People who decide to go into purchasing will be involved in buying items or products for their company. There are a variety of jobs and industries you will work for when you decide to go into purchasing, including administration, agents, buyers, and of course management. In general, purchasers are responsible for researching and choosing new products, and deciding which will be the best for their company. You will need to stay on top of current trends and hopefully predict what the next big thing will be. You will purchase goods and possible negotiate prices with the wholesale companies or vendors. Purchasing skills required are an eye for business, the ability to predict trends, financial experience, and excellent communication skills
As a purchasing agent, you will be responsible for maintaining the essential products and materials for your company. You may be directly associated with the inventory department of your company and be sure you’re stocking up on the right products. Purchasing agents also determine new products they should buy and negotiate prices for materials you purchase. A purchasing agent is different from a buyer in the responsibilities you have. While a buyer strictly purchases items, you may have additional tasks assigned to you such as determining what new products you should purchase, managing inventory, purchasing equipment and supplies as well as products your company provides to the public, and having an entire purchasing team.
A purchasing buyer is similar to agents in purchasing departments, with some slight variations. As a buyer, you are responsible for predicting upcoming trends in the market and purchasing new products, while purchasing agents will mostly purchase supplies and equipment your company uses. You will need to focus on the highest quality products for the lowest price as well as determining new products to offer to your customers. As agents, you will also work closely with the inventory department of your company. You may work in manufacturing or retail establishment, as well as other industries.
A purchasing manager is a higher level purchasing position that requires more education and hands-on experience. Many purchasing managers start out as agents or buyers for their company’s purchasing department and gradually move up to a management position after several years’ experience. As a purchasing manager, you will have many different responsibilities including managing your purchasing department and the agents or buyers in the department, arranging the disposal of surplus materials, assessing the industry including current and future materials and trends, keeping track of your organization’s purchasing budget, following and implementing purchasing policies and procedures, and dealing directly with vendors of your products, materials, or equipment. To work as a purchasing manager, you should have experience as a buyer or purchasing agent.