What Does A Procurement Manager Do?
Procurement managers are responsible for overseeing the buying activities of a company to ensure that it has all the materials, items and personnel it needs to function efficiently. The kind of company that a procurement manager works for will determine the items that he will be purchasing. If he is working for a grocery chain, for example, he will be tasked with looking for suppliers of both processed food products and fresh farm produce. If he is working for a clothing company, part of his job would be sourcing out the best suppliers for fabrics, beads and laces.
One of the most important tasks of procurement managers centers on evaluating prospective suppliers. Many companies are now operating on reduced budgets and as a result, they run their operations on a strict inventory. Thus, they have to see to it that the supplier will deliver the inventory they request for on-time. A company who happens to do business with an efficient vendor risks losing their clients when they have already ran out of inventory and the orders haven’t been delivered yet.
Part of the job of procurement managers is to ensure that the members of the procurement staff follow the rules of the company regarding the purchase of these materials. They need to make certain that the policies are made clear particularly when the firm allows its different departments to make their own purchases for their own needs. It’s essential for these rules to be followed so that the firm does not have to worry about legal issues. The regulations are also placed there to guide the departments in observing the proper process to ensure that the company gets the best deal—that is, that they are able to get the best quality at the most affordable price.
In a typical day, procurement managers will see themselves evaluating proposals from suppliers and comparing them with that of others. They will talk with and interview suppliers to get the specifics of their offers. Once they have made their choice, the next task of the procurement manager is to prepare and review the contract. After the agreement has been made, the manager sees to it that the terms of the contract are followed.
To help the company maximize its resources and minimize waste, procurement managers may frequently have to source suppliers from various places. Often, they are found not only within the United States but in other areas of the world. In these arrangements, they may be required to travel to these countries and make the arrangements there. They also need to know the rules and regulations that govern international shipping and entry of these goods to the shores of the United States. It also part of their job to build relationships with the key people in these organizations so that the process will be faster, easier and smoother in succeeding transactions.
Procurement managers are responsible for the efficient day-to-day operations of their department. If there are items that are delivered that don’t conform to the specifications of the contract, they get in touch with the supplier right away so that the error can be rectified. They also see to it that the deliveries are made on time by keeping in touch with suppliers regarding the scheduling. They also coordinate with the accounting department to ensure that the suppliers are paid on time.
Procurement managers need to constantly be at the top of their game because changes in the industry could affect the pricing and quality of the goods and services they get from suppliers. Thus, they need to attend industry gatherings like tradeshows and conferences to learn about the latest trends. These occasions also provide great opportunities for managers to meet with other suppliers and widen their contacts.
Since this is a managerial position, conducting performance evaluation and other related tasks of the various departments in the company is also part of the job of procurement managers. Using different criteria which include the customer service provided and how much the department has helped the company save, they will be reviewing the department’s performance in the period covered by the evaluation. This will help the company find out whether the departments are doing their share in making the company more profitable.
Procurement managers handle the daily problems that crop up regarding procurement activities. They see to it that materials and supplies arrive on time so that the company’s operations can proceed without any delays.