Participants in the Business Buying Process
Who does the buying of the trillions of dollars' worth of goods and services needed by the business organizations? Purchasing agents are influential in straight -re-buy and modified re situations, whereas other department personnel are more influential in the new-buy situations. Engineering personnel usually have a major influence in selecting the product components, and purchasing agents dominate in selecting suppliers.
Webster and Wind call the decision making unit of a buying organization the buying center. The buying center is composed of "all those individuals and groups who participate in the purchasing from the decision". The buying center includes all members of the organization who play any of seven roles in the purchase decision process.
Several roles of organization buying:
Initiators: Those who request that something be purchased. They may be users or others in the organization.
Users: Those who will use the product or service.
In many cases, the users initiate the buying proposal and help define the product requirements.
Influencers: People who influence the buying decision. They often help define specifications and also provide information for evaluating alternatives. Technical personnel are particularly important influencers.
Deciders: People who decide on product requirements or on suppliers.
Approvers: People who authorize the proposed actions of deciders and buyers.
Approvers: People who authorize the proposed actions of deciders or buyers
Buyers: People who have formal authority to select the supplier and arrange the purchase terms. Buyers may help shape product specifications, but they play major role in selecting vendors. Buyers may help shape product specifications, but they play their major role in selecting vendors and negotiating. In more complex purchases, the buyers might include high-level managers.
Gatekeepers: People who have the power to prevent sellers or information from reaching members of buying center. For example, purchasing...