Strategic sourcing is an approach to supply chain management that formalizes the way information is gathered and used so that an organization can leverage its consolidated purchasing power to find the best possible values in the marketplace.
Strategic sourcing requires analysis of what an organization buys, from whom, at what price and at what volume. Strategic sourcing differs from conventional purchasing because it places emphasis on the entire life-cycle of a product, not just its initial purchase price.
Strategic sourcing software modules can facilitate the approach by standardizing sourcing requirements and providing users with federated data technology with which to share information about products, markets and business needs. The systems on the market that enable strategic sourcing are still often labeled as procurement software, sold within enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, supply chain management systems or standalone products.