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The primary function of purchasing is to buy the best available commodity or service at the lowest possible price.

A broader function makes it a managerial activity which goes beyond the simple act of buying and includes the planning and policy activities covering a wide range of related and complimentary activities. Included in such activities are the research and development required for determining the proper sources of supplies.

Consideration is given to standards, specifications, receiving, inspection, storage, accounting and surplus equipment. The purchasing director endeavors to buy the right quality in the right quantity, at the right time, and the right place, from the right source with delivery to the right place.
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