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PERSONALIZED JOBS

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

Buyers and purchasing agents buy products and services for organizations to use or resell. They evaluate suppliers, negotiate contracts, and review the quality of products.

Duties

Buyers and purchasing agents typically do the following:

  • Evaluate suppliers on the basis of the price, quality, and speed of delivery of their products and services
  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers’ plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices
  • Attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other information to determine reasonable prices
  • Negotiate contracts on behalf of their organization
  • Work out agreements with suppliers, such as when products will be delivered
  • Meet with staff and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action
  • Evaluate and monitor contracts to be sure that vendors and supplies comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and to determine the need for changes
  • Maintain and review records of items bought, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories

Buyers and purchasing agents buy farm products, durable and nondurable goods, and services for organizations and institutions. They try to get the best deal for their organization: the highest quality goods and services at the lowest cost. They do this by studying sales records and inventory levels of current stock, identifying foreign and domestic suppliers, and keeping up to date with changes affecting both the supply of, and demand for, products and materials.

Purchasing agents and buyers consider price, quality, availability, reliability, and technical support when choosing suppliers and merchandise. To be effective, purchasing agents and buyers must have a working technical knowledge of the goods or services they are purchasing.

Evaluating suppliers is one of the most critical functions of a buyer or purchasing agent. Many organizations run on a lean manufacturing schedule and use just-in-time inventories, so any delays in the supply chain can shut down production and cause the organization to lose customers.

Buyers and purchasing agents use many resources to find out all they can about potential suppliers. They attend meetings, trade shows, and conferences to learn about new industry trends and make contacts with suppliers.

They often interview prospective suppliers and visit their plants and distribution centers to assess their capabilities. For example, they may discuss the design of products with design engineers, quality concerns with production supervisors, or shipping issues with managers in the receiving department.

Buyers and purchasing agents must make certain that the supplier can deliver the desired goods or services on time, in the correct quantities, and without sacrificing quality. Once they have gathered information on suppliers, they sign contracts with suppliers who meet the organization’s needs and they place orders.

Buyers who purchase items to resell to customers may determine which products their organization will sell. They need to be able to predict what will appeal to their customers. If they are wrong, they could jeopardize the profits and reputation of their organization.

Buyers who work for large organizations often specialize in purchasing one or two categories of products or services. Buyers who work for smaller businesses or government agencies may be responsible for making a greater variety of purchases.

Wholesale and retail buyers purchase goods for resale to consumers. Examples of these goods are clothing and electronics. Purchasing specialists who buy finished goods for resale are commonly known as buyers or merchandise managers.

Purchasing agents and buyers of farm products buy agricultural products for further processing or resale. Examples of these products are grain, cotton, and tobacco.

Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, and farm products buy items for the operation of an organization. Examples of these items are chemicals and industrial equipment needed for a manufacturing establishment, and office supplies.

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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.

Education

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.

Training

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.

Advancement

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

Planner/Buyer
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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Average Length of Employment
Senior Buyer 5.1 years
Purchasing Manager 4.6 years
Planner/Scheduler 4.5 years
Material Manager 4.5 years
Produce Buyer 4.2 years
Purchasing Buyer 4.2 years
Purchasing Agent 4.0 years
Planner/Buyer 4.0 years
Corporate Buyer 3.9 years
Production Planner 3.9 years
Plant Buyer 3.8 years
Senior Planner 3.8 years
Buyer 3.8 years
Technical Buyer 3.8 years
Master Planner 3.6 years
Service Planner 3.5 years
Buying Analyst 3.5 years
Logistics Planner 3.4 years
Procurement Buyer 3.4 years
Materials Planner 3.4 years
Strategic Buyer 3.3 years
Buyer Lead 3.3 years
Product Planner 3.3 years
Material Lead 3.3 years
Inventory Planner 3.3 years
Contractor Buyer 3.3 years
Buyer/Expeditor 3.2 years
Material Analyst 3.1 years
Procurement Agent 3.1 years
Purchaser 2.9 years
Planner 2.9 years
Associate Buyer 2.8 years
Assistant Buyer 2.7 years
Purchase Analyst 2.7 years
Supply Planner 2.6 years
Demand Planner 2.6 years
Junior Buyer/Buyer 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Buyer 23.1%
Senior Buyer 11.7%
Planner 3.5%
Internship 2.0%
Manager 2.0%
Top Employers After
Buyer 20.9%
Senior Buyer 17.6%
Planner 2.8%

