Purchasing Manager Jobs, Procurement Manager Jobs and Careers

Purchasing managers play an extremely important role in achieving business goals. Coming under a wide range of job titles, the purchaser buys whichever goods and services the organisation needs. Unsurprisingly, they need to find the best for the best price possible, while establishing and maintaining positive, lasting relationships with suppliers.

Purchasing Manager Jobs Sites.

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With many companies spending over half their revenue via the manager, it's unsurprising that salaries for this important role exceed those of marketing, sales and IT managers. What's more, the established purchasing manager can move between sectors, transferring their skills easily to develop a lasting career.

The Purchasing Role

The purchasing role varies according to the organisation, whether private, public or charitable sector, and the exact balance of duties within the position. It can come under a variety of job titles:

The role usually involves a major element of price negotiation and contract management. Duties usually include:

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Purchasing in Different Sectors

Private sector

Nearly half of all purchasing managers work in the private sector. Buyers often purchase wholesale items for resale, while managers frequently buy materials or items for use within the company, usually as materials used in manufacturing. They attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, plants and distribution centres as part of their research.

Private sector purchasing roles have changed significantly with the evolution of business practices. Buyers and forecasters have become highly specialist roles and are frequently involved with the research and development stages of new products.

At a later stage in the product life cycle, team buying involves design engineers, production managers, quality assurance engineers and other professionals to ensure optimal standards in the manufacturing stages. Meanwhile, integrated supply contracts are established which connect all members of the supply chain, including the transporters and retailers.

Buyers for resale purchase merchandise from wholesalers or manufacturers, so that it can be resold to retailers and other organisations, or to consumers. Buyers must be aware of the sales marketplace and competitor sales activity, as well as economic conditions in general.

IT is now a major area for purchasing in the private sector, either in IT businesses themselves or within the IT departments of larger companies. This is a major concern within financial institutions.

Not-for-profit sector

Charities, trusts and associations frequently have extremely limited resources and have to prioritise keeping purchasing costs to a minimum by sourcing optimal prices and advantageous deals. This requires detailed research and adds to the time required to identify and source products and services, plus suppliers.

In funded organisations, accountability is an essential requirement. Tendering and selection of suppliers must be a transparent process, due to strict legislation surrounding the expenditure of donated funds. This inevitably adds to the time devoted to procedures. Additionally, not-for-profits are frequently working within the parameters of mission statements that require adherence to ethical and sustainable practices.

Public sector

Budgets have grown ever tighter across national, regional and local government and associated bodies, meaning there are even more requirements to achieve value for money in purchasing. The areas that purchasing managers are sourcing supplies for include education, construction, IT and every department that comes under the public sector umbrella.

As with the not-for profit sector, there is an ever increasing range of legislation that determines how expenditure is made. Purchasing decisions are limited not only by domestic legislation at national level, but by regulatory frameworks formulated in the European parliament. Accountability requirements are strict, given that all funds being used are sourced from the tax payer and will therefore be closely scrutinised.

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Is this Career For You?

Purchasing requires a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience. Some skills are specialist and pertinent to particular industries, while others are transferable, stemming from individual qualities and aptitudes as much as learned abilities. Purchasing managers need the following skills:


The educational requirements for purchasing manager positions vary as much as the range of positions available. Generally speaking, the larger the business or organisation, the higher the level of training required. Frequently, the largest companies prefer candidates who have business degrees of some description, most commonly a BA in business, economics, engineering or an applied science (reflecting the fact that many posts are in manufacturing or construction), or an MBA.

For graduates, a training period within the organisation usually lasts one or two years. This is opportunity to learn about the particular company and its activities, products and services. Frequently this involves shadowing an experienced manager to learn about the suppliers, the markets, prices and commodities, as well as inventory systems and other aspects of production.

For buyers involved in goods for resale, training may involve different areas of the wholesale or retail operation, from monitoring stock and inventory, to checking invoices.

Once in position, the purchasing manager who wishes to maintain pace with the changing marketplaces undertakes regular continuing education. This takes the form of seminars and professional certifications, provided by industry associations and educational establishments.

Purchasing Manager Jobs Sites

Jobs can be viewed on these sites:

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