ELE 3771 Purchasing


ELE 3771 Purchasing

Responsible for the course
Lena Bygballe

Department of Accounting - Auditing and Business Analytics

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

In today’s society, cost pressures and increasing customer demands push firms and other organisations to find new and better ways of utilising and developing their resource bases. Purchasing represents a key means to achieve profitability by cost reductions and increased value. It can help reducing direct and indirect costs by mobilising and activating resources both internal to a company or an organisation and the resources of suppliers in a more efficient way. Similarly, purchasing can help in creating value by mobilising and activating resources both internally controlled and those resources owned by suppliers in a more effective way.

Students participating in this course will learn to understand the role and function of purchasing and supply management in today’s society, both from a profit-seeking company’s point of view and from other organisations, including the public sector. They will learn about a purchaser’s key tasks and responsibilities, and strategies and tools for dealing with key issues, particularly with regard to handling suppliers.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge
After completed course students shall:

  • Understand what purchasing is about in terms of roles, responsibilities, functions and processes in today’s society.
  • Understand and appreciate the differences in the operational, tactical and strategic levels of purchasing, and how purchasing can be organised.
  • Gain knowledge of central purchasing models, in relation to segmentation, insourcing/outsourcing, sourcing, and negotiation models.
  • Understand the importance of managing supplier relationships.

Acquired skills
After completed course students shall be able to:
  • Undertake purchasing tasks and responsibilities with regard to the purchasing process: specification, search, negotiation, relationship handling, and evaluation.
  • Apply key purchasing models, such as segmentation models and managing high and low involvement supplier relationships.
  • Communicate in the range of purchasing professional roles, e.g. in terms of terminology.

To be able to be a reflexive purchasing professional, including making considerations to key trends and ethical and environmental issues.


Compulsory reading
Price, P. M. and Harrison, N. J. (Ed.). 2014. Fundamentals of Purchasing and Supply Management. Access Education

Recommended reading

Course outline
Purchasing’s role and function in today’s business context
  • Trends, definitions and key tasks and responsibilities, including ethical and environmental considerations
  • Purchasing’s role in business strategy and the value chain
  • Purchasing in different settings, including service and public sectors
Purchasing process
  • Specification and selection
  • Negotiation and contracting
  • Performance evaluation and KPIs
Purchasing strategy
  • Outsourcing and insourcing
  • Supply base management and segmentation
  • Sourcing strategies - international and global purchasing
Purchasing organisation
  • Purchasing organisation structures in different business settings
  • Decentralisation vs. centralisation of purchasing
Managing supplier relationships and partnerships
  • Developing resources with suppliers for innovation and productivity

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
The course is a mix of lectures, group/case work and presentations

Recommended time use:
Participation in lectures
Preparation for class and reading
Preparation of presentation and tasks
Preparation for exam
Written exam
Total recommended time spent

    A four (4) hours individual written exam concludes the course.
    Examination code(s)
    ELE 37711 Written exam, counts for 100% to obtain final grade in ELE 3771 Purchasing 7,5 credits.

    Examination support materials
    BI approved exam calculator.

    Examination support materials at written examinations are explained under examination information in the student portal @bi. Please note use of calculator and dictionary in the section on support materials (https://at.bi.no/EN/Pages/Exa_Hjelpemidler-til-eksamen.aspx).

    Re-sit examination
    For electives re-sit is normally offered at the next scheduled course. If an elective is discontinued or is not initiated in the semester it is offered, re-sit will be offered in the electives ordinary semester.

    Additional information