Procurement manager jobs can be found in all types of organizations, from factories to farms and clothing stores to hospitals. Also called purchasing managers, purchasing agents, or buyers, people in this position buy a variety of goods for many different purposes. Purchasing and procurement are similar concepts, but procurement focuses more on cost and trying to get the highest-quality goods for the lowest possible price.
The specific items purchased by a procurement manager depend on the type of business or organization doing the buying. Goods vary, depending on the type of industry, what is needed to do business, and the size of the company. Senior procurement manager jobs require in-depth knowledge of the goods or services purchased. These positions routinely come via career ladder promotion and may demand years of experience.
Retail or wholesale procurement managers are also called buyers, and they typically purchase goods that will be resold either to the public or to another business. Examples of items bought in this industry include clothing, electronics, and food products. Buyers work closely with goods manufacturers or wholesalers to find the best prices for the goods they purchase. These types of procurement manager jobs require good instincts regarding consumer needs and wants, and solid understanding of the market in which the business operates.
Some procurement manager jobs can be found in manufacturing businesses, such as farming, food, or gas companies. These agents might buy large equipment such as trucks, drills, or tractors. Procurement managers working for a food manufacturer may purchase grains or produce for use in food products that will be sold to grocery stores for resale to the public. Specialized knowledge and industry expertise are important for these procurement manager jobs, because the items purchased can be expensive or perishable.
Purchasing procurement manager jobs are typically found in corporations and small businesses. These positions involve purchasing materials, supplies, and equipment necessary for running a business. This could range from office furniture to computers to printer paper. Large companies may ask procurement managers to purchase goods for multiple locations, because buying more usually saves money via quantity discounts. Business and finance experience helps with this type of procurement job, because accurate budgeting is often a focus of big corporations.
Since procurement focuses on getting the best deal for the lowest price, some senior procurement manager jobs specialize in negotiating contracts for goods or services. These positions require industry expertise and an acute awareness of pricing and availability of goods. Experience with delivery times and seasonal issues may be important when negotiating some contracts. Good communication and effective negotiating skills are vital for procurement manager jobs that specialize in formulating contracts.