The organization’s buying process is a process in which the organizations recognize the need of a product or service and search for the best available brand or supplier among all the alternatives. Understanding the organization’s buying process is now given immense importance as with globalization there is an increased competition in the market, there are many brands or suppliers available for the same product but one has to be street smart to choose the best product or service in quality and price. (Kurtz, Pg 639, 2009)
There are many people in organization who are directly or indirectly involved in the buying process and are collectively called buying centre. It is also possible that some people might not have an authority to decide on the buying process but they are still part of the buying process because of some influence on the buying decision. (Kurtz, Pg 639, 2009)
• Users: The people who are the actual consumer of the product are the users. The users might not be involved in the buying decision but if the product does not work well then they will be facing problems and will complain about the product. For example users for laptops are the IT executives.
• Initiators: The person who initiates the request to buy a product is the initiator. The IT manager may initiate a request for a new laptop.
• Influencers: the person who gives the specifications that are required in the product that is needed by the IT department is the influencer. Mostly the manager IT will give the specifications required in the new laptops.
• Deciders: the persons who have the authority as to what brand to purchase and how it will be purchased is the decider. They are the people who choose the supplier the company is going to deal with.
• Buyers: The person who actually acts as an agent to makes buying transactions for the organization is called buyer. The organization asks the buyer to get the best deal in term of prices for the brand that the deciders decide.
• Gatekeepers: The front line staffs such as secretaries and receptionists who control the flow of information are the gatekeepers.
Stages of Organizational Buying Process
When the organization identifies need for a product or service it conducts thorough research on all the brands and suppliers available in the market according to the stages involved in the organizational buying process as follows:
• Problem Recognition
In the first stage the problem in the existing product or service is recognized or a need for a new product or service is identified.
• General Need Description
In the second stage of the process the quantity and characteristics of the product or service is determined. For example if the IT department requires new laptops the manager is supposed to determine the number of laptops that are required.
• Product Specification
In the third stage the manager is required to give the specifications that are needed in the product. The list of specifications plays an important role in the selection of the brand that the organization is going to purchase the product from. In case of laptops the manager need to specify the speed, processor, RAM and other important features that should be available in the laptops.
• Supplier Search
In the fourth stage of the organizational buying process there is a thorough search for the suppliers in the market and a list of potential suppliers is made.
• Proposal Solicitation
In the fifth step there is an acquisition and analysis of the proposal. The proposal that is given by the suppliers are then taken into consideration and analyzed thoroughly to select the best suppliers from the pool.
• Supplier Selection
After analyzing the proposals the best supplier who offers the required product that fulfill all the specifications that are needed at the lowest price and best quality in the market is selected.
• Order Routine Specification
After the best potential supplier is selected the organization then writes the final order with all the specification needed and hands over to the supplier.
• Performance Review
In the last step of the organizational buying process the feedbacks on the supplier’s performance are taken and then evaluated for further dealings. (Kurtz, Pg 639, 2009)
David L. Kurtz, (2009), Contemporary Marketing, Cengage Learning, Page 639