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Purchasing managers plan, direct, and coordinate the buying of materials, products, or services for wholesalers, retailers, or organizations. They oversee the work of procurement-related occupations including buyers and purchasing agents.Duties
Purchasing managers typically do the following:
Purchasing managers plan and coordinate the work of buyers and purchasing agents and hire and train new staff.
Purchasing managers, sometimes known as contract managers, are also responsible for developing their organization’s procurement policies and procedures. These policies help ensure that procurement professionals are meeting ethical standards to avoid potential conflicts of interest or inappropriate supplier and customer relations.
Besides establishing procurement standards, purchasing managers set guidelines on how often their department will get price quotes for items, how many bids to accept, and which vendors to consider.
In addition to carrying out their managerial and administrative responsibilities, purchasing managers buy goods and services for their organization or institution. Like buyers and purchasing agents, purchasing managers negotiate contracts and consider price, quality, availability, reliability, and technical support when identifying and choosing suppliers and merchandise. Their negotiations and contracts are typically more complex than those carried out by buyers and purchasing agents.
Purchasing managers must study their organization’s sales records and inventory levels of current stock, identify foreign and domestic suppliers, and keep up to date with changes affecting both the supply of, and demand for, products and materials.
Purchasing managers 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 to make contacts with suppliers.
Before signing a contract and placing an order, purchasing managers must make certain that the supplier can deliver the desired goods or services on time, in the correct quantities, and without sacrificing quality. Purchasing managers monitor the terms of the contracts in order to ensure that the supplier is complying with its terms and conditions and resolve any supplier-related issues that arise.
Purchasing managers need a bachelor’s degree and work experience as a buyer or purchasing agent.Education
Purchasing managers usually have at least a bachelor’s degree and some work experience in procurement. A master’s degree may be required for advancement to some top-level purchasing manager jobs.Work Experience in a Related Occupation
Purchasing managers typically must have at least 5 years of experience as a buyer or purchasing agent. At the top levels, purchasing manager duties may overlap with other management functions, such as production, planning, logistics, and marketing.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
There are several certifications available for purchasing managers and others employed in a procurement-related field. Although some employers require certification, many do not.
Most of the 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 possess at least 3 years of relevant work experience for those with a bachelor’s degree or 5 years of relevant work experience for those without a bachelor’s degree.
The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) and the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) credentials. 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 articles published or speeches delivered).
APICS, founded as the American Production and Inventory Control Society, offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. Applicants must have 3 years of related business experience or a bachelor’s degree in order to be eligible for the CSCP credential, which 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 4-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, to have at least 3 years of public procurement experience, and to complete relevant training courses. The Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO) requires applicants to have earned a bachelor’s degree, to have at least 5 years of public procurement experience, and to 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’s (NIGP’s) Institute for Public Procurement offers preparation courses for the UPPCC certification exams.Advancement
An experienced and qualified purchasing manager may advance to become the chief procurement officer for a business or organization.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. When evaluating suppliers, purchasing managers must analyze their options and choose a supplier with the best combination of price, quality, delivery, service, or other criteria.
Decisionmaking skills. Purchasing managers must have the ability to make informed and timely decisions, choosing products that they think will sell.
Math skills. Purchasing managers 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. Purchasing managers 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 negotiation.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Purchasing Manager
Top Careers After Purchasing Manager
Hispanic or Latino10.0%
Black or African American0.7%
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University of Phoenix22.6%
Michigan State University8.8%
Arizona State University7.5%
Pennsylvania State University6.1%
Indiana Wesleyan University3.9%
San Jose State University3.8%
University of Houston3.5%
Texas A&M University3.4%
Ohio State University3.3%
Southern New Hampshire University3.2%
Western Michigan University3.2%
Iowa State University3.1%
Fashion Institute of Technology3.1%
Wayne State University3.0%
Central Michigan University2.8%
Northern Illinois University2.6%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Contracts and Procurement Manager||Lukoil International Upstream West Inc.||Houston, TX||Feb 10, 2016||$272,100|
|Purchasing Manager||Orleasn International Inc.||Farmington Hills, MI||Sep 14, 2016||$265,000|
|Purchasing Manager||Orleans International Inc.||Farmington Hills, MI||Sep 14, 2016||$265,000|
|Global Commodities Strategist||RBC Capital Markets, LLC||New York, NY||Mar 16, 2015||$200,000 -
|Contracts and Procurement Manager||Lukoil International Upstream West Inc.||Houston, TX||Feb 10, 2016||$200,000|
|Purchasing Manager-Americas||Futuris Automotive (Us) Inc.||Newark, CA||Jan 02, 2016||$180,000|
|Associate Sourcing Manager||The Children's Place Services Company, LLC||Secaucus, NJ||Mar 19, 2015||$170,893|
|Indirect Purchasing Manager, Software Licensing||Nextev LLC||San Jose, CA||Nov 14, 2016||$170,000|
|Strategic Sourcing Mgmt||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Aug 07, 2016||$169,021 -
|Purchasing Manager||Watch Empire Inc.||Ridgefield, NJ||May 16, 2016||$165,600|
|Purchasing Manager/International||26 International Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Oct 27, 2015||$165,290|
|Regional Supplier Sourcing Manager||CB&I Inc.||Houston, TX||Oct 13, 2016||$165,000|
|Regional Supplier Sourcing Manager||CB&I Inc.||The Woodlands, TX||Oct 13, 2016||$165,000|
|Strategic Sourcing MGR||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Jul 23, 2016||$161,117 -
|Global Strategic Commodity Manager||AGCO Corporation||Duluth, GA||Aug 20, 2016||$110,000|
|Commodity Manager||Meebox, Inc.||Allen, TX||Nov 16, 2016||$110,000|
|Manager Sourcing||Paramount Pictures Corporation||Los Angeles, CA||Oct 31, 2016||$110,000|
|Commodity Manager||Lumileds Lighting LLC||San Jose, CA||Sep 17, 2016||$110,000|
|Manager, Strategic Sourcing||BJC Health System||Saint Louis, MO||Oct 03, 2016||$110,000 -
|Procurement Manager||JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.||Boston, MA||Feb 11, 2016||$110,000|
|Sourcing Manager||ACCO Brands USA LLC||Lake Zurich, IL||May 21, 2015||$110,000 -
|Procurement Transformation Manager||HSBC Bank USA, N.A.||Mettawa, IL||Jan 09, 2016||$110,000|
|Manager-Western Hemisphere Sourcing||Payless Shoesource||Topeka, KS||Mar 05, 2015||$89,960 -
|Purchasing Manager||Fluidic, Inc.||Scottsdale, AZ||Oct 03, 2015||$89,000|
|Corporate Purchasing Metals Manager||Cummins Inc.||Columbus, IN||Feb 08, 2015||$88,800 -
|Manager, Electronic Procurement||Hilti Inc.||Plano, TX||Jul 13, 2015||$88,500|
|Purchasing Manager||American Manufacturing & Engineering Corporation||Montgomeryville, PA||Oct 09, 2016||$88,489|
|Purchasing Manager||Gaiser's European Style Provisions, Inc.||Union, NJ||Sep 16, 2015||$88,113|
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