Details for Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products
Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing.
- Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts.
- Prepare purchase orders, solicit bid proposals, and review requisitions for goods and services.
- Research and evaluate suppliers, based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier's reputation and history.
- Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other data and information to determine reasonable prices.
- Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations.
- Negotiate, renegotiate, and administer contracts with suppliers, vendors, and other representatives.
- Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time, and resolve problems related to undelivered goods.
- Confer with staff, users, and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action.
- Evaluate and monitor contract performance to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and to determine need for changes.
- Maintain and review computerized or manual records of purchased items, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories.
- Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
- Study sales records and inventory levels of current stock to develop strategic purchasing programs that facilitate employee access to supplies.
- Interview vendors and visit suppliers' plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices.
- Arrange the payment of duty and freight charges.
- Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters.
- Write and review product specifications, maintaining a working technical knowledge of the goods or services to be purchased.
- Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets.
- Formulate policies and procedures for bid proposals and procurement of goods and services.
- Attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, conventions, and seminars to network with people in other purchasing departments.
- Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Education, training, experience
- Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
- Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
- Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
- Engineering and Technology -Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Transportation -Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
- Personnel and Human Resources -Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Law and Government -Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- Economics and Accounting -Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- Production and Processing -Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Education and Training -Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language -Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Computers and Electronics -Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Mathematics -Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Administration and Management -Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Clerical -Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Customer and Personal Service -Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.