Transition To A Career in Purchasing or Procurement


Obtaining a successful Purchasing career

Purchasing and procurement is a multi-faceted part of supply chain management that generally requires a team of people with complementary skills to be successful. Professionals should consider transitioning into a purchasing career and capitalise on exciting opportunities. With so many areas of knowledge, you’d be surprised how easy it is to adapt your career.

What does a purchasing manager do?

A purchasing manager seeks goods and services and tries to buy the best available quality for the lowest possible price. Then, they provide these to the customer at the right time, to the highest satisfaction, all while maintaining a profit. Generally, larger companies and organisations need a large purchasing team. Those who work for manufacturers purchase raw or minimally processed materials. Those who work for wholesalers or retailers purchase finished goods.

Typically, a purchasing or procurement department will:

  • Study the market to identify price trends and future availability of materials and goods
  • Locate vendors
  • Negotiate prices and contracts
  • Prepare requisitions and purchase orders
  • Maintain purchase and procurement records
  • Understand warehousing and production
  • Deal with logistics and transport
  • Hire, train and manage juniors
  • Advise on product design or equipment specifications


How to transition your career into purchasing and procurement

1. Engineering to procurement

Your skills as an engineer can offer much-needed technical know-how to the procurement team. You understand how to manage projects, build stakeholder relationships and create efficiencies. Look for jobs with companies that supply to engineering or building industries.

2. Operations to supply chain management

As an operations expert, you will find the transition into supply chain management a logical career move. There are many areas of purchasing and procurement in which you will find you are a perfect fit. To move to the highest management levels, you must thrive under pressure, manage multiple tasks, be a great communicator and be motivated to exceed expectations.

3. Business administration to purchasing

An understanding of business and administration will be valued in any purchasing or procurement department. Your skills in managing processes are essential and will excel in purchasing if you can also learn how to manage people. Ruthless attention to detail along with a history of improving the bottom line will make you stand out in the application process.

Your Career in Supply Chain Management

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4. Accounting and bookkeeping to procurement

Sound financial management underpins every successful purchasing and procurement business unit. Inventory management, product design, creating and managing budgets, forecasting, financial reporting and purchase order systems are all areas that you can apply your knowledge for a successful career.

5. IT to supply chain management

Data analysis and business intelligence opportunities are now on the rise. Many emerging supply chain positions require a high-level data analyst with strong data scientist skills. A specialist understanding of robotics, artificial intelligence and ‘The Internet of Things’ will be highly sought after. Differentiate yourself positively by showing your experience using commercial business intelligence software applications.

6. Sales to purchasing

Purchasing isn’t all finance, operations and administration. Many sales skills are also required. Areas that every purchasing business needs to succeed in include:

  • Negotiating pricing
  • Renewing contracts
  • Managing supplier and customer relationships

A purchasing or procurement manager with these skills can play a vital role in the overall success of the business and will be relied upon by the CEO and COO as a strong team member.

How to get qualified in supply chain management

To be considered for an interview for a procurement or purchasing position you must have a respected and relevant qualification. An online Diploma of Business (Procurement) (BSB50120) offered by CAL will fill in any gaps in your knowledge and give you the career-ready skills every employee is looking for in today’s purchasing and procurement job market.

You can study part-time while working in your existing job or achieve your diploma in a shorter time frame by studying full-time. The flexibility to fast-track your studying is ideal if you have been made redundant or have a bulk of holiday leave you can take now.


Discover your career in supply chain management

Explore courses designed to help you take your career to the next level!

If you’re ready to expand your career, purchasing and procurement courses can help make that happen.

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