As a purchasing or procurement manager, you would be responsible for buying the best quality equipment, goods and services for your company at the most competitive rates. If you are good at negotiating, networking and dealing with figures, this job could be a good choice for you.
You will need a well organised approach to work, the ability to analyse data and have good business sense.
There are different ways into this job, including starting out as an assistant and working your way up, getting a relevant higher education qualification, or going through a management training scheme. Professional qualifications are also important in this job.
• deciding what goods, services and equipment are needed
• monitoring and forecasting stock levels
• researching and identifying new products and suppliers
• assessing tenders from potential suppliers
• negotiating prices and agreeing contracts
• making sure that suppliers deliver on time
• processing payments and invoices
• keeping up with market trends.
You could work as a purchasing manager in all kinds of industries – not only manufacturing, retail and wholesale, but also for service industries and public bodies like the Civil Service, NHS and local authorities.
Jobs may be advertised in the local and national press, trade publications for your particular industry, and specialist recruitment agencies.
There is no set route into this career.
One way to start is as an administrator or assistant in a company's purchasing department. You could then work your way up as you gain experience and take professional qualifications through Colleges offering Purchasing and Supply Courses.
For some jobs, employers may prefer you to have qualifications and technical knowledge from your particular industry. Common examples occur in fashion retail, engineering, quantity surveying and construction.
You may be able to join a company on its management training scheme. You will usually need a foundation degree, or degree in supply chain management, logistics or business studies to get on to a scheme. However, some employers will accept other subjects, as they will give you the training you need on the scheme.
• Colleges - Purchasing and Supply
Training and development
You will develop your skills on the job, possibly as part of a structured graduate training scheme. You are also likely to study for professional qualifications at managerial level offered by Colleges- Purchasing and Supply. These include:
• Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply
• Level 5 Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply
• Level 6 Professional Diploma Procurement and Supply.
The level you study for will depend on your existing qualifications and how much experience you have. As a guide, Level 4 is for supervisors and junior managers, Level 5 for senior buyers and managers, with level 6 aimed at heads of department.
You can study for qualifications part-time at local colleges, through private training providers, or by distance learning.
Other qualifications are also available, such as:
• Level 3 Diploma in Supply Chain Management
• Level 5 Diploma in Supply Chain Management
• Level 6 Diploma in Managing the Supply Chain
• a postgraduate award in supply chain management or procurement (for degree holders).
A Procurement Manager earns an average salary of Rs 864,366 per year. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 20 years' experience in this career.