The Center for Advanced Purchasing Study Focuses on Definition of World-Class Purchaser

FOR RELEASE: July 27, 2000

CONTACT: Kristen Kioa
  NAPM Media Relations
  480/752-6276 ext. 3015

(Tempe, AZ) One thing is certain. There is no one clear definition of what the term world-class purchaser means because the profession is continually evolving and changing. The Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS) concludes in its study, A Skills-Based Analysis of the World Class Purchaser by Larry C. Giunipero, Ph.D., C.P.M., NAPM Professor of Purchasing & Supply Management, Florida State University, "the only thing certain is that the definition probably comes up short and will change over time."

So what is a world-class purchaser? Through interviews, conducting surveys, collecting data from more than 30 corporations, and extensively reviewing literature, a definition was created:

"The world-class purchaser is an individual who visualizes and approaches his or her job from a strategic perspective in dealing with the supplier firm-purchaser firm-customer linkage. This individual continually embraces and leverages his or her skills and knowledge of critical supply chain activities to provide value in meeting corporate and customer objectives."

Firms that appear to be the leaders in trying to develop the world-class purchaser will use this study as a skill matrix in the development of their purchasing and supply managers (P/SM). After all, its relevance is obvious: as the P/SM function moves toward more leading edge and strategic practices, the skills needed to become a world-class purchaser become more sophisticated and the knowledge required more advanced.

A Skills-Based Analysis of the World-Class Purchaser also offers insight into:

  • World-class skill sets
  • The process of applying and evaluating skills and knowledge
  • Suggestions for practice
  • A case study focusing on developing world-class skills, and
  • Extensive literature reviews

For more information from this study, or topics relating to the purchasing and supply management field, visit the CAPS web site at

The Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS) is a non-profit organization that, while affiliated with Arizona State University College of Business and the National Association of Purchasing Management, is an independent research organization. Its mission is to help organizations achieve competitive advantage by providing them with leading-edge research to support the evolution of strategic purchasing and supply management.

Back to Top