What is a Purchasing Specialist?
An organization uses Purchasing Specialists to handle all of their purchasing needs. This person is responsible for ensuring that a business is able to acquire needed supplies, materials and other relevant items, following a strict budget and keeping records of all the transactions.
A Purchasing Specialist usually works in the finance department, reporting to the Chief Financial Officer, or works very closely with that department. Alternatively, these individuals can work as part of the Operations Department, reporting to the Chief Operations Officer; this typically depends on the company size, dynamic and structure. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 1 percent decrease for careers in Purchasing, including Purchasing Specialists through 2024.
Purchasing Specialist Duties and Responsibilities
Maintaining Vendor Contacts
Purchasing Specialist Skills
A Purchasing Specialist must be extremely organized, have an excellent ability to communicate with people in all positions and have excellent negotiating skills. This person must be able to think critically and quickly, have good judgment and decision-making skills, as well as great time management skills.
Core skills Job listings for Purchasing Specialists sought out individuals with the following basic skills
- Communicating well and clearly with others
- Using logic and reasoning to identify a problem and find solution
- Strong time management skills
- Strong persuasion and negotiation skills
- Strong math skills
Advanced skills You may not possess all of these skills, but it will be advantageous to add a few to your resume to make your resume stand out
- Experience with management of financial resources
- Knowledge of system analysis, how work flow changes and related outcomes
- People management
- Experience working with programs that serve the purchasing department
Tools of the Trade Learn how to utilize the following tools that are typically used by Purchasing Specialists
- Personal computers
- Purchasing specific software
- Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook
- Record keeping software and programs
- Office equipment, such as copiers
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Purchasing Specialist Salary
Purchasing Specialist Resources
Access the following blogs, LinkedIn groups and book to learn more about a career in purchasing.
On the WebProcurement Sense Blog
Purchasing and supply management insights.Next Level Purchasing Blog
A blog that presents news on purchasing and procurement.Global Purchasing Blog
Learn latest news and inventions in this industry.The Network for Sourcing Executives
The premier global sourcing association that provides thought leadership and networking opportunities to executives in sourcing, procurement, outsourcing, shared services and global business services from Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies.
On Linked InISM
A group of purchasing and supply chain management professional.Supply Chain Ltd
A group that supplies information about purchasing and supply chain careers.
BooksPurchasing and Supply Chain Management by Robert M. Monczka and Robert Handfield
First hand experiences in purchasing and solid advice from a manager’s standpoint.Purchasing and Supply Management by P. Fraser Johnson and Anna Flynn
A comprehensive guide to the purchasing and supply chain management field.