Key figures

Key figures for the buyer – an overview

For the 15th time, the BME is currently surveying the top purchasing key figures of companies of all sizes and industries. For this purpose, the association has defined indicators for measuring quality, structure, savings, processes and costs, which it reports regularly and makes available as a benchmark.

For every purchasing department – regardless of trade, size and orientation – the following applies: The regular collection and reporting of purchasing key figures plays an important role in the context of strategic purchasing and should not be neglected under any circumstances. The following objectives are pursued here:

  • Identification of own position and its development,
  • Setting of targets and review of target achievement,
  • Benchmark with others.

The transparency that can be achieved by means of purchasing controlling offers the opportunity to measure successes, identify deficits and initiate measures. This allows costs to be saved and processes to be optimized, which ultimately delivers decisive – and measurable – added value for the company.

Purchasing key figures at a glance

In addition to tried-and-tested operative indicators for purchasing, qualitative KPIs are also increasingly being used to reflect the strategic development of purchasing. In the following, we would therefore like to provide you with an overview of possible purchasing KPIs.

Operative figures

  • Purchasing volume (total, in relation to sales, per material group, per supplier, per article, per purchasing organization, per sourcing region, per employee in purchasing, …)
  • Number of orders and order positions
  • TOP commodity groups (ABC analysis)
  • TOP suppliers (ABC analysis)
  • TOP articles (ABC-/XYZ analysis)
  • FTE and resource distribution in purchasing
  • Costs of the purchasing department
  • Average duration / average costs of an order process
  • Adherence to delivery dates
  • Complaint rate
  • Inventory, consumption values
  • Payment terms, discount utilization

Strategic figures:

  • Purchasing volume for which Purchasing is responsible / Maverick Buying quota
  • Framework contract quota
  • eCatalog quota
  • Purchasing volume via Internet tenders and eAuctions
  • Proportion of order position with electronic (automated) invoice processing
  • Supplier classification / evaluation
  • Purchasing success (cost avoidance, cost change, savings)
  • Internal customer satisfaction-
  • Cash-to-Cash
  • Proportion of Supplier Managed Inventory

Please note: This list does not claim to be exhaustive, and the boundaries between operational and strategic indicators are sometimes blurred. However, it makes clear that there are a large number of possible purchasing indicators.

The right key figures for the organization

The structure of a reporting system and, in the course of this, the definition of the key figures to be collected is very individual and must be tailored to the respective company and the purchasing department. While basics such as purchasing volume and TOP key figures for commodity groups, suppliers and articles should always be recorded and presented, the use of individual strategic key figures is not (yet) relevant for every company. For this reason, it is important to put together a package tailored to the respective needs of each purchasing organization.


Jessica Murawski

Consultant, ADCONIA GmbH