The purchase order can be used for a variety of procurement purposes. Materials can be procured externally for direct consumption or for stock. It is also possible to procure services externally. Furthermore, the special procurement types “subcontracting”; “third party” (involving triangular business deals and direct-to-customer shipments) and “consignment” are possible.
Purchase orders can be used to cover the enterprise’s requirements using external sources (i.e. a vendor supplies a material or performs a service). A purchase order can also be used to procure a material that is needed in one of the enterprise’s physical plants from an internal source, i.e. from another plant. Such transactions involve longer-distance stock transfers. The activities following on from purchase orders (such as the receipt of goods and services) are logged, enabling an effective and efficient monitoring of the whole procurement process.