Step 1 Picture yourself as the Head of Purchasing for your school. You are responsible for purchasing everything from campus grounds supplies (like lawnmowers, flowers, etc.) to classroom equipment...

Step 1 Picture yourself as the Head of Purchasing for your school.

  • You are responsible for purchasing everything from campus grounds supplies (like lawnmowers, flowers, etc.) to classroom equipment and supplies (like computers and other types of technology). You are not responsible for capital planning, though, such as new buildings.
  • What kind of topics do you have to consider? Who do you think would be involved in the purchasing decisions? To what extent do you think it depends on the level of expenditure–that is, do the number of units ordered and type of person change depending on how much is being spent?
  • What are the steps in your B2B buying process?


Step 2 Write your first post.

  • Answer the questions above in Step 1, then compare the steps described for the B2B buying process with the steps your own consumer buying process.
  • Identify areas where the processes are similar as well as where the processes are different.

Step 3 Read and respond to other students' posts.

  • React to each other's posts. What surprised you? Identify areas that other students came up with that were missing from your original post.
  • From the perspective of the class as a whole, do you believe that the B2B buying process is very similar or very different to the consumer buying process?
  • What is your biggest surprise in learning more about B2B buying?
Expert Answers
jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I will help to answer the first part of this question, as parts II and III relate to similar posts made by others. If you are working as the Head of Purchasing for your school, you should consider the following (and perhaps there are other considerations that you might add to this list):

  • Figure out the inventories of existing supplies. To find out what already exists in your school, you will need to ask teachers, administrators, assistants, sports coaches and managers, and janitors. In addition, you may need to order technology supplies for the IT department.
  • Figure out the needs for the upcoming school year by surveying the people mentioned in the first bullet point and by working with past purchasing data to figure out the supplies needed in previous school years to make a forecast for the upcoming year.
  • Work with the maintenance and other school staff to figure out the storage capacity of the school before placing your order.
  • Work with trusted vendors to place your order. Some business to business purchases are handled directly by customer service representatives sent by vendors. You might also do some comparison shopping to make sure you are getting the best prices by consulting school supply catalogues and the Internet.
  • You may also have to consult the principal of the school and the school board to request a budget or to make sure that your purchases are in line with the correct school year budget for certain items and departments. If you are ordering a large number of certain items or expensive items, you may need administrative approval for these items.