Purchasing manager

Alternative job titles
procurement manager
buyer

Role info

You would buy the best quality equipment, goods and services for your company or organisation at the most competitive rates.

It would be your aim to save money for your company or organisation.

You would need to analyse information from suppliers to check the quality of their goods or services and the cost. You could negotiate with the suppliers to try and get a lower price.

There are lots of different industries or areas you could work in, so what you’d buy would depend on your employer.

For example, you could buy:

  • Raw materials and engineering components for a manufacturing company
  • Wholesale goods from a producer to be sold by a shop
  • Furniture, stationery and cleaning services for your organisation’s offices

You would:

  • Decide what goods, services and equipment your employer needs.
  • Check and forecast stock levels
  • Research and identify new products and suppliers
  • Assess information and tenders from potential suppliers
  • Negotiate prices and agree contracts
  • Make sure that suppliers deliver on time
  • Process payments and invoices
  • Keep up with market trends

In larger organisations you might run a purchasing department and lead a team of buyers and administrators.

In smaller companies, you might combine purchasing responsibilities with other management duties.

Working conditions

Hours

You would typically work standard office hours, Monday to Friday, perhaps with overtime to meet an occasional deadline. Part-time work may be available.

Environment

You would be mainly office-based.

Travel

You may travel to meet suppliers.

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

Many employers expect entrants to have a relevant Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or degree (SCQF level 9/10).

Some employers may offer a graduate training scheme where you would work towards professional qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS).

An alternative entry route is to start as a procurement officer and work your way up taking professional qualifications through CIPS while you work.

Entry requirements for the Higher National Diploma (HND) Supply Chain Management course at City of Glasgow College are two Highers at C minimum.

Entry to the third year of the International Supply Chain Management course at Glasgow Caledonian University is through completion of the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Supply Chain Management first.

Postgraduate courses accredited by the CIPS are available at Heriot-Watt University and Robert Gordon University.

You will also need

Once in the job most employers will expect you to gain professional qualifications through the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) if you have not acquired these through your course.

Some employers will require qualifications that are relevant to their industry instead of, or in addition to, procurement qualifications.

Helpful to have

Relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualifications in Supply Chain Management (SVQ level 3 /4 /5).

People doing this kind of job in the UK have these types of qualifications

Opportunities

Overview of similar roles

The information below relates to several job roles. These jobs are at the same level, and the tasks you’ll do and the skills and qualifications you’ll need are similar.

Career overview

Average UK salary range

Currently employed in Scotland

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