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Become A Senior Sourcing Specialist

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Working As A Senior Sourcing Specialist

  • 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

  • $76,927

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Sourcing Specialist 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 Senior Sourcing Specialist

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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Senior Sourcing Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

48.6%

Female

48.3%

Unknown

3.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

9.8%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.3%

Chinese

18.8%

Mandarin

12.5%

German

6.3%

Somali

6.3%

Gujarati

6.3%

Carrier

6.3%

Hindi

6.3%

Italian

6.3%
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Senior Sourcing Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.7%

Arizona State University

8.3%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

8.3%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

8.3%

Wichita State University

6.7%

University of Houston

6.7%

Pennsylvania State University

5.0%

Bowling Green State University

5.0%

University of Connecticut

3.3%

University of Maryland - University College

3.3%

Citadel

3.3%

North Carolina State University

3.3%

James Madison University

3.3%

Dowling College

3.3%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.3%

State University of New York Albany

3.3%

Texas Tech University

3.3%

Central Michigan University

3.3%

Ohio State University

3.3%

Texas A&M University - Commerce

3.3%
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Majors

Business

39.5%

Communication

7.3%

Management

6.4%

Human Resources Management

5.9%

Finance

5.5%

Marketing

5.0%

Psychology

4.5%

Supply Chain Management

3.2%

Project Management

3.2%

History

2.3%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Accounting

2.3%

Journalism

1.8%

International Business

1.8%

Biology

1.8%

Economics

1.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.4%

Counseling Psychology

1.4%

Sociology

1.4%

Political Science

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.7%

Masters

26.0%

Other

11.0%

Certificate

5.1%

Associate

4.1%

Diploma

0.7%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Temporary

Real Senior Sourcing Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Sourcing Specialist, Global Procurement Adobe Systems Incorporated San Jose, CA Jan 29, 2016 $130,579
SR. Sourcing Specialist Cameron International Corporation Houston, TX Jan 27, 2014 $99,029
Sourcing and Supply Senior Specialist Kimberly-Clark Corporation Neenah, WI May 17, 2016 $99,000 -
$115,000
SR. Sourcing Specialist Blue Shield of California San Francisco, CA Dec 01, 2014 $95,000 -
$105,000
Senior Sourcing Specialist Alstom Power Inc. Knoxville, TN Sep 20, 2013 $92,700
Sourcing Specialist Senior Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Sep 30, 2012 $91,390
SR. Sourcing Specialist Alaska Airlines, Inc. Seattle, WA Sep 29, 2016 $86,000
Senior Sourcing Specialist Sonoco Products Company Hartsville, SC Jun 15, 2014 $85,500 -
$114,000
Sourcing Specialist Senior Whirlpool Corporation Benton Harbor, MI Apr 02, 2014 $83,945
Senior Talent Sourcing and Research Specialist Akamai Technologies, Inc. Cambridge, MA Aug 15, 2013 $83,000 -
$103,000
Senior Sourcing Specialist Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Nov 05, 2007 $82,700
Senior Sourcing Specialist Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Apr 22, 2013 $80,000
Senior Sourcing Specialist Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Apr 20, 2010 $78,000
Senior Sourcing Specialist Sonoco Products Company Hartsville, SC Mar 02, 2015 $77,500 -
$114,000
Sourcing Specialist Senior Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Apr 01, 2011 $76,000
Sourcing Specialist Senior Cummins Emission Solutions Inc. Columbus, IN Sep 09, 2015 $75,600 -
$97,500
Sourcing Specialist-Senior Cummins Inc. Nashville, TN May 07, 2016 $75,600 -
$92,400
Sourcing Specialist-Senior Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Sep 09, 2016 $75,600 -
$97,500
Sourcing Specialist-Senior Cummins Inc. Nashville, TN Jul 05, 2016 $75,600 -
$92,400
Senior Sourcing Specialist Philips Medical Systems MR, Inc. Gainesville, FL Oct 01, 2009 $73,900 -
$125,700
Senior Sourcing Specialist Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. San Diego, CA Jan 03, 2014 $70,800 -
$106,200
Senior Sourcing Specialist Qualcomm Incorporated San Diego, CA May 02, 2011 $70,283 -
$107,800
Sourcing Specialist Senior Whirlpool Corporation Benton Harbor, MI Sep 06, 2014 $70,000
Senior Sourcing Specialist NB Ventures D/B/A Global Eprocure Winston-Salem, NC Mar 01, 2012 $70,000
Senior Sourcing Specialist NB Ventures, Inc. D/B/A Global Eprocure Battle Creek, MI Aug 15, 2012 $70,000
Senior Sourcing Specialist-Marketing Services NB Ventures, Inc. Winston-Salem, NC Feb 01, 2011 $70,000
Senior Sourcing Specialist NB Ventures, Inc. Winston-Salem, NC Oct 01, 2009 $70,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Sourcing Specialist

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  1. Supplier Relationships
  2. Cost Savings
  3. Contract Negotiations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained effective client communication and managed supplier relationships for performance and value-add.
  • Deliver cost savings by executing inventory flexibility to maximize sales and profitability between four different categories within D61.
  • Performed functional duties such as supplier negotiations, request for pricing, contract negotiations and supplier relationship management.
  • Acted as liaison between vendors and various teams within company including merchandising, import operations, transportation, and Target India.
  • Worked with information systems analysis and technology services in the evaluation of software and hardware for Everyday Studio utilization and purchase.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Sourcing Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Michigan
  4. Maryland
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Connecticut
  7. Minnesota
  8. Rhode Island
  9. New Jersey
  10. Delaware
  • (20 jobs)
  • (51 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (55 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)

Top Senior Sourcing Specialist Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Sourcing Specialist Employers

Senior Sourcing Specialist Videos

Purchasing Agent, Career Video from drkit.org

HR SOURCE CONSULTING Company Profile

Going Further with Angela Henderson, Ford Purchasing Manager

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