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Procurement is the act of finding, acquiring, buying goods, services or works from an external source, often via a tendering or competitive bidding process. The process is used to ensure the buyer receives goods, services or works at the best possible price, when aspects such as quality, quantity, time, and location are compared. Corporations and public bodies often define processes intended to promote fair and open competition for their business while minimizing risk, such as exposure to fraud and collusion. Procurement activities are often split into two distinct categories, direct and indirect spend. Direct spend refers to production-related procurement that encompasses all items that are part of finished products, such as raw material, components and parts. The first category being direct, production-related procurement and the second being indirect, non-production-related procurement. Direct procurement, which is the focus in supply chain management, directly affects the production process of manufacturing firms. In contrast, indirect procurement activities concern “operating resources” that a company purchases to enable its operations. Indirect procurement comprises a wide variety of goods and services, from standardized items like office supplies and machine lubricants to complex and costly products and
services;like heavy equipment, consulting services, and outsourcing services.