Purchasing is a strategic function in companies. On average more than the 50% of a company’s total costs of the product concerns purchasing costs. It is a well-recognized fact that a company depends on a multitude of relationships with suppliers that are both source of costs and source of important knowledge and resources. This course is designed firstly to provide the conceptual frameworks and methodological tools to gain understanding of how companies operate within “supply chains”, that are complex networks of relationships with other companies that all concur in creating value for end-users. Secondly the course stresses the relevance of purchasing management and suggests main managerial tools to design and handle efficiently and effectively relationships with suppliers. The conceptual content of the course will be applied to empirical analysis concerning a variety of industries and companies. The course will combine interactive lecture and case studies’ analysis. Students will be sporadically required to give short presentations on selected topics of the course or discuss a case study.