Procurement administrators buy in goods and services that their organisations need. These can range from office supplies or raw materials for manufacture, to cleaning, training or consultancy services. They are also called purchasing officers or assistants. In retail, they are usually called buyers.
You could be:
researching new suppliers and products, using the internet, phone and sometimes attending trade fairs
choosing product ranges and presenting new ideas to managers
getting and comparing prices from several suppliers
visiting suppliers and negotiating prices and delivery dates
checking that goods and services are fit for purpose and meet with the organisation's requirements
making sure goods arrive on time, checking their condition, storing them and paying the suppliers
entering into and managing contracts with product suppliers and service providers
recording and monitoring stock levels.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay for junior procurement administrators could be between £18,000 and £25,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £33,000 and £38,500 a year. Some salary schemes include bonuses or commission.
You are mostly in an office, but go to meetings with suppliers.
You work normal office hours Monday to Friday, but sometimes overtime would be necessary, to meet deadlines.
You might sometimes stay away overnight.
You may travel around the UK or abroad, to attend trade fairs and visit suppliers.
Most companies want you to have a relevant qualification with training in procurement and supply.
You may enter through a Modern Apprenticeship in Procurement, where you would work towards SVQ Procurement at SCQF Level 6. To get in you would need around 3 to 4 subjects at National 5, including English and Maths or an IT subject. Administration experience would be useful.
You do not need formal qualifications if you already have relevant experience in retailing and purchasing.
You may be able to get on a company training scheme. To get in, you need at least a group of Highers. Often, you need an HND (SCQF Level 8) or degree (SCQF Levels 9-10).
City of Glasgow College offers an HND in Supply Chain Management. Entry requirements are 2 Highers including English.
Glasgow Caledonian University offer 3rd year entry to the BA/BA (Hons) International Supply Chain Management, which is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS). Entry is with a relevant HND.
To work in a specific industry, such as fashion or engineering, you may need a degree in a relevant subject.
For some jobs you will need to understand project plans and technical specifications.
What Does it Take?
You should be:
confident when talking to people from all backgrounds
good at negotiating
good at judging the value of things
able to plan and prioritise work
able to make decisions quickly
able to work to deadlines.
You should have:
excellent written and verbal communication skills
good analytical skills
good number and IT skills
a good knowledge of products, suppliers and distribution.
Modern Apprenticeships involve on the job training at work and off the job training at college or a training centre on a day or block release basis.
Company training involves on the job training, with part time study towards the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) qualifications. These range from the entry level Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations, through to the Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply.
A number of universities offer relevant degree courses which lead to CIPS accreditation. In Scotland, there are accredited postgraduate degrees available at Glasgow Caledonian, Heriot Watt and Robert Gordon Universities. Check the CIPS website for details.
In a big company you might become a procurement manager with further experience and qualifications.
You could move into related areas of work, such as stores and materials control, or sales and marketing, or into general management.