Purchasing Agent Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for a purchasing agent job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a purchasing agent. Feel free to use our purchasing agent job description template to produce your own purchasing agent job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a purchasing agent.
Who is a Purchasing Agent?
A purchasing agent is a manager who aids in the choice and acquisition of goods and services. This is accomplished through compiling information about suppliers, costs, and goods, as well as screening it. Also known as buyers or purchasers, purchasing agents are in charge of evaluating and negotiating with suppliers. They collaborate closely with purchasing managers. Additionally, the agent has the authority to issue purchasing contracts, request vendor bids, and more. Verifying, putting together, and sending purchase orders are among the duties of a purchasing agent. He or she checks the item receipts and approves the payment. Agents in charge of purchasing ensure that businesses and organizations have the products and services necessary for everyday operations. Chemicals, farm or retail goods, office supplies, and machinery are a few examples.
When picking suppliers and products, buyers and purchasing agents take quality, pricing, dependability, technical assistance, and price into account. For businesses to use internally or for resale, purchasing agents and purchasers buy goods and services. Consumers who acquire goods for their consumption are referred to as purchasers. All of their organization’s purchasing is handled by purchasing agents. Purchasing agents, as opposed to retail or wholesale buyers, buy the supplies their company needs to run its business. They don’t buy products to resell. They also purchase products and services from independent contractors, such as office cleaners. Many different kinds of companies, as well as establishments including educational institutions, medical facilities, and governmental agencies, employ purchasing agents.
Purchasing agents sometimes known as buyers make sure that a business has a sufficient supply of the commodities it needs to run. Agents must take care not to spend too much on supplies at the expense of the business. To make the greatest purchases, it is their responsibility to strike a balance between quality and price. Spending corporate money on something that is too high-quality for its intended function is a waste. For instance, it would be a waste of money to purchase mahogany crates to convey oranges. Purchasing a low-quality item could also end up costing you money because it might malfunction or break down. Buyers must keep informed about the general market circumstances and price trends that affect the products they are purchasing.
To calculate the cost of goods, the handling and transportation of those goods, and the time spent by employees unloading stock and completing shipping paperwork, they use the most recent pricing data on the Internet. Additionally, the timing of purchasing must be proper. There may be expensive production delays if a manufacturer runs out of a component. Getting the greatest deals also requires timing, as the cost of materials can vary significantly from one season to the next in many industries. The production schedule of a corporation is coordinated with the schedules of numerous external suppliers via purchasing agents. A strike or a transportation issue occasionally prevents a supplier from making a delivery. If agents can foresee such delays, they can make plans to purchase essential supplies in advance or transfer their business to another company.
Additionally, purchasing agents collaborate closely with a number of the divisions inside their organization, including the supply, traffic, and receiving departments. They frequently hire employees known as expediters who take care of a lot of the paperwork and other issues related to making purchases, setting up shipping, and resolving claims. In a small business, one purchasing agent may handle all of the company’s purchases. Large firms may hire up to 100 purchasing agents, each of whom specializes in one area of the task, such as buying one sort of material or one part for a specific type of machinery. To ensure that a business has an adequate supply of resources to carry on running, purchasing agents buy materials on behalf of businesses. They largely rely on price lists and catalogues for their information. Although they occasionally tour plants and attend conferences, purchasing agents spend most of their time in an office.
Sometimes it’s important to work more hours than the typical 40 hours. particularly in industries where production is seasonal. Purchasing agents need to be detail-oriented problem solvers with the capacity to organize numerous tasks. A corporation would create a specific role for the role of the purchasing agent if it engages in enough purchasing. The corporation frequently employs a title like purchasing manager or agent if the goods are routine purchases rather than expensive items. This individual often oversees the company’s purchasing procedures, informs the staff of them, approves purchase requests in advance, and reviews and approves bills when they are received. This person frequently investigates, approves, and sets up credit accounts for suppliers. They frequently work in the finance or accounting departments. To succeed as a purchasing agent, you should be able to evaluate suppliers, goods, and services critically and bargain for the best prices. In the end, a great purchasing agent has good business sense and keeps comprehensive transaction records.
