If you’re considering entering the purchasing field, the first thing is to make sure you’re sure of what the term “purchasing” is. It can often be used interchangeably with other similar terms, causing confusion for people working in the sector. One classic example is “purchasing” and “procurement”. Industry professionals know these aren’t the same thing, but many of us will use the terms as if they are. Let’s clear this one up.
The term “procurement” refers to identifying, selecting and acquiring products or services for your company from a third-party company. This could be through a direct purchase or through bidding, but the procurement manager is there to ensure they get the right products, in good time, and at the right price for their company.
The term “purchasing” refers to a specific part of the wider procurement effort, namely the actual purchase of the product or service. Whereas procurement involves the wider identification of needs and the strategy for acquiring them, purchasing is about the transaction that takes place within this process.
Here are a few things that set purchasing apart from procurement:
It’s a transaction, not a process
It is not about identifying needs, it is a reaction to established internal needs
It is concerned with a product or service’s price and the terms of sale
Studying business English will help you in the workplace. It will make communication with international clients and suppliers easier, it will keep communication open and professional with colleagues and management, and look great on your CV for any future opportunities you apply for.
Being proficient in any language is a considerable advantage when working in the world of business. In fact it will help you in any industry you work in, some more than others e.g. tourism. For many in the business world English is considered the “language of business” as it is the main lingua franca used when people from all over the world are trying to communicate.
Even if you don’t use English for work, using another language in your life is also a great accomplishment. Think about when you are on holiday. You may not speak the language of that country but through using hand gestures and some English vocabulary you could probably communicate what you need or are trying to do.
Language learning shows an interest in other cultures, a perseverance with learning, and a hunger for knowledge. It has many benefits and sometimes you don’t realise them until you actually use it.
GlobalExam has a new Business English Course that can help fill those skills gaps in using English in your daily work life.
If you’re setting your sights on a job in the purchasing field, good communication will be key to ensuring successful transactions. Expanding your vocabulary to include industry-specific terms is an excellent step towards better communication. Let’s look at a short list of common terms associated with the purchasing field:
to close the deal
to come down on price
terms and conditions
Are you already familiar with these terms, or are some of them new to you? This is just a brief set of examples that could crop up in everyday exchanges relating to sales, purchasing and striking deals. Knowing the specific terms to make a sale is essential to avoiding misunderstandings over the conditions of sale.
If you’re already in the world of purchasing, sales and procurement, then you’ll know that it moves quickly, and the people working in it can run through the terms of a sale in a few short minutes. If English is your second language, this can feel intimidating, but the reality is that you’re only a few expressions away from sounding like a natural yourself.
Let’s talk about common expressions that you might hear in your workplace, specifically when discussing sales and deals. These are the kind of expressions your colleagues may be using in the purchasing department:
To put all your eggs in one basket: to risk everything on one thing
An own brand: a company’s own products
It’s on me: to offer to pay for something
To pay over the odds: paying too much for something
To shut up shop: when a business closes permanently
To shop around: to browse other products and deals before making a decision
To talk shop: to discuss business
To try it on for size: to try a product or service before making a decision
To buy a lemon: to buy something that turns out to be useless
To pay through the nose: to pay far more than something is worth
Even if you only commit a few of these to memory, they’ll have you sounding a lot more at home in the purchasing world!
Improving your English to become a purchasing department whizz is perfectly doable if you have the right tools to work with. If you decide to go down the e-learning route, you’ll be delighted to know that we at GlobalExam have dedicated an entire learning path to improving your English skills specifically for purchasing. The path includes the following topics:
Introducing to purchasing
Defining needs and writing guidelines
Selecting the right providers
The art of negotiating
The subtleties of commitment
Sound good? Let’s look at some sample exercises to get an idea of how our learning method works.
This example is taken from the situation “Let’s secure a great deal”. In this exercise, you must select the sentence that best describes the topic of the conversation you just listened to. Our exercises test reading and listening comprehension.
