As a factor in supply chain management, the combined entity of purchasing, procurement, and sourcing is one of the most important. Indeed, supply management is the first area of focus for virtually every firm embarking on a supply chain effort. It continues to have major importance throughout any advanced effort, moving from tactical initiatives to a position of strategic importance. The degree of emphasis may shift during the firm’s supply chain evolution, but there is never a time when the buying function is not under pressure to reduce costs and find extra valueadded features from supply management. The nature of the role for those professionals pursuing procurement as a career is to respond to that pressure.