Procurement managers manage departments or teams which buy goods and services for their organisations, ensuring best value for money. These can range from office supplies or raw materials for manufacture, to training, marketing or IT services. They are also called purchasing managers.
You could be:
researching new potential suppliers and product ranges
comparing bids from suppliers (or 'tenders') in terms of value for money, reliability and service
negotiating contracts and prices with suppliers, including discounts for bulk orders
developing and implementing the company purchasing strategy and policies
compiling a database of approved and preferred suppliers
evaluating the performance of suppliers, and producing reports, recommendations and statistics
monitoring and forecasting stock levels and demand, or price trends on products and services
visiting existing and new suppliers and attending meetings and trade fairs
managing a procurement team or department, making sure performance targets are met and arranging staff training.
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 procurement managers could be between £27,000 and £37,000 a year. With experience this can rise to £50,000 a year or more. Senior managers or specialists may earn up to over £100,000 a year. Some salary schemes include bonuses or commission.
You are mostly based 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.
To work in a specific industry, such as fashion or engineering, you may need a degree in a relevant subject first of all.
You can look for work in most types of company including local authorities, the Armed Forces, the NHS, colleges and universities. Other big employers are private organisations, such as wholesalers or transportation firms, fashion or retail stores, engineering or construction companies.
What Does it Take?
You should be:
an excellent written and verbal communicator
confident when talking to people from all backgrounds
good at negotiating
good at judging the value of things
able to work to deadlines.
You should have:
good analytical skills
good planning and organisational skills
good number and IT skills
a good knowledge of products, suppliers and distribution.
Training is on the job, usually through a company training scheme.
You would work towards professional qualifications and membership of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (MCIPS).
Relevant CIPS qualifications range from the Certificate in Procurement and Supply Operations, through to the Professional Diploma in Procurement and Supply.
You could study for the Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Supply Chain Management at SCQF Levels 7, 9 and 11.
You will be expected to keep your knowledge and training up to date through a programme of continuous professional development (CPD), by attending a set number of hours every year of training seminars and workshops.
You could progress by managing a procurement team, or moving to a department that manages a larger supply of goods and services.
Your chances of promotion or moving around geographically would increase by attaining Fellowship of the CIPS (FCIPS), the highest level.
You may be able to become a self-employed buyer.
You could move into related areas of work, such as stores and materials control, or sales and marketing, or into general management.