Speak like a buyer

Man taking notes
Man taking notes

Common procurement terminology can sometimes be confusing. Visit our newsletter each issue to learn a few common procurement words and phrases to help you speak like a buyer, or at least understand one.

Specifications: A general description of the technical requirements for a material, product or service. This term usually refers to the defined requirements for materials or products, but specifications can also relate to the requirements associated with a Statement of Work. Specifications may also contain performance standards and expectations for the material, product or service that is being procured.

Standardization: The process of agreeing on a standard specification for a specific product, line of products or services to be performed, for the purpose of consistency. Standardization is usually conducted to achieve economies of scale, compatibility with other products, ease in facilitation of operation and maintenance and repair of already purchased goods.

Statement of Work (SOW): Often attached to a master agreement or purchase order, the SOW contains the requirement specifications for work assignments outlining the specific services a contractor is expected to perform, generally indicating the type, level and quality of service, as well as the required time schedule. The SOW also may contain a detailed listing of deliverables, quantities and descriptions, drawings or designs, etc. The details in the SOW comprise the expectations of performance under the agreement.

If you are interested in learning more terminology, visit our website: https://go.unl.edu/5y7f