Purchasing managers make a living by obtaining goods, services and supplies for companies, organizations and government agencies. They interact with vendors on a regular basis and often work with large sums of money. In addition to actually procuring items, they are often charged with assessing the company’s supply needs.
Purchasing professionals should have a firm understanding of budgeting since a significant portion of the job involves purchasing items at the lowest prices possible. Purchasing managers should place a strong emphasis on their negotiation and finance skills. Any purchasing manager job description should include these two skills.
Overall, purchasing managers need to have strong mathematical skills as well as an understanding of the business world. The following purchasing manager job description template can serve as a blueprint for your own description.
Purchasing Manager Job Summary
As our premier purchasing manager, we’ll depend on you to purchase supplies for external vendors. When making a purchase, the executive team will provide you with a budget to adhere to. In this position, you will have a large degree of freedom in regards to the negotiation and cost reduction. This is a great role for anyone with prior purchasing experience and a strong desire to contribute to a positive and supportive workplace. Applicants will also need to be comfortable with traveling to vendor sites on a regular basis (sites are sometimes in other cities). In this role, you will report to the Chief Operating Officer and department supervisor.
- Schedule the delivery of supplies and ensure vendors arrive on time; make sure inventory is accurate and sufficient
- Negotiate with external vendors in regards to product prices and wholesale prices; aim to stay below assigned budget at all times
- Inspect each delivery of supplies for quality, safety and quantity; report any shortages or damages to department supervisor
- Coordinate purchasing efforts between various departments and ensure each department is aware of supply list
- Supervise small team of purchasing assistants and provide feedback during quarterly evaluations
- Meet with supervisors and executives on a monthly basis; discuss ways that company purchasing policies can be improved; advocate for small team of purchasing professionals
- Keep track of incoming and outcoming orders of products; enter written data into electronic database at the beginning and end of each workday; present data to supervisors in graphic form
- Take monthly inventory and ensure company has an adequate amount of supplies; contact vendors prior to delivery and inform them of inventory needs
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Strong negotiation and communication skills
- Bachelor of Science in Business Management, Accounting or Finance
- Willingness to travel up to 40 percent of time
- Capable of using computer accounting software programs
- Prior experience as a purchasing manager or corporate buyer
- Able to work overtime and some weekends
- Supervisory or management experience
Purchasing Manager Job Responsibilities
You should devote the core section of a purchasing manager job description to detailing the responsibilities of this role. Aim to give potential applicants a sense of the day-to-day duties of a purchasing manager. Keep fine details and the big picture in mind to give jobseekers a clear idea of what your company expects from an employee in this position.
Make this section easy to read by using bullet points, clear language and strong action verbs. Try to make it easy for applicants to skim these requirements and determine how many they can fulfill. You want this section of the purchasing manager job description to attract qualified applicants, not overwhelm them. Keep the number of responsibilities listed to eight, and try to prioritize the most important elements.
Here are some of the most relevant purchasing manager job responsibilities:
- Coordinate buyers and purchasing agents to place inventory orders in a timely manner and within budget
- Interview, hire and train qualified buyers and officers for purchasing department
- Cultivate and form relationships with new suppliers
- Oversee and monitor the fulfillment of purchasing orders and performance of all employees involved in ordering
- Develop policies and procedures for purchasing to maintain high standards for employee performance
Purchasing Manager Job Specifications
Along with providing a description of the responsibilities of a purchasing manager, describe to potential applicants the qualifications they should bring to the table. The portion of a purchasing manager job description devoted to background and skills is vital for narrowing down the pool of applicants for an open position.
You may want to discuss the education, experience and skills required for this position with other employees involved in purchasing decisions. Other managers or current employees may offer useful feedback about the abilities required to excel at this job. Try to produce a description that can attract a candidate who is not only qualified but the type of manager your company needs to succeed.
In addition to listing basic requirements in a purchasing manager job description, you might include a few desirable skills. This information can help applicants determine whether they meet the requirements for the position. Even if a new hire does not have all these skills, he or she will be aware of the ways he or she can grow to better fulfill the needs of the company.
The following purchasing manager job specifications could be suitable for a job description:
- Prior experience as a successful buyer or purchasing agent
- Computer skills and familiarity with industry-standard database, enterprise and project planning, and procurement programs
- Management skills and ability to train employees to work autonomously
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent experience