Online Class: Purchasing and Vendor Management 101

This course is designed to explore the institutional purchasing cycle for consumable materials, raw materials, spare parts, and capital assets

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Course Description

Unlock the Power of Effective Supply Chain Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Purchasing and Vendor Relations

In the dynamic realm of today's business world, the function of Supply Chain Management (SCM) plays a pivotal role in steering the economic ship of many organizations. At the heart of this intricate network lies the institutional purchasing cycle—a sophisticated dance of acquiring consumable materials, raw materials, spare parts, and capital assets. This expansive course delves deep into the nuances of this cycle, offering participants a holistic view of the intricate cogs that power the supply chain machinery.

One of the central themes we'll unravel is the intricate tapestry of supplier/buyer relationships. These relationships, when harnessed correctly, can become a bedrock of organizational success. However, like any crucial partnership, it demands a keen understanding of the balance between rights and responsibilities, opportunities and pitfalls. We'll illuminate the unparalleled advantages of proficient vendor management systems while simultaneously spotlighting the hazards of systems that miss the mark.

As we venture deeper into the course, participants will gain insights into the symbiotic relationship between SCM and other pivotal organizational functions. This exploration will underscore the hidden value proposition that a meticulously crafted purchasing and vendor management system can infuse into an enterprise's financial health. Using real-world case studies, we'll dissect how variations in vendor product quality have historically influenced both monumental performance gains and debilitating losses—instances that can make or break an organization's financial trajectory for multiple fiscal periods.

Furthermore, the course will offer a panoramic view of diverse purchasing and vendor management philosophies. This panoramic lens will allow participants to appreciate the myriad management systems available, helping them harness tools that promote data-driven decisions. These decisions, in turn, can catalyze the optimal functioning of the SCM realm.

But what's the endgame? Upon culmination, participants won't just be passive recipients of knowledge; they'll emerge as empowered decision-makers. Equipped with a robust toolkit, they'll be poised to make data-driven purchasing decisions with conviction. They'll possess an enriched understanding of how their choices in purchasing and vendor affiliations ripple through the organization's very fabric. Most importantly, they'll be champions of change, driving bottom-line enhancements through their sharpened expertise in Purchasing and Vendor Management.

Join us on this enlightening journey and redefine your organization's purchasing prowess, ensuring that every link in your supply chain not only holds but thrives.

Course Motivation

Consider the purchasing function within your own business, or a business you might be familiar with, such as a school parent association, homeowners association, or church. Decisions are made to purchase goods and services almost daily right? Well those daily decisions can and do have a bottom line impact on the organization's income statement. It is essential for the sake of having a system of checks and balances that an organization's supply chain management system be independent.

Independence creates a system of anonymity and prevents biased purchasing decisions that we typically find when the end user of the proposed purchased good or service is also making the purchasing decision. Why might that be? Think about this in your personal purchases; quite often we are prone to impulse purchasing decisions based on our own preference. That preference might be based on experience, marketing impact, or a number of other variables.

While there is a need for independence for the purchasing and vendor management function of an organization there might be situations where it simply is not possible to have this system of independence. In such cases, the purchaser must be vigilant, recognize their own personal biases, and be prepared to make the right decisions based on data, not personal preference. It is essential to remember the independence is meant to serve as a system of checks and balances that separate the end user requesting the purchase, from the vendor, supplier, or contractor delivering the product or service.

Case Study 1:

Jim is the maintenance manager for a manufacturing organization and recently requested the purchase of a new pump to replace an outdated pump in the factory. Jim has for a number of years become quite familiar with the local supplier of pumps and has even engaged in out-of-work social activities with the vendor.

The vendor has recently asked Jim to attend a professional sporting event. While at the event the vendor asks Jim when he will receive a purchase order for the replacement pump. Jim tells him not to worry about it, that he will get the purchase order to him next week after he has a chance to speak to the purchasing manager.

Case Study Debrief:

There are a number of things that should immediately be recognized as wrong by even the most inexperienced, or novice person within the case study 1. First, it is generally considered to be inappropriate to accept gifts from vendors. By accepting the invitation to the sporting event Jim has put  himself in a questionable position ethically and professionally if his organization has a policy forbidding the acceptance of gifts (which most do). 2. Jim has clearly let his personal relationship with the vendor influence his purchasing preferences. 3. Jim feels as though he can influence the purchasing manager's decision in favor of this particular vendor.

Through this case study we should be able to clearly recognize why the purchasing and vendor management function of an organization should, if possible, function independently. We will hopefully also recognize some easily identifiable inappropriate behaviors on Jim's part that, in most cases, would be prohibited in an institutional setting.

Supply chain management is responsible for purchasing all goods and services necessary for an organization to achieve its goals. That being said, there are a number of areas where a good purchasing person might derive value for the organization. They might be able to negotiate the best price for the good or service, and save the organization in that regard. They might purchase based upon the lowest possible life cycle cost, thus insuring low operational costs of equipment purchased. There are likely a number of contracts that must be negotiated by the supply chain management team. What about vendor quality management? Best in class supply chain management organizations will implement vendor quality control measures and hold vendors accountable to those measures. Ultimately, there are a number of ways for supply chain management to create value for an organization; however, the breadth and depth of this value proposition is highly contingent on the size of the overall organization. The larger the organization, the larger the impact, simply based on economies of scale.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.4 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(581 votes)

Lesson 1: Purchasing and Vendor Management

When we consider the importance of a well-defined, well-engineered supply chain management function, the implications, organizationally, are widespread and certainly worth noting. Additional lesson topics: Managing Vendors and Suppliers 26 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: The Purchasing Process

In this lesson, the purchasing process is discussed. Additional lesson topics: The Rise of Vendor Relationship Management; Purchasing Process; Life-Cycle Cost Analysis 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Vendor Relationship Management

This lesson will discuss how to monitor, maintain, and develop vendor relationships. Additional lesson topics: Request for Proposal RFP 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: Capital Purchases -- There's a Big Difference

Through this lesson, we will step through the purchasing process in a capital purchase scenario. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Alternate Purchasing Methods

Blanket purchase orders typically offer easy access to preferred vendors, products, or services. Additional lesson topics: Capital Expenses 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: SCM-Lesson_5_-_Vendor_Evaluation_Ma.xlsx
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Continuous Improvement in Purchasing and Vendor Management

The supply chain management system within every organization, large and small, is full of opportunities to improve -- and then realize the benefits of those improvements. 38 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Income Statement and Balance Sheet Consideration

The most important consideration in almost any purchase is the total cost of ownership (TCO), also referred to as the total life cycle cost. 43 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Lesson discussions: What is your opinion of this course?; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define what purchasing and vendor management is.
  • Describe the purchasing process.
  • Describe vendor relationship management.
  • Summarize alternate purchasing methods.
  • Describe the processes for continuous improvement in purchasing and vendor management.
  • Describe income statement and balance sheet considerations in purchasing and vendor management.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Purchasing and Vendor Management 101
Course Number: 8900268
Lessons Rating: 4.4 / 5 Stars (581 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: August 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.4 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Linda Zavadil
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "This was a very helpful course and I'm glad I was able to take this. I thank you very much!" -- Neven Y.
  • "I did enjoy the course and I learned a lot of things. Thanks." -- Delicia teresa C.

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