Let’s take another one:
This second example exercise requires you to answer a true or false question based on another listening comprehension. To answer correctly, you’ll need to have a handle on the purchasing vocabulary explained in the situation and be at ease following native accents and speech patterns.
These exercises give you a sense of how learning through situations works on GlobalExam. We combine vocabulary and grammar together in real workplace scenarios, allowing you to take what you learn with us and apply it directly to your job.
Learning English is no longer the mystery it once was: there are lots and lots of methods for learning, improving, and practising the language out there. As technology develops and we get used to working and studying on our computers, e-learning platforms have become an appealing option for many language learners. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of taking your English learning online:
Pedagogical plus points
A sophisticated platform ensuring an excellent user experience
Three learning levels: beginner; intermediate; and advanced
Move at your own pace
Complement your independent learning with virtual lessons
Methodological plus points
Pick and choose the topics you need to study to meet your personal goals and needs
Take advantage of our learning method that combines vocabulary, grammar and context all in one
Apply your learning directly to real-life situations
Technological plus points
You can rely on our platform and lesson connectivity
Enjoy learning across multiple media (audio, video, text, live)
No waiting around: see the answers as soon as you’ve completed an exercise
Track your progress
If online learning might be the way forward for you, here are some methods you could try:
Use a language app
Download your favourite grammar aid online for easy access
One of the most engaging and effective ways to learn English online is with virtual lessons. We offer the opportunity to practice your English in face-to-face interactions with trained TESOL-teachers in two possible formats: a 30-minute individual session; or a one-hour group session.
The group lessons cover the following business English topics at these days and times:
Making a phone call - Wednesdays 6pm
Planning a meeting - Thursdays 7pm
Giving a presentation - Fridays 6pm
Participating in video & conference calls - Fridays 7pm
Please note that lesson times are according to Paris time.
When you open an account and login, you will be taken to your dashboard. Here you can see the course you are working through, your certifications, and also change your level and topic if you want to.
Under “I boost my career” you can select the “Purchasing Department”.
At the beginner level, of the purchasing course, there are 7 courses to work through and 6 to 10 parts in each. You can take a free level testwith us so we can place you in the right one. Each part is about 15 minutes long. They work through different situations with you. You play the videos and listen. The transcripts are also on the screen to help you. Key vocabulary is explained so learning isn’t hindered. After watching the video or listening to the audio you are given a task. This could be putting words in the correct order, listening and answering multiple choice questions, gap fills, choosing the correct picture etc. The tasks vary to keep you interested and focused. The correct answer is also given and explained to help you understand better.
There is so much content in these courses it is unbelievable. However, they have been designed into small, manageable chunks of learning. This is the best method really. It doesn’t overwhelm the learner and focuses on getting the most out of the learning experience. Knowing how to negotiate in English is also a key element for the Purchasing sector.
You can exit a section whenever you want and start from where you left off next time! A fantastic self-study course that gives you flexibility in a busy world.
Where can I find good quality ones?
Finding courses to study English that suit your needs, learning style, and gives you flexibility can be a challenge. Well look no further! GlobalExam is here to help you with your language learning. Our platform has everything you need to achieve your language learning goals. It has been designed by specialists to be user friendly and easy to access, we are also web based so you can access your course materials whenever and wherever you want. Our materials have been created by professional educators and subject specialists and are aligned to language frameworks such as the CEFR.
We now have a Business English Course platform. Our high standards are still the same just the content is a little different. The focus here is developing professional skills in English, with a focus on English in the workplace and using English as the language of business. There are different pathways to work through – competencies, career, industrial, depending on your need that cover topics such as recruitment, travelling in business, conducting a meeting , greeting a client or writing a professional email.It is a self-paced course and corrections for tasks are instantly available. Though not official, certification is given for each course completed and definitely worth adding to your CV. The materials are based on real-life work situations and contextualising your learning really helps you immerse in the task, and learn more from the experience.
English for Purchasing is one of 7 Business English online courses dedicated to job skills, here is the list of the others you can find: