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Become A Planner/Buyer

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Working As A Planner/Buyer

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $56,173

    Average Salary

What Does A Planner/Buyer Do At General Electric

* In the role of Planner/Buyer you will:
* Interface with production, sales, purchasing and suppliers in order to schedule the receipt of raw material to meet production demand
* Be responsible for raw material scheduling, updating database, editing routine documents, procurement follow up and expediting management
* Possess strong negotiating skills and experience contacting suppliers / vendors regarding contract fulfillment and term issues
* Establish plant production schedules, WIP job management and maintain inventory database / cost structure
* Write, manage, and update the production control data and working rules and drive cost and cycle time reduction with supplier base using Six Sigma methodology
* Evaluate and drive resolution on all manufacturing material quality and supply issues
* Assure that the shop has the necessary materials, configuration records, manpower, and tooling to meet required production levels
* Identify and react to material plans that do not meet customer requirements
* Monitor implementation of corrective action plans
* Prepare and implement work orders and plans as required
* Be responsible for assigned suppliers / commodities to meet the requirements of the business
* Perform some or all of the required functions from initiation of intent to purchase to satisfactory delivery of material or service
* Solicit and evaluate proposals employing appropriate negotiation, cost and price analysis techniques, together with the effective utilization of available expertise from supporting organizations; implement purchase contracts with sound purchasing practices and applicable company and government regulations
* Evaluate current and anticipated requirements, determine potential sources, and stimulate competition

What Does A Planner/Buyer Do At Compass Group, North America

* Maintain an order schedule to assure products are in stock and avoid out of stock.
* Receive and collect product orders from different departments.
* Track and place daily orders to various vendors.
* Review all orders before submitting to vendors.
* Review inventory levels and compare to orders before submitting to vendors.
* Review usage projections and compare to orders before submitting to vendors.
* Daily communication with vendors in a high level professional manner while practicing email etiquette.
* Maintain excellent vendor and client relations.
* Work with different departments to facilitate a smooth day to day operation.
* Accomplish purchasing and organization mission by completing related results as needed

What Does A Planner/Buyer Do At System One Services

* Works with BU partners at Work Order creation and coordinates material/service procurement & fulfillment activities
* Ensures material/service planning and fulfillment requirements are met through SC and BU processes.
* Understands flow of demand to inventory, master agreements, and other purchase transactions.
* Executes POs accurately and in a timely manner.
* Develops/implements procurement strategies to achieve cost, schedule and quality goals.
* Achieves inventory management, scheduling coordination, supplier management, and process improvement objectives.
* Appraises, market, sells, and disposes of surplus assetsLeads customer material gathering, asset sale, and disposal requirements issue resolution, disputes and performance issues

What Does A Planner/Buyer Do At Continental Corporation

* Drive implementation of the sourcing strategy for assigned commodities.
* Establish working relationships with other functions (e.g. engineering, purchasing, logistics, and quality), bringing a strategic sourcing perspective to all key processes.
* The Category Manager must be successful at managing and influencing a cross-functional team to achieve desired business results.
* The Category Manager will act as a catalyst for change to achieve business goals as well as addressing barriers to change.
* Remain current on market trends, supplier economics, and best practice sourcing.
* Responsible for Supplier Management.
* On an ongoing basis, monitor and evaluate supplier performance (savings, quality, capacity, lead time) of suppliers.
* Conduct regular strategic business reviews with suppliers and stakeholders to ensure continuous improvement of the supply base

What Does A Planner/Buyer Do At Kelly Services

* Will be responsible for Material Planning and purchasing such as components, consumables, packaging etc.
* Will be responsible for De
* Installation planning and small/short term project planning
* Maintain material data in the systems L
* T, min/max etc.
* Reception and distribution of components material into the WH and a KanBan system
* Responsible for the data integrity/ Correlation between physical stock and information system stock Cycle Counts Determines and provides priority of orders to the suppliers.
* Plans receiving schedule of purchased parts.
* Maintain procurement records such as items or services purchased delivery, product quality or performance, and inventories.
* Search inventory records or warehouse to determine if material on hand is available in sufficient quantity.
* Compile records of items purchased or transferred between warehouses, prices, deliveries, and inventories.
* Responds to all vendor inquiries Vendor relationship maintenance as needed
* Set up purchase orders Maintain procurement status, e.g. delivery, quality and performance

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How To Become A Planner/Buyer

Although a high school diploma may be sufficient for some positions, many employers require buyers and purchasing agents to have a bachelor’s degree. Most entry-level positions require some form of on-the-job training.


Educational requirements usually vary with the size of the organization. Although a high school diploma may be enough at some organizations, many businesses require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree. For many positions, a degree in business, finance, or supply management is sufficient.

For those interested in a career as a buyer or purchasing agent of farm products, a degree in agriculture, agriculture production, or animal science is often beneficial.


Buyers and purchasing agents typically get on-the-job training for more than 1 year. During this time, they learn how to perform their basic duties, including monitoring inventory levels and negotiating with suppliers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

There are several certifications available for buyers and purchasing agents. Although some employers require certification, many do not.

Most of these certifications involve oral or written exams and have education and work experience requirements.

The Institute for Supply Management offers the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) credential, which covers a wide scope of purchasing professional duties. To receive the CPSM credential, candidates must pass three exams and those with a bachelor’s degree must possess at least 3 years of relevant work experience while those without a bachelor’s degree must have at least 5 years of relevant work experience.

The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) certification. The CPP certification is valid for 5 years. Candidates must earn a certain number of professional development “points” to renew their certification. Candidates initially become eligible and can renew their certification through a combination of purchasing-related experience, education, and professional contributions (such as published articles or delivered speeches).

APICS offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. Applicants must have 3 years of relevant business experience or a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for the CSCP credential. The credential is valid for 5 years. Candidates must also earn a certain number of professional development points to renew their certification.

The Next Level Purchasing Association offers the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) Certification. Although there are no education or work experience requirements, applicants must complete six online courses and pass an SPSM exam. Certification is valid for 4 years. Candidates must complete 32 continuing education hours in procurement-related topics to recertify for an additional four-year period.

The Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) offers two certifications for workers in federal, state, and local government. The Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) credential requires applicants to have earned at least an associate’s degree, possess at least 3 years of public procurement experience, and complete relevant training courses. The Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree, possess at least 5 years of public procurement experience, and complete additional training courses.

Those with the CPPB or the CPPO designation must renew their certification every 5 years by completing continuing education courses or attending procurement-related conferences or events.

The National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP), Institute for Public Procurement offers preparation courses for the UPPCC certification exams.


An experienced purchasing agent or buyer may become an assistant purchasing manager before advancing to purchasing manager, supply manager, or director of materials management. Buyers and purchasing agents with extensive work experience can also advance to become the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for an organization.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. When evaluating suppliers, buyers and purchasing agents must analyze their options and choose a supplier with the best combination of price, quality, delivery, or service. 

Decisionmaking skills. Buyers and purchasing agents must have the ability to make informed and timely decisions, choosing products that they think will sell.

Math skills. Buyers and purchasing agents must possess basic math skills. They must be able to compare prices from different suppliers to ensure that their organization is getting the best deal. 

Negotiating skills. Buyers and purchasing agents often must negotiate the terms of a contract with a supplier. Interpersonal skills and self-confidence, in addition to knowledge of the product, can help lead to successful negotiations.

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Planner/Buyer jobs

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Planner/Buyer Career Paths

Contractor Buyer Contracts Specialist Purchasing Manager
Director Of Global Sourcing
12 Yearsyrs
Material Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Contractor Buyer Senior Buyer Purchasing Manager
Director Of Sourcing
13 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Project Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Strategic Sourcing
13 Yearsyrs
Material Manager Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Director, Procurement
13 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager Program Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Supply Chain Manager
Global Supply Chain Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Master Scheduler Senior Buyer
Material Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Planner Planning Manager Material Manager
Material Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Subcontracts Manager Purchasing Manager
Materials Director
12 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager General Manager Account Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Analyst Supply Chain Specialist Purchasing Manager
Procurement Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Analyst Procurement Agent Purchasing Manager
Project Procurement Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Buyer Material Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Master Scheduler Material Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Manager, Procurement
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Contracts Administrator Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Senior Sourcing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Purchasing Manager
Supply Chain Director
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Buyer Purchasing Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Planner Master Scheduler Senior Buyer
Supply Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Planner/Buyer Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Chinese

  • Mandarin

  • Portuguese

  • French

  • German

  • Korean

  • Carrier

  • Japanese

  • Cantonese

  • Vietnamese

  • Russian

  • Italian

  • Arabic

  • Albanian

  • Swedish

  • Turkish

  • Hindi

  • Hebrew

  • Danish

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Planner/Buyer Education


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Real Planner/Buyer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Purchasing Specialist Zone Wholesale Houston, TX Apr 18, 2016 $115,606
Senor Category Purchasing Specialist Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. Troy, MI Jan 11, 2015 $100,000 -
Senior Category Purchasing Specialist Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. Troy, MI Apr 10, 2016 $100,000 -
Staff Buyer/Planner Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA May 12, 2016 $98,981 -
Buyer/Planner KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Nov 07, 2016 $98,238
Senior Purchasing Specialist Bechtel Oil, Gas &Amp; Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 18, 2016 $92,206 -
Purchasing Specialist T. Choithram & Sons (USA) Inc. New York, NY Mar 30, 2015 $88,000
Senior Advanced Purchasing Specialist Continental Automotive Systems Holding Us, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Oct 01, 2013 $87,055 -
Purchasing Specialist H.K.Technologies, Inc. New York, NY Jun 23, 2015 $85,500
Purchasing Specialist Ad Beauty Channel, Inc. Englewood, NJ Jan 14, 2016 $85,010
Purchasing Specialist JOON, LLC D/B/A AJIN USA Cusseta, AL Mar 23, 2016 $85,000
Purchasing Specialist Faraday&Future Inc. Gardena, CA Sep 05, 2016 $85,000
Purchasing Specialist Faraday&Future Inc. Gardena, CA May 09, 2016 $85,000
Purchasing Specialist Faraday & Future Inc. Gardena, CA Apr 06, 2015 $82,056 -
Buyer/Planner Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc. Edison, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $74,818 -
Purchasing Specialist Nextracker, Inc. Fremont, CA Sep 15, 2016 $74,568 -
Purchasing Specialist Kelly Services, Inc. East Hanover, NJ Sep 24, 2014 $73,045
Import Purchasing Specialist OKK Trading Inc. Vernon, CA Oct 01, 2013 $72,335
Buyer/Planner KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Aug 28, 2013 $72,000
Associate Purchasing Specialist-High Voltage Electronics Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 17, 2016 $70,000 -
Associate Purchasing Specialist-Pcba Sourcing Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 17, 2016 $70,000 -
Buyer/Planner KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Oct 01, 2014 $69,622
Senior Purchasing Specialist NB Ventures, Inc. Clark, NJ Oct 01, 2015 $58,000
Purchasing Specialist TK Electric LLC Clarksville, TN Apr 27, 2016 $57,998
Purchasing Specialist Bare Escentuals, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 06, 2013 $57,500
Purchasing Specialist Toyoda Gosei North America Corporation Troy, MI Sep 17, 2016 $57,100 -
Buyer/Planner A.M. Castle and Co. Oak Brook, IL Sep 08, 2015 $57,000
Buyer/Planner Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc. Sacramento, CA May 13, 2013 $55,578 -
Purchasing Specialist JOON LLC Cusseta, AL Oct 01, 2014 $55,493

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Top Skills for A Planner/Buyer


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Top Planner/Buyer Skills

  1. Supply Chain
  2. Purchase Orders
  3. New Vendors
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Commended for teaming up production and supply chain operations therefore increasing sales from 300K to 800k currently.
  • Release Purchase Orders for production material, floor stock items and all purchases to support the Business unit.
  • Reviewed vendors' W-9 forms, setup and applied payment terms for new vendors.
  • Establish cost for new and existing part numbers.
  • Procured material, scheduled deliveries, and expedited orders based on MRP/manufacturing build signals.

Top Planner/Buyer Employers

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