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There are five roles on a procurement team: buyer, procurement officer, procurement manager, director, and procurement analyst. Procurement is another term for purchasing and is used to describe activities related to the purchasing of materials and supplies for the operation of a business or other organization. All members of a procurement team provide essential services and skills required to effectively meet the requirements of a large organization.
In order to qualify to become a member of the procurement team, all candidates are required to complete a minimum college diploma in business or purchasing. Professional procurement staff is required to complete a undergraduate degree or four-year diploma from an accredited university. In addition to this requirement, most employers will require candidates to have obtained a professional designation as a Certified Procurement Professional® (CPP®). Managerial staff often have a master's in business administration or post-graduate certificate in procurement.
Within the procurement team, buyer is an entry-level position. Procurement officer and analyst are professional positions but typically do not have supervisory responsibilities. The procurement manager is required to complete supervisory and managerial responsibilities. The procurement director sets the strategic direction and is involved in high-value negotiations.
The responsibilities of the procurement team are usually divided by two aspects: commodity and dollar value. Commodity is a term used to describe a specific group of products or services. The level of authorization is closely tied to the level of education and position within the organizational structure.
For example, one buyer in a bakery may be assigned all dry goods and another buyer all packaging materials. He or she is responsible for selecting a suitable vendor from an approved list and issuing a purchase order. The purchasing officer is responsible for issuing the request for proposals (RFPs) and reviewing submissions to select the approved vendor or vendors for the buyer's list.
The purchasing manager is responsible for supervising the work of the buyers and procurement officers. Any RFPs over a predetermined dollar value are managed by the procurement manager. This separation is irrespective of the commodity type.
Purchasing analysis is primarily an information technology position. This person is responsible for creating reports to track spending activity against contracts and non-contracted spending and ensuring policy compliance. Additional training in statistics, data management, and related skills is often required in this role.
The procurement director selects the long-term direction for the department and participates in high-profile contract negotiations. For example, many companies are moving toward electronic procurement systems as a cost-reduction method. The structural, procedural, and policy changes required for this shift are managed by the procurement director.
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