purchasing process more efficient?

Yes, beyond the operational purchases, you can also review supplier agreements and procurements. This, however, often falls under strategic purchasing in a company.