A trend in recent years away from in-house manufacturing towards outsourcing - or the outsourcing of non-core areas - has emphasised the strategic importance of purchasing (Hunter, Bunn & Perreault, 2006).
Part of this movement towards outsourcing has involved a shift from product purchasing to solution purchasing.
In terms of the threat of new entrants, if an organisation does not manage their suppliers well, they may involve themselves in downstream investment - thereby becoming competitors of the firm (Mol, 2003).
Therefore, through the work of Porter and the identification of factors which determine industry profitability, the importance of the purchasing function began to be appreciated. Success factors in strategic supplier alliances: the buying company perspective.
Furthermore, it has been considered with a view towards current thinking and debate in the field of strategic purchasing. The impact of purchasing integration and practices on manufacturing performance.
A process that goes back to early civilisation, it's only in recent times the importance of efficient purchasing has been realised - and even later still, the acknowledgement of its strategic importance (Lysons & Farrington, 2006).
To a large degree, companies now have access to similar resources.
With this comes the realisation that the competitive interface pitches supply chain against supply chain, with purchasing becoming vital due to the impact it can have on a company's bottom line (Heinrich, 2003). The influence of enterprise type on the purchasing decision process. Beyond Partnership: Strategies for innovation and lean supply.
Globalisation is also a factor in the increasingly strategic nature of purchasing.
Global purchasing is now seen as a weapon in the pursuit of enhanced profitability and performance by way of technological improvement and price advantage (Fagan, 1991). Toward a measure of competitive priorities for procurement.