A procurement group is a team of individuals within an organization or company vested with the authority and responsibility to procure or obtain a given product or series of products. The procurement group may be made up of individuals from different departments within an organization, so each individual can represent the needs of the staff within that department and can assist in the decision making process. The group may also include those with budgetary authority and those who are an expert within the type of material being procured. For example, if new computers are being purchased, a representative from the department who is using the computers may work with the information technology department of the company as part of a procurement group.
The group's responsibility may begin with identifying a need that must be met. For example, some groups will assess the computer situation in the company to determine if and when new computers must be purchased. In other cases, however, the procurement group is not assembled until a demand has already been identified, and the group is simply tasked with choosing the appropriate products to meet the company's needs.
The procurement group then does research to determine which product will best meet the needs of the company. This can involve contact with sales people, as well as attending trade shows or sampling products to determine whether those products are effective or not. It can also involve doing in-person and online research relating to pricing, customer service, quality of product and other variables that affect whether a given product would be a good purchase or not.
The group may have a set budget within which it must work. The group will have to take this, and other parameters set by those in authority within the company, into account. It will then have to make a decision or recommendation on the basis of the research it has done and the budget and constraints imposed upon it.
Procurement groups may be responsible for actually making the purchase and/or for securing contracts to buy with the producer or supplier of their choice. They may also make recommendations for what should be procured or purchased and a different department or division may then make the final actual purchase. Some procurement groups have final authority while others must consult with a higher executive or individual within the company before they can make a purchase or a contract for the sale of goods.