Chief Procurement Officer Job Description

A chief procurement officer leads a purchasing team that buys critical goods and services for an organization. Many industries hire procurement officers, from small businesses to large universities and multinational organizations. A chief procurement may work alone, however usually there is a financial team that executes purchases. The chief procurement officer strategically guides this team, ensuring that financial policies are followed and expenses are cost-effective. A major part of their role is building positive relationships with external suppliers to negotiate favorable deals. They also make sure that stakeholders within their organization receive quality service and promptly get the goods they need.

 

Chief Procurement Officer Duties and Responsibilities

While a chief procurement officer’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:

Develop An Organization’s Purchasing Policies

Chief procurement offers champion their department’s mission for achieving targeted outcomes, process efficiencies, and cost reduction goals. They create policies to make certain that procurement employees comply with ethical standards and outlined laws. These leaders work to prevent any conflicts of interest or improper supplier and customer relationships.

Lead a Strong Procurement Team

Providing clear direction and motivation to employees to accomplish fiscal goals is the key duty of a chief procurement officer. Employers rely on chief procurement officers to establish organizational structure and staffing in their department. Chief procurement officers are responsible for activities such as recruitment, training, supervision, and evaluation.

Manage Annual Organizational Budgets

Chief procurement officers manage their organization’s budget and directly oversee accounting activities. Ensuring that purchasing activities are on track to reach important financial objectives and cost-saving targets is their primary concern.

Source, Negotiate and Review Supplier Contracts

A chief procurement officer acts as the main negotiator for purchasing contracts. Before approving a vendor proposal, they analyze prices to make sure they are reasonable. They make recommendations designed to help reduce costs for their organization. Some chief procurement officers also spearhead the process of locating new supplier sources. Chief procurement officers often attend trade shows and networking meetings to make profitable connections with future suppliers.

Manage Supplier Relationships

Making sure that two-way communication stays strong between a vendor and the organization is a critical responsibility for chief procurement officers. They drive continuous improvement by focusing on internal and external customer service. Chief procurement officers carefully monitor and evaluate contractual arrangements to make sure that vendors are complying with previously agreed upon terms and conditions. If change in the supplier relationship is needed, the chief procurement offer initiates the change process.

 

Chief Procurement Officer Skills and Qualifications

People with excellent leadership ability, strong financial acumen, and the ability to work well under pressure can thrive as a chief procurement officer. Employers require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of seven years of related experience, and the following skills:

  • Strategic procurement skills – the primary job of a chief procurement officer is to provide enterprise-wide sourcing of the highest quality items with the lowest cost
  • Financial analysis – chief procurement officers use budgeting skills, financial management, and accounting principles to successfully run their departments
  • Negotiation – negotiating is a critical skill for leading procurement activities and managing contractual arrangements
  • People management – chief procurement officers oversee employee development and use performance management skills on a daily basis to guarantee that their department reaches its objectives
  • Leadership – providing strong leadership to the purchasing team is a must for a chief procurement officers to ensure that established procedures are followed
  • Contracting skills – a key duty of a chief procurement officer is to draft and carefully review high value contracts to guarantee compliance with company polices and local, state, and federal regulations
  • Communication skills – a chief procurement officer needs especially strong interpersonal and public speaking skills to successful work with a wide variety of stakeholders
  • Writing skills – procurement officers are required to write effective reports, letters, and other purchasing documents

 

Chief Procurement Officer Education and Training

Chief procurement officers should possess a bachelor’s degree, preferably in an area such as supply chain management, contracting, procurement, business administration, economics, finance, accounting, statistics, math, or communications. Candidates with a master’s degree or MBA are even more desirable to employers. Potential employers also require candidates to have a minimum of seven years of related experience in purchasing, business, finance, or procurement.

 

Chief Procurement Officer Salary and Outlook

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of chief procurement officers is $115,760. The highest ten percent of workers in this field make more than $182,780, while the lowest ten percent of earners make less than $66,630.

The BLS notes that industry employment for chief procurement officers is expected to decline three percent through 2026. The reason for this decline is the increase of automation and outsourcing in procurement. As technology improves, tasks such as finding suppliers and processing purchase orders become less complex, which decreases the demand for hiring new workers in this role.

 

Helpful Resources

There are many helpful resources out there for those interested in becoming a chief procurement officer. Take a look at these links that are full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.

“A Career Twists and Turns Out in Procurement” – get practical career advice from several procurement officers in this excellent blog post that features a helpful Q&A section.

The Procurement and Supply Manager’s Desk Reference – a go-to guide for procurement professionals that covers all aspects of the role and is filled with practical step-by-step guides, helpful checklists, and customizable forms.

A Purchasing Manager’s Guide to Strategic Proactive Procurement – learn procurement strategies from experienced authors who use case studies and action steps to show how to succeed as a forward-thinking chief procurement officer in any industry.

Chief Procurement Officer – this valuable book offers self-assessment and knowledge tools help you become an excellent chief procurement officer.

Supply Chain Financial Management: Best Practices, Tools, and Applications for Improved Performance – a great source for self-learning, this book will show you how to apply financial concepts and techniques as a chief procurement officer.

Procurement Crossing – the #1 online job board for procurement professionals with positions in many different industries.

 

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