Sunday , April 14 2024
What is the difference between materials request and purchase request
Photo by Tiger Lily on

What is the difference between materials request and purchase request

A materials request and a purchase request are both documents used in procurement processes, but they serve slightly different purposes:

In any workplace, getting the things you need to do your job is crucial. Two important ways of making this happen are through materials requests and purchase requests. Let’s break down what these are and how they help you and your organization.

man in bubble jacket holding tablet computer
Photo by Tiger Lily on

Materials Request:

  • A materials request typically originates from within an organization’s departments or units that require specific materials or items to complete their tasks or projects.
  • It is a formal or informal communication outlining the need for certain materials, supplies, or items.
  • The purpose of a materials request is to inform the procurement or purchasing department about the materials needed, including details such as quantity, specifications, and required delivery date.
  • Materials requests may be part of the internal inventory management system or process and may be generated based on inventory levels, project requirements, or specific departmental needs.

Purchase Request:

  • A purchase request, on the other hand, is a formal document used to request the procurement department to initiate the purchasing process for goods or services.
  • It is usually a standardized form or electronic document filled out by an authorized individual within the organization who requires a particular item or service.
  • The purchase request includes details such as item description, quantity, estimated cost, preferred vendor (if known), budget code, and any other relevant information.
  • Once approved, the purchase request serves as authorization for the procurement department to proceed with sourcing, negotiating, and purchasing the requested items or services.

The Definition of MR Type

Key Differences:

Both materials requests and purchase requests are about getting things needed for work.

  • Materials requests ask for specific items needed inside the company.
  • Purchase requests start the process of buying things the company needs from outside sources.

Materials Request : Example

Imagine you work in an office and need more printer paper. You’d send a materials request to the supply department asking for paper.

Purchase Request: Example

Let’s say your office needs a new computer. You’d fill out a purchase request form with details like the type of computer, how many, and the budget. Then, your boss approves it, and the purchasing team buys the computers.

Short Example for Materials Request and Purchase Request:

  • Materials Request: Asking for things needed for work.
  • Purchase Request: Asking the company to buy something.


Materials requests and purchase requests might sound complicated, but they’re essential tools for keeping your workplace running smoothly. By understanding the difference between the two and knowing when to use each, you can help ensure that you and your team have everything needed to succeed. Protection Status