Industrial buying behavior is the pattern of actions by a company involved in manufacturing, processing and other heavy industry. Many of these companies are required to make regular purchases as a means of supplying their businesses. Although each company -- and each industry -- will have buying behavior affected by its own set of factors, there are several main variables that can affect industrial buying as a whole.
Perhaps the main driver of industrial buying is demand. The amount of buying that an industrial concern will do is directly depended on the amount of business that the company can expect in the near future. Generally, if a company expects higher demand, then it will stock up on raw materials as a means of ensuring that it will be able to meet consumer demand and maximize revenue.
Buying patterns are also affected by the price of the materials the companies are purchasing. When prices are higher or the company expects a decrease in the near future, the company may choose to hold off making purchases, so as to save money. This can involve some difficult decision making. For example, a company that uses fuel in the production of its products may attempt to guess the direction of oil prices.
In addition to current demand and the current prices for a product, industrial companies may look to the economy as an indication of the future availability of materials relative to the consumer demand for them. If the economy is trending upward, the company may purchase more based on the expectation of a future rise in sales, while a downward trending economy may push it to the opposite course of action.
In addition, industrial companies are heavily influenced by changes in technology that affect both the provision of goods and their own requirements. For example, if purchasing a piece of technology means that a raw material becomes cheaper to use, then the company may choose to invest in the new technology. Similarly, the acquisition of new technology will often change the company's buying habits, as the technology will have different raw material requirements to run.
- "Economics"; Roger A. Arnold; 2009