Purchasing Agent Job Description
What is a purchasing agent job description? A purchasing agent job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a purchasing agent in an organization. Below are the purchasing agent job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a purchasing agent job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a purchasing agent include the following:
- Examine requisitions to find the greatest offer for the business.
- Meet with different vendors to learn about their wares and services, including costs, availability, and delivery times.
- Inspect or test the item before making a buying decision.
- Use market knowledge to assess whether a product or service is a good value for the business.
- Select the purchasing method, such as a direct purchase, a public bid, or a request for proposals from certain vendors.
- Request for proposals, bid requests, and purchase orders should be prepared.
- Review bids and offers, then meet with vendors to negotiate deals that adhere to the business’s financial constraints.
- Purchase products and services for a business, such as raw materials, tools, equipment, supplies, raw materials, different services, and other things required for the business’s operation.
- Maintain a hard copy or electronic records of all purchases made on behalf of the business, including the price, delivery information, product or service quality, and current inventory.
- Work together with quality assurance staff to discuss subpar or unsatisfactory products or services, and engage with vendors to address such issues.
- Validate invoices before paying suppliers.
- A high school diploma or GED.
- A degree in business administration, purchasing, or a related sector.
- Prior employment as a buying agent or in a comparable role
- Possession of the Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) certification.
- Proficiency in inventory management and CRM software.
- Knowledge of the goods and services offered by the industry that will best serve the business.
- Knowledge of the goods and services offered by the industry that will best serve the business.
- Excellent decision-making and judgment skills while choosing a supplier or product.
- Outstanding persuasion and negotiation skills when interacting with vendors and working to secure the best contract for the business.
- Strong grasp of the written word when reading several contracts.
- Excellent interpersonal and negotiating abilities.
- Strong documentation and organizational abilities.
- Strong math abilities and the capacity to stick to a rigid budget.
- Strong analytical and research capabilities.
- The capacity to multitask, effectively manage time, and assign assignments to the appropriate team members.
- Negotiation skills: A skill in negotiations goes beyond simply being able to purchase items for the lowest possible price. Since it also includes speaking about the product’s quality, the delivery date, potential future relationships, etc. An effective negotiator will be able to extract the best price from a seller while still maintaining a positive working relationship. The capacity to influence people to share your viewpoints is referred to as negotiation. You may have to haggle with suppliers to get the greatest deals for your business as a purchasing agent. To make sure the calibre of the goods you buy meets the criteria of your business, you can also bargain with suppliers.
- Relationship management skills: To effectively manage relationships, purchasing managers must frequently contact a variety of people. To gather information and comments about prior purchases, they may express resource needs to staff, or they may speak with departmental managers or executives to explain product needs or present plans. They can function more productively within a department if they know how to handle interpersonal interactions and effectively convey information. Another method they keep this expertise up to date is by managing relationships with outside sources of information and vendors. They can lessen potential external problems by effectively engaging with current clients or locating and onboarding new ones.
- Communication skills: Transmitting information verbally or in writing is the act of communication. Communication with suppliers, managers, and other purchasing agents may be necessary for you to perform your job as a purchasing agent. To make sure you give the proper information to the right person, strong communication skills are crucial.
- Analytical skills: The ability to analyze data is a requirement for purchasing agents who want to make wise judgments. The optimum pricing, quality, and quantity of products are chosen using analytical skills. The ideal supplier for the business is chosen using analytical skills as well.
- Organizational skills: The management of a lot of data, such as contracts, invoices, and other papers, may fall under your purview as a purchasing agent. You can keep track of all the information you need to finish your job responsibilities by having great organizing skills. Managing budgets and keeping track of expenditures may also fall under your purview.
- Innovation skills: Purchasing agents can be inventive in supplier developments and product innovations even though they might not generate new technologies or new ways to produce things. Their understanding of supplier advances and keeping up with any news that can have an impact on a department’s future purchases can be made easier with innovation skills. For instance, if a new product drives down the cost of material, purchasing managers may be aware of this right away and make a hasty purchase. A key skill used by purchasing managers to maintain their departments is innovation in purchasing, both to gain surplus and to assess a stock.
- Time management skills: Purchasing agents frequently have strong time-management abilities and design procedures to sustain office productivity. If they oversee several departments, for instance, they might plan a meeting time or delegate work to others based on the demands of each area. They may also keep track of the duration it takes for a production department’s acquired goods to get to multiple places.
