Hire an Assistant Buyer
Assistant buyer’s job is to provide comprehensive operational and administrative support to the buying team of a retail company. They efficiently assist the buyers in the selection and procurement-related duties. These include deciding the right product mix, handling purchase orders, and tracking and monitoring inventory. They provide support in decisions that influence overall sales volume, gross margin, and turnover objectives. As the name suggests, these professionals work under the supervision of the buying manager. Both of these positions report to the head of purchasing or buying. Incumbents mostly work in-house in an office setting. However, in some cases, they may visit retail and vendor locations. The position is one of the most sought after in the retail industry, with employment opportunities available in fashion, home improvement, manufacturing, construction, and several