What Does a Procurement Manager Do? (With Duties and Skills)
Updated August 7, 2023
Many companies require a team member who makes sure that the team has the proper supplies and resources needed to fulfil their duties. A procurement manager, or purchasing manager, purchases the supplies that the company needs at the best price they can find. By learning about the role and the duties of a procurement manager, you may decide if it's the right career choice for you. In this article, we answer, "What does a procurement manager do?", examine some skills that are useful in the role, and look at the steps to becoming a procurement manager.
What does a procurement manager do?
If you're wondering the answer to, "What does a procurement manager do?", it's beneficial to review their responsibilities. A procurement manager works with other businesses and services to acquire supplies that the company needs to be successful. This means a procurement manager spends a large portion of time networking with other business and negotiating for the best price possible. In larger companies, it's common for there to be an entire procurement team. This means the manager is also responsible for managing their team and keeping track of what each member is purchasing.
Finding the right suppliers for the right product or service is the primary duty of the job. Each time a new order comes from a stakeholder or department, it may require finding a new supplier or renegotiating the agreement with a current contact. It takes time to determine which company can provide the highest quality product for the best price. Balancing the budget and the degree of quality can be a demanding job, but it can help a company save money while still being productive.
Daily duties of a procurement manager
Procurement managers have a variety of daily duties that change based on the size of the company they work for and whether they manage a team of people. A procurement manager's day could involve contacting new suppliers to negotiate a new contract or creating new networking opportunities for the company in the future. They may also conduct regular reviews of their suppliers to make sure they are effective and have a good quality to cost ratio.
If they manage a group of employees, procurement managers' day could involve taking care of scheduling conflicts or processing payroll. The majority of their duties may be managing the inventory and making orders for items that are running low. Keeping a full inventory of supplies ensures that productivity doesn't slow down because of lack of resources.
Helpful skills for a procurement manager
Listed below are several skills that are helpful to have if you're pursuing a career as a procurement manager:
Whether you're managing a team or working on your own, having strong time management can help the whole department run smoother. Making sure that supplies are being ordered and delivered then sent to their appropriate departments takes a lot of organizing and timing. Challenges in managing the time of orders and deliveries can slow down the productivity of the company. Having strong time management skills can help you be a more effective procurement manager.
Encouraging teamwork and fostering a friendly environment is an excellent skill for a manager to have. Being able to build and work with a strong team can create a more positive workspace, which can lead to higher productivity. As a procurement manager, you can also work with your team of suppliers. This team also requires communication and trust that they can complete the job without micromanagement. Having the ability to build and lead a team can make a happier and healthier work environment.
There is plenty to oversee when you're a procurement manager. Depending on the size of the company, you could be organizing massive purchasing orders and keeping track of a full team of employees that report to you. Because of this, having an effective organizational strategy and the ability to implement it can make the job easier. Being able to develop strategies to organize purchasing orders can make sure that each department has the supplies they require for completing their jobs.
Being a procurement manager is about developing a network of suppliers and building relationships with them. Having strong interpersonal skills can make networking a lot easier. Having suppliers who trust you and feel comfortable doing business with you can also lead to easier negotiations for the prices of products and services. Having business relationships that you can grow and develop can have long-term benefits for the company and business deals.
Having strong written and oral communication skills are helpful at almost any job. As a procurement manager, much of the position involves communicating with a variety of people. From other employees, stakeholders, and suppliers, much of the day-to-day is fielding requests and communicating them to the staff or placing the orders. Being able to write effective contracts may make supply lines run smoother and cut down on any delays.
Negotiating with suppliers and persuading them to give a better price can be part of the job for a procurement manager. Having the ability to be persuasive can be beneficial when working in this field. It can allow you to stay on budget, gain more supplies for less, and make a good impression on any supervisors or managers above you. Having a working knowledge of any negotiation tactics or plans can help you be more prepared when dealing with contractors and suppliers.
How to become a procurement manager
Becoming a procurement manager requires you to have certain qualifications. Here are a few steps to take to become a procurement manager:
1. Acquire a degree in a related field
Most procurement manager positions need you to have a bachelor's degree or college diploma in a field such as business administration or economics. Depending on the company that you're working for, they may want you to have more specialized education that directly relates to the field in which the company operates. For example, if you want to work with a company that deals with technology and computers, they may want you to have a background and education in computer sciences.
2. Gain significant experience in the procurement field
To be a manager in any field, you may want to have a significant amount of experience from already working in that field. This means finding a job as a procurement agent or working in a warehouse in the supply chain. This experience can teach you valuable lessons about the field and make you a more competitive candidate when you do apply for a management position.
Employers prefer candidates who have worked in the industry and have learned the basics of the business. This shows a dedication to the field and that you're willing to work under someone else and learn.
3. Obtain supply chain management professional certificate
For some procurement manager positions, the company may want for you to be a certified supply chain management professional (CSCMP). This is a prestigious certificate that sets you apart in the field. Obtaining this certificate requires you to complete 8 modules, 6 interactive workshops, a leadership residency, and a final exam. Passing these modules and getting the certificate is highly beneficial because it demonstrates your commitment to the field and your dedication to excellence.
According to Supply Chain Canada, employees with a CSCMP earn 22% more than individuals without the certification. To be accepted into the program, it's necessary to meet some requirements such as having at least 5 years of job experience, a degree in a business field, and membership with Supply Chain Canada. Getting this certificate may be a long process but is extremely beneficial for your career.
4. Apply for manager positions
After gaining experience and acquiring the certifications, you're best prepared to seek employment as a procurement manager. This can mean looking for opportunities within your current company or watching for job postings from outside organizations. You may also network with individuals in this field and enquire about companies that are currently hiring. When applying for these positions, it's also critical to highlight your current experience, your certifications and any special skills you may have. Highlighting these aspects can make you a more competitive candidate.
Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate's experience, academic background, and location.
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