What’s a procurement team?

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Procurement, or purchasing, involves five roles: buyer, purchasing director, purchasing manager, purchasing officer, and purchasing analyst. Applicants need a minimum college degree and may need a CPP designation. The team is responsible for merchandise and dollar value, with different levels of authorization based on education and position. The purchasing director sets the strategic direction and manages high-value deals. The purchasing analyst is responsible for creating reports to track spend activity against contracts and non-contract spend. The purchasing manager supervises the work of buyers and purchasing officers.

There are five roles on a purchasing team: Buyer, Purchasing Director, Purchasing Manager, Purchasing Director, and Purchasing Analyst. Procurement is another term for purchasing and is used to describe activities related to purchasing materials and supplies for the operation of a business or other organization. All members of a purchasing team provide essential services and skills needed to effectively meet the requirements of a large organization.

To qualify to become a member of the purchasing team, all applicants must complete a minimum college degree in business or purchasing. Professional procurement staff are required to complete either an undergraduate degree or a four-year degree from an accredited university. In addition to this requirement, most employers will require applicants to obtain a professional designation as a Certified Procurement Professional (CPP). Management staff usually hold a master’s degree in business administration or a graduate certificate in purchasing.

Within the procurement team, the buyer is an entry-level position. Purchasing officer and analyst are professional positions but typically do not have supervisory responsibilities. It is necessary for the purchasing manager to fulfill supervisory and management responsibilities. The purchasing director sets the strategic direction and is involved in high-value deals.

Purchasing team responsibilities are generally divided into two aspects: merchandise and dollar value. Commodity is a term used to describe a specific group of products or services. The level of authorization is closely linked to the level of education and position within the organizational structure.

For example, one buyer at a bakery might receive all dry goods and another buyer all packaging materials. He is responsible for selecting a suitable supplier from an approved list and issuing a purchase order. The Purchasing Director is responsible for issuing Request for Proposals (RFPs) and reviewing submissions to select the approved supplier or suppliers for the buyer list.

The purchasing manager is responsible for supervising the work of buyers and purchasing officers. Any RFPs above a predetermined dollar amount are managed by the purchasing manager. This separation is independent of the type of goods.

Purchasing analysis is primarily an information technology position. This person is responsible for creating reports to track spend activity against contracts and non-contract spend and ensure compliance with policies. Additional training in statistics, data management, and related skills in this role is often required.

The purchasing director selects the long-term direction for the department and participates in high-profile contract negotiations. For example, many companies are adopting electronic purchasing systems as a cost-cutting method. The structural, procedural, and policy changes necessary for this change are managed by the purchasing director.

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