Excerpt from course description

Purchasing and Supply Management


Companies in today’s turbulent business environment have learned the hard way how dependent they are on their suppliers and suppliers’ suppliers for the direct and indirect goods and services that they need. In many industries, companies spend over 50 per cent of their total costs on purchased goods and services from suppliers. Thus, purchasing and supply management (PSM) constitutes a key business function in many companies. PSM helps ensuring the competitiveness and survival of the company through balancing cost, value, and risk. The PSM function needs to navigate in a business context, which is besieged with challenges, including climate change, resource scarcity, volatile raw material prices, industry 4.0, and unexpected disruptions like pandemics, geopolitical issues, wars and natural disasters in addition to facing demands for sustainability.

How PSM can play such a strategic role, by developing superior capabilities, processes, and supplier relationships, is at the core of this course. Students will gain understanding of the role of PSM in companies, and also in the public sector, which is a large procurer in most countries, and how PSM is central in ensuring sustainable businesses and societies. The course is a mix of theoretical insights and high level analyses on the one hand and application of practical tools and examples on the other.

Course content

  • The role of purchasing and supply management in a company and society at large: definitions, trends, and challenges particularly related to sustainability
  • Purchasing and supply strategy at multiple levels
  • The purchasing process
  • Conditions & applications


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.