Planner/Buyer Demographics

Gender

Female

51.6%

Male

46.2%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

76.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.1%

Asian

8.5%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.7%

Chinese

13.0%

Mandarin

10.4%

Portuguese

4.1%

French

3.6%

German

2.8%

Korean

2.6%

Carrier

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Cantonese

2.1%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Italian

1.3%

Arabic

1.3%

Albanian

0.5%

Swedish

0.3%

Turkish

0.3%

Hindi

0.3%

Hebrew

0.3%

Danish

0.3%
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Planner/Buyer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

28.4%

Michigan State University

7.2%

Arizona State University

6.2%

University of Houston

5.7%

San Jose State University

5.6%

Pennsylvania State University

4.4%

Northeastern University

4.4%

Strayer University

3.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.9%

Texas A&M University

3.6%

De Anza College

3.3%

Western Michigan University

3.0%

Indiana Wesleyan University

2.9%

Portland State University

2.9%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

2.7%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

2.6%

DePaul University

2.4%

American InterContinental University

2.4%

Iowa State University

2.4%

Syracuse University

2.3%
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Majors

Business

48.9%

Supply Chain Management

9.1%

Management

7.1%

Accounting

5.2%

Marketing

4.6%

Finance

2.9%

Communication

2.0%

Industrial Engineering

1.9%

Economics

1.8%

Psychology

1.7%

Education

1.7%

International Business

1.7%

Operations Management

1.7%

General Studies

1.6%

Project Management

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Computer Science

1.4%

Human Resources Management

1.3%

English

1.2%

Computer Information Systems

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.6%

Other

20.4%

Masters

16.5%

Associate

10.5%

Certificate

4.5%

Diploma

0.8%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Planner/Buyer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Purchasing Specialist Zone Wholesale Houston, TX Apr 18, 2016 $115,606
Senior Category Purchasing Specialist Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. Troy, MI Apr 10, 2016 $100,000 -
$102,708
Senor Category Purchasing Specialist Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. Troy, MI Jan 11, 2015 $100,000 -
$102,708
Staff Buyer/Planner Western Digital Technologies, Inc. Milpitas, CA May 12, 2016 $98,981 -
$110,000
Buyer/Planner KLA-Tencor Corporation Milpitas, CA Nov 07, 2016 $98,238
Planner Buyer SR. Advisor Dell Products, LP Austin, TX Sep 06, 2014 $93,000
Planner Buyer SR. Advisor Dell Products L.P. Round Rock, TX Aug 20, 2015 $93,000
Senior Purchasing Specialist Bechtel Oil, Gas &Amp; Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 18, 2016 $92,206 -
$114,600
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 -
$92,878
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 Faraday&Future Inc. Gardena, CA May 09, 2016 $85,000
Purchasing Specialist Faraday&Future Inc. Gardena, CA Sep 05, 2016 $85,000
Purchasing Specialist-It Kohler Company Kohler, WI Jun 05, 2015 $74,850 -
$112,250
Buyer/Planner Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc. Edison, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $74,818 -
$101,000
Purchasing Specialist Nextracker, Inc. Fremont, CA Sep 15, 2016 $74,568 -
$101,837
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 -
$80,000
Associate Purchasing Specialist-Pcba Sourcing Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 17, 2016 $70,000 -
$80,000
Buyer/Planner II National Oilwell Varco, L.P. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $58,710
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 -
$67,587
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 -
$77,000
Purchasing Specialist JOON LLC Cusseta, AL Oct 01, 2014 $55,493

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Top Skills for A Planner/Buyer

SupplyChainPurchaseOrdersNewVendorsPartNumbersMRPProductionScheduleRawMaterialsInventoryLevelsCustomerServiceCostSavingsProductLinesMROCostReductionSafetyStockLogisticsInventoryControlERPKanbanRFQISO

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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

Planner/Buyer Videos

How to do PROPER Keyword Research and find BUYERS KEYWORDS with the Google Keyword Planner

Erin Condren Life Planner Review & Organization 2014-2015 Edition

Career Advice on becoming a Fashion Buyer by Sahar K (Full Version)

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