Procurement Manager Job Description
Procurement managers are responsible for purchasing goods for their employer from vendors and other suppliers. In short, procurement managers decide what goods or services to stock so they can meet their customers’ needs. This a skilled position that requires at least a few years of previous procurement experience. Candidates who enjoy analysis, negotiation, and working with people do especially well in this field. Procurement managers may work in a wide variety of different industries, but they typically work for larger companies as those are the ones that have enough business to warrant the need for a procurement manager. They usually work traditional office hours but may put in overtime to account for time zone differences with vendors and suppliers. Procurement managers usually report directly to the chief operations officer (COO).
Procurement Manager Duties and Responsibilities
While a procurement manager’s day-to-day 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:
Lead a Team of Purchasing Agents
Procurement managers lead a team of purchasing agents, advising them how to evaluate and select reliable vendors and suppliers. As a part of this responsibility, procurement managers also deescalate conflict between team members and provide feedback on job performance.
Negotiate Supplier Contracts
Procurement managers are responsible for negotiating contracts with the vendors and suppliers that their team of purchasing agents finds. They evaluate contracts and offers and make counter offers as necessary.
Monitor Purchasing Reports
Procurement managers monitor the purchasing reports for all the agreements they have with suppliers and vendors. They monitor what the company is purchasing and how the company is spending its money. They also make reports to upper management in efforts to use money in the most efficient way possible.
Train New Purchasing Agents
Procurement managers are responsible for hiring and training new purchasing agents and buyers. This includes teaching them how to evaluate vendors and suppliers and recognize when one is reliable.
Procurement Manager Skills and Qualifications
Procurement managers are analytic and pay close attention to details. Successful candidates have at least five years of experiencing in a procurement role, and most employers look for candidates who also possess the following skills and qualifications:
- Math and finance knowledge – procurement managers are good at basic math and are familiar with financial fundamentals. They can quickly analyze costs and merchandise reports to make purchasing decisions
- Procurement experience – procurement managers should have a good background in procurement, either as a purchasing agent or buyer. This experience provides the procurement manager with the skills necessary for success
- Negotiation – procurement managers are skilled negotiators who know their way around a purchasing agreement. They can negotiate with potential vendors and suppliers to create a mutually beneficial agreement
- Attention to detail – procurement managers are very analytical, and they pay close attention to details. They can catch even the smallest mistakes and correct them quickly
- Communication skills – procurement managers are skilled communicators, especially since they constantly correspond with people on both ends of the equation
Tools of the Trade
Procurement managers use the following tools in their normal job duties:
- Procurement management software (Precoro, Coupa, Promena)
- Inventory management software (Cin7, NetSuite, 3PL Warehouse Manager)
- Microsoft Office Suite (especially Excel and Outlook)
Procurement Manager Education and Training
Most successful procurement managers possess at least a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field, such as business management or contract management and procurement. Those with advanced degrees tend to be more successful in gaining promotions.
Procurement managers also receive on-the-job training when hired to get caught up to speed with their employer’s current list of suppliers and vendors. This training is also used to introduce the procurement manager to the team of purchasing agents and their preferred methods of finding new vendors and suppliers.
Procurement Manager Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), procurement managers – also listed as purchasing managers – make a median annual salary of around $115,000. This salary can vary depending on experience and previous accomplishments. Those in the top 10 percent of the industry make upwards of $182,000 per year, while those in the lowest 10 percent usually make around $66,000 per year. Procurement managers typically also receive comprehensive benefits packages that often include plenty of vacation time, generous health plans, and performance bonuses.
The BLS reports that the procurement manager position may decline as much as 3 percent over the next 10 years. As technology continues to advance, procurement roles are slowly becoming less common due to automation. In today’s world, it’s cheaper and oftentimes more efficient to let the computer handle most of the procurement process.
Read through some of these helpful resources to learn more about the role of a procurement manager and the industry as a whole:
Supply Chain Digital – this website focuses on anything and everything to do with supply chain management, ranging from logistics to procurement. You can filter by procurement topics specifically to read informative articles about things like the ways drones will affect procurement processes and how technology is changing the industry at a rapid pace
Procurement Professionals – this LinkedIn group boasts a ton of active members – almost 400,000 in total! If you’re looking to connect directly with industry professionals, this is a great place to start. It’s also a great place to find new job opportunities or to just ask questions to learn more about the industry and role of a procurement manager
The Procurement and Supply Manager’s Desk Reference – this book covers a huge range of topics in the procurement and supply chain industry, allowing procurement managers and other supply chain professionals to easily find the information they need to perform their jobs. It covers topics like how to select suppliers, drive continuous improvement, and identify better strategies for your company
Procurement, Principles and Management – this textbook was made for students but is often used by practicing procurement managers too. It helps students and professionals alike learn the ropes when it comes to procurement by covering topics such as contract law and negotiation, risk, culture, and more