- Detail-orientedness: When examining purchase orders, contracts, and other paperwork, purchasing agents need to be able to pay meticulous attention to detail. They must make sure the business is getting the best deal possible, so this is their duty. They need to be able to spot any inconsistencies or errors in the paperwork and confirm that the business is making the appropriate payment for the goods or services.
How to Become a Purchasing Agent
Step 1. Pursue the Required Education
You’ll probably need a college degree to enter into this highly competitive industry, particularly in positions with big firms. Typically, you need at least a bachelor’s degree to be employed in purchasing or buying. So, it’s ideal to enrol in a college prep course while still a high school student. English, business, math, social science, and economics are all useful subjects to take. Your selected industry determines which educational path is best for you. Bachelor’s degrees in business, economics, and accounting are adaptable enough to enable applicants to get purchasing jobs in a range of industries. A degree in engineering or the applied sciences can be a wise choice if you want to work primarily in purchasing for industrial organizations. Even at large retailers or distributors, a bachelor’s degree is frequently enough to land an entry-level job as a purchasing agent or buyer.
However, a master’s degree might be required to advance to the position of purchasing manager. Even though a high school diploma is sufficient for entry-level purchasing positions, many businesses prefer or demand college degrees for the position. General economics, purchasing, accounting, statistics, and business management should all be studied in college. An understanding of computers is also preferred. Although some colleges and institutions offer purchasing as a major, other business-related majors are also suitable. Master’s degree holders in business administration, engineering, technology, economics, or finance frequently have the finest jobs and highest earnings as purchasing agents. Engineering or a related degree may be required by businesses that produce chemicals or machinery. For employment in government buying posts, a civil service exam is necessary.
Step 2. Acquire Training and Experience
To thrive in the field of purchasing, you’ll need to complete on-the-job training in addition to obtaining a college degree. New buyers and purchasing agents frequently study under supervisors for a year or longer. They gain practical experience checking inventory levels and negotiating purchase agreements, and they hone their skills so they can function well on their own. This training could span a few weeks to a month and involve spending some time in the supervisor or purchasing agent’s shoes. The training could cover the company’s software, purchasing practices, and other duties.
Step 3. Acquire Certification or Licensing
The law does not impose any specific certification or license requirements on purchasing agents. However, many purchasing agents are members of several professional associations, such as the American Purchasing Society, the Institute for Supply Management, and NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement. These organizations provide certification to candidates who satisfy the requisite educational and other qualifications and who complete the required exams. The Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity and Certified Professional in Supply Management qualifications are available from the Institute for Supply Management. NIGP: The certified public purchasing officer and certified professional public buyer qualifications are offered by the Institute for Public Procurement and the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council, respectively. The Certified Professional in Purchasing Professional (CPP), Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing Professional (CPDW), Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP), and Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC) designations are available from the American Purchasing Society. Although it is not required, certification is a sign of professional expertise that increases a purchasing agent’s chances of advancement to top management positions.
Where to Work as a Purchasing Agent
Businesses of all sizes, as well as organizations like schools, hospitals, and governmental agencies, employ purchasing agents. Typically, purchasing agents are employed in the purchasing division of a business and put in typical business hours. They might, however, occasionally put in extra time to meet deadlines o attend meetings with suppliers on the weekend or in the evening. Although they may go to suppliers’ facilities or trade exhibitions, purchasing agents often work in an office environment. Some purchasing agents operate from home, particularly those who are independent contractors or represent small businesses. Purchasing agents typically collaborate with other purchasing agents as well as support personnel like buyers and clerks. They might also communicate with the engineering, marketing, and accounting divisions of their business.
Purchasing Agent Salary Scale
The size of the business, the worker’s qualifications, and their level of experience all influence their pay. In Nigeria, a Purchasing Agent has an average monthly salary of about 220,000 NGN. The typical salary range is 103,000 to 347,000 NGN. The median annual pay for purchasing agents is around $40,000 and $60,000, or $20 and $40 per hour. Depending on yearly profits, several businesses pay bonuses. Retirement plans, health insurance, and paid holidays and vacations are all benefits.