Procurement is the process of finding, agreeing terms, and acquiring 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.
Almost all purchasing decisions include factors such as delivery and handling, marginal benefit, and price fluctuations. Procurement generally involves making buying decisions under conditions of scarcity. If good data is available, it is good practice to make use of economic analysis methods such as cost-benefit analysis or cost-utility analysis.