Procurement Agent Job Description
Procurement agents make purchases for businesses, ensuring that these companies benefit from products and services that they need to carry out their tasks efficiently. This job involves staying up-to-date with the latest market trends, collaborating with suppliers to negotiate prices or contracts, and developing profitable strategies for companies. Most procurement agents work full-time and work in offices, although travel is sometimes required to meet with suppliers or to review products. This job is well-suited to people with great communication skills, the ability to negotiate effectively, and an analytical approach.
Procurement Agent Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization a procurement agent works for will determine the exact roles and responsibilities they take on. Based on job listings we analyzed, a procurement agent’s duties typically involve:
Develop Purchasing Strategies
A key task for procurement agents is to develop a profitable strategy that saves the client money and ensures quality goods are supplied to meet their needs.
Oversee Supplier Performances
Procurement agents oversee supplier-related activities and their performance to ensure that they’re meeting compliance. They also coordinate with these companies to resolve any issues that arise.
Implement Negotiation Techniques
Negotiating with suppliers to determine preferable contract terms or get better prices is an important aspect of a procurement agents job. They implement negotiation techniques in order to efficiently and professionally communicate with external companies.
Procurement agents prepare and submit detailed reports that highlight the revenue or expenditure, which are based on records that are maintained and updated regularly throughout the procurement process.
Procurement agents manage and develop relationships with suppliers and clients, and part of their day-to-day role is to ensure the quality of the goods and delivery, as well as the terms of the contract, are met.
Procurement Agent Skills and Qualifications
Procurement agents have an analytical approach to tasks, excellent communication skills, and demonstrated numerical abilities. Typically, employers will require a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a similar subject, as well as the following abilities:
- Interpersonal Skills – Procurement agents need to be able to build relationships with suppliers and clients, so having good communication skills are important to be able to do this effectively
- Analytical Mindset – When evaluating suppliers, procurement agents need to be able to analyze the options available and look at the price, quality, and service
- Negotiating Abilities – A key part of this job is negotiating terms and conditions of a contract or prices for products and supplies, so effective negotiating skills are vital in being a successful procurement agent
- Organizational Skills – In order to keep clients or supervisors informed of progress and to provide transaction updates, information on contract changes, and updates on shipments, procurement agents need to have strong organizational skills
- Computer Skills – Procurement agents need to be computer literate in order to use word processors and spreadsheet programs for typing up correspondences or reports
Tools of the Trade
In addition to general office equipment, procurement agents regularly use:
- Purchasing Software – (SpendMap)
- Database Software – (Microsoft Access)
- Desktop Applications – (Microsoft Office Suite)
Procurement Agent Education and Training
The minimum requirement to become a procurement agent is a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, or a similar subject. However, a master’s degree in these subjects would be advantageous in standing out against other applicants. Procurement agents usually learn the skills for this role through on-the-job training. There are also several certifications available for procurement agents. Some employers may require these certificates, but others may not. For example, the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) offers two certifications for workers in federal, state, and local government. These certifications often involve work experience requirements, along with a written and oral examination.
Procurement Agent Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for procurement agents is $57,000. Procurement agents in the 10th percentile earn around $38,000 a year, while the highest paid earn over $86,000 annually. Bonus schemes and profit-sharing opportunities can amount to around $5,000 and $4,000 respectively.
Location and level of experience impact the pay level for this role, and most employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of their benefits package. The BLS predicts that the growth rate for this sector is expected to decline by 3 percent through 2026.
Interested in learning more about this strategic position? We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you build a career as a procurement agent:
Procurement Agent Passbook – For those looking to gain certification for their role as a procurement agent, this book by Jack Rudman will help to prepare them for the test by teaching the core skills and knowledge required to achieve great results.
The Construction Purchasing Agent Handbook – This handbook by Travis D. Tilton is suited to anyone working as a procurement agent for the construction industry specifically, detailing the equipment, processes, and day-to-day tasks that procurement agents will deal with. From supplier management to basic construction purchasing, this is a helpful reference guide to help achieve success in this role.
Procurement Professionals – This professional community of over 370,000 members is a great space for sharing knowledge, information, and networking with others in the industry. The group covers a range of related topics, such as recruitment, news, and work issues, so it’s a good group to gain knowledge from, particularly for those new to the industry.
DeltaBid Blog – DeltaBid specializes in procurement, so this blog is a great source of useful information and ideas that can be applied to the workplace to make processes and systems more efficient.
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