Sourcing, also known as procurement, is the practice of locating and selecting businesses or individuals based on set criteria. Sourcing is carried out in business in many different areas and for different reasons. One of the most common uses of sourcing is in supply chain management. Businesses that can find the most appropriate suppliers at the lowest cost can develop a competitive advantage.
Sourcing is also a sub-set of recruitment, which is proactively searching for the most talented candidates for a particular role. Outsourcing is a common technique where businesses contract out a business function, typically something non-critical such as payroll, to a third-party supplier. As part of the outsourcing process, businesses will draw up a list of potential third parties and choose the most appropriate for their needs.
Crowdsourcing is a relatively new technique that aims to use the power of groups to efficiently perform a set task, such as brainstorming or recruitment.