Bill of Lading, Bar Coding, Bid Analysis, Bill of Materials, Bill of Exchange


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Detailed terminology list , in pdf form, will soon be available




Back Order
Items ordered but not shipped due to a stock out or some other reasons. This is used as a measure of supplier performance and customer service

Bar Code
These are machine readable codes showing a pattern of alternating parallel bars and spaces, representing numbers and other characters. The major advantages of using bar coding technology in receiving and stores operations are the reduction in error rate and improved entry speed besides count accuracy

Bar Coding
Bar codes are machine readable codes (seen as cluster of straight lines) that are stuck on the packages/ products for easy identification and computerized record keeping. Bar coding is a process that involves sticking bar codes where required. It is mostly used in Inventory control.

A bid is an offer ,usually in a sealed cover by a seller to a purchaser. It is considered to have legal sanctity. Usually, there is a time frame fixed for submission as well as opening of the bid. A bid can be Single part, in which all the Techno-commercial terms and conditions as well as the price are listed in one cover, Two part, in which the Techno-commercial part and the price part are kept in separate cover and not opened at the same time, Three part, in which Technical, commercial and price part are submitted separately.

Bid Analysis
A comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the various offers received in a competitive bidding process

Bid Bond
Also known as Bid security , it's monetary document submitted by a tender along with the bid. Bid bond's provision is made in order to ward off unserious bids as in case the bidder refuses to accept the order later the bid bond is forfeited by the purchaser

Bid opening
It's an occasion determined by a specific day and time on which the bids received from the vendors are opened. Usually, the bids are opened in the presence of bidders, purchase executives and others who might be related to the purchase case

Bilateral Contract
A contract in which both of the contracting parties made promises to each other. Usually, such a contract is formed when an offer is considered and accepted by the purchaser or offeree

Bill of Exchange
A document drawn by the seller on the buyer, instructing the buyer to pay the amount of the purchase under specified circumstances.

Bill of Lading
A carrier's contract and receipt for goods it agrees to transport from one place to another and to deliver to a designated recipient (consignee). There are numerous types of bills of lading:
1. A clean (clear) Bill of lading or a carrier receipted bill of lading is provided when a shipment is deemed to be in good condition and contains no exceptions
2.An Export bill of lading is issued by an inland carrier to contract for the movement of goods from from an interior point of origin to a port for the ultimate movement to a foreign destination
3. A foul Bill of lading is a document where the master of the vessel has taken exception and stated that the goods were received in damaged condition and / or the shipment was incomplete
4. An ocean bill of lading is issued by an ocean carrier for marine transport of goods
5.An order Bill of lading is consigned to the order of a third party, usually the shipper or a bank, whose endorsement is required to transfer the title to the goods. This negotiable instrument of title must be surrendered to the carrier before the goods will be released.
6. A short form bill of lading is a deviation from the straight bill of lading in that it only refers to the contract terms but does not include them
7. A straight bill of lading consigned directly to the consignee and therefore is not negotiable. Accordingly , the goods will usually be delivered by the carrier without surrender of this type of bill of lading. A delivery receipt is used at the destination
8.A through bill of lading is issued by a shipping company or its agent, covering more than one mode of transportation or two or more carriers in a through movement.  

Bill of Materials
BOM or B/M is a list containing the quantity and description of all materials required to produce one unit of a finished product. A bill of material is an essential element in using a material requirement planning (MRP) system 


battle of the forms
'Battle of the Forms' is what occurs when there is dispute over whose terms and conditions prevail in a transaction. Competent contract management should aim to avoid this happening

Benchmarking is the process of seeing where your eg: Procurement department sits in terms of its systems and processes, and determining what improvements can be made to bring you in line with world class.

bill of lading
A Bill of Lading is a document issued by a Carrier acknowledging that the shippers goods have been received on board, and contains the delivery details, port of discharge, container numbers etc.

boilerplate clauses

Boilerplate clauses are sometimes overlooked as the standard, boring, fine-print parts of a contract, which usually appear at the end of a contract. Never ignore the boilerplate parts of a contract, for they are the foundations of which the contract will stand on.

An example of a Boilerplate Clause is the 'Law' section which states the jurisdiction where disputes will be handled.


A Bill of Materials, also known as a BOM, is a list of parts that build-up into a complete unit.

For example, a pump can be set up in an ERP procurement system under a single material number, which has a BOM attached to it showing the parts used to build the pump. Furthermore, an 'exploded' view of the BOM would show all of the sub-assemblies and components in more detail.

bottleneck items

In manufacturing, an item that has a LOW impact on profit but a HIGH risk of supply is classed as a Bottleneck Item. Running short on this item would 'bottleneck' the manufacturing process.

Therefore, strategies need to be put into place to ensure a reliable supply (eg: holding more stock on the shelf; effectively managing the supplier relationship; negotiating an supply agreement).

Bottleneck Example: A manufacturing company builds their own hydraulic pumps, which are very popular in the mining industry. Each pump is made up of 50 different parts, including nuts, bolts, piping, machined parts and so on.

Supply of these parts are not an issue except for a specially made check valve which can only be bought from one (unreliable) supplier.

On the scheduled day of production, all 50 items except the check valve have arrived. The Procurement officer chases the supplier and is advised the check valves have been delayed for another two weeks. Due to this check valve not arriving, there is a bottleneck in the production of the pumps.


BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) is when a company contracts out a business function (eg: procurement, marketing, payroll, accounts) to a third party.

For example, a rapidly growing energy company may decide to outsource its Procurement function to a management consultancy. This company would be contracted to hire Procurement staff, and manage all of the Procurement processes.

An example of Offshore BPO would be an internet service provider outsourcing their customer service center to an overseas party.


A project where there has never been any prior construction or exploration is considered 'Greenfield'.

For example, a coal-mining company setting up operations on unexplored territory would classify this project as 'Greenfield'.

On the other hand, a coal-mining company setting up operations on or near an area previously mined for coal, would classify this project as 'Brownfield'.

business efficacy

The term 'Business Efficacy' can be spun around to mean 'Effective for Business'.


When a court implies terms into an under-detailed contract by filling in the gaps, it is making the contract commercially fit, and therefore giving it business efficacy.


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