buying processthe various stages involved in a buying (PURCHASING) decision. In the case of industrial buying this requires the identification of the need to purchase a good or service, the development of a strategy for the handling of the purchase, the specification of the requirement, the search for suppliers, the evaluation of supplier's offerings, final negotiations, the award of the contract, operationalization of the supply relationship and subsequent feedback and control of the arrangements. For example, if an organization is purchasing an IT system, this buying process may have been initiated by the operations director. The IT department will then be asked to specify a system, usually in consultation with potential users. Once this is done, a buyer or contracts manager on the purchasing department may be asked, with support from technical staff, to identify suppliers, solicit proposals, and negotiate best value for this contract. Once the purchase is made, the operational staff will work with supplier staff to secure the inputs. The purchasing staff will usually check that the value which they negotiated is actually delivered.
In consumer buying, the process may be very quick, such as in an impulse buy, or may take longer depending on the importance of the purchase. For bigger purchases, a consumer will go through the stages of need awareness, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase and post-purchase evaluation.