What is a Purchasing Manager?
A Purchasing Manager buys materials or parts for a company to resell or create goods or services. They research each component to compare quality, cost, and accessibility. The Purchasing Manager selects potential vendors to work with, solicits bids, negotiates contracts, and makes sure the contract is adhered to.
Purchasing Managers are often asked to keep reports on selected vendors and alternatives. The reports show the COO or VP of the supply chain why vendors were selected, the amount of money saved, and resource quantities available. They report to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) or a Vice President of the Supply Chain in many cases, especially if purchasing is crucial to daily operations.
- Bachelor’s degree in business, business science, or logistics
- Master’s degree in business (only if the purchasing manager will supervise staff)
- 5-7 years of experience in the field
Purchasing Manager Essential Skills
- Strong analytical skills to compare vendors, prices, quantities, and availability
- Communication skills to convey exactly what’s needed and expected from a vendor
- Ability to work independently
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office and inventory management software
- Record-keeping skills to maintain a vendor database
Purchasing Manager Roles & Responsibilities
- Find and obtain materials or parts for a company
- Research vendors, visit plants, and request bids from a small pool of selected suppliers
- Network with vendors and attend events as necessary (trade shows, networking events, etc.)
- Identify problems and implement solutions to improve the purchasing process
- Develop a list of inventory needed and plan a purchasing strategy
- Craft and negotiate contracts on behalf of the company
- Ensure the contract is fulfilled and quality control is maintained
- Maintain inventory amounts and make purchases accordingly
- Train new employees and provide guidance necessary to be an effective buyer
- Keep records of all vendors, contracts, and correspondence