Companies need to maintain a healthy level of profit, and establishing strict budget protocols related to expenditures is part of that process. In the purchasing department, the procurement analyst owns this responsibility. He or she will act as liaison between his or her organization, the organization’s finance department, and the company’s vendors or potential vendors. Responsible for both establishing and adhering to procurement guidelines, a procurement analyst contributes to the overall financial strategy of the organization. Evaluation of potential and established vendors is part of this process as well as negotiation of agreements and pricing to procure merchandise, services or supplies.
A procurement analyst will often complete Requests for Information (RFIs), which in an assessment tool utilized to gather data that accurately gauges the strengths and abilities of prospective vendors as well as exposing any weaknesses that might impact the analyst’s organizational financial strategy. Additionally, he or she may also prepare Requests for Proposal (RFPs), requesting vendors to submit bids for services, merchandise or supplies to support organizational goals. Upon gathering the data in the RFIs and RFPs, he or she will analyze the available information to make determinations regarding vendors and usually settle on selecting one of more vendors for contract.
Negotiation is the next phase of the process in which the procurement analyst will negotiate with the chosen vendors the terms of the agreement. This process is usually focused on documenting clear expectations required of both parties as well as establishing final pricing structures. Furthermore, the procurement analyst often holds the responsibility for drafting and renewing all contracts between his or her organization and its vendors. Final contracts will need to specify all guidelines and stipulations articulated in the agreement, including, but not limited to, goods and services purchased, contract length, time frames expected for delivery of goods or services, expectations in terms of quality and quantities, and clear payment terms.
Establishing a working relationship with the vendor is of crucial importance, and once established the procurement analyst will use his or her data analysis capabilities to compare vendor terms and performance with market data. Analyzing current market trends and forecasting future performance of goods and services in the open market will provide relevant data used in recommending purchasing strategies that align with the organization's financial goals. Therefore, a procurement analyst will spend a great deal of time translating raw data into information that can be used to make decisions.