Procurement officer is a commonly used term that describes someone who works full time in the field of procurement or purchasing. There are specific education, certification, and experience requirements to get a job as a procurement officer. This role is most commonly found in large organizations or businesses with a centralized purchasing department.
In order to become a procurement officer, most employers require successful completion of post-secondary education. This can be either a university or college degree, typically in business although a select few colleges provide training programs in procurement or purchasing. Many purchasing officers complete a professional designation or certification program. These private organizations vary by state, but offer a post-graduate certification program designed to increase confidence for employers, as well as the profile of procurement as a profession.
If you enjoy providing customer service, are naturally outgoing, and want to work in purchasing, then procurement officer is a great position. There is a hierarchy of procurement positions that are available in a purchasing department: buyer, officer, and manager. A buyer is an entry-level position and has primarily administrative duties.
A person in this position has a range of responsibilities, including preparing and managing requests for proposals, reviewing large value purchase orders, working with clients, and reviewing the bidding process. A procurement manager typically has several buyers and procurement officers under his or her supervision. He or she is responsible for ensuring policy is followed, responding to complaints, and management of the department.
In some organizations, the procurement officer is responsible for specific commodity types, managing the entire purchasing process from initial requisition to invoice processing. Other organizations organize the procurement department by client group or geographical location. The level of experience and skill of the officer plays a large role in his or her ability to reduce costs to the business.
In a small organization, the procurement officer can also take on negotiations with suppliers. Negotiations are common with high dollar value purchases, shared buying programs, or long-term contracts. It is the responsibility of this person to get the best combination of price, service, and terms for the company. Many people focus on the dollar value, but there is significant amount of savings to be found in negotiation of delivery dates or a specific level of quality.
Procurement is an increasingly important area in many companies, due to its unique role in the purchasing process. An effective officer can help the company reduce costs, obtain quality goods, and manage cash flow. This is a very important role in all firms, both large and small.