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Purchasing Manager


Directs the buying activities for a company, government agency, or organization. Responsible for identifying global sources of materials, selecting suppliers, arranging contracts, and managing relationships. Coordinates with materials management and manufacturing to ensure timely delivery of the proper materials. Provides analysis to increase levels of service at reduced costs.

Related Positions

Acquisitions Manager, Buyer, Purchasing Specialist

Key Duties

  • Requests and evaluates bids for parts and services
  • Negotiates agreements with possible vendors
  • Manages and monitors contracts with existing suppliers
  • Coordinates other supply functions within the company
  • Oversees supplier certification programs

Required Skills

Negotiation skills; cost analysis; ability to read, understand, and help write legally binding contracts; written communication skills; proficiency with spread-sheets; personal confidence; ability to react to change; understanding of import/export processes; basic understanding of global supply chain and its related components; foreign language knowledge helpful.

Career Path

Entry-level purchasing managers typically have three to five years experience as an expediter or buyer. Success as a purchasing manager may lead to employment as a logistics manager or material manager.

In their own words…

“I find myself becoming more involved with supply chain issues every day. My job no longer focuses exclusively on quantity discounts. That just leads sto excess investment in inventory. I have to work with suppliers and customers to integrate our purchasing, manufacturing, and logistics activities. If we can collectively smooth out demand patterns, the flow of product will improve and the delivered cost will go down.”

“Purchasing people are involved in every part of the business. We are the ‘answer group’ when it comes to dealing with suppliers. We help other parts of our company interact with outside companies more effectively and solve supplier problems quickly.”

© 2011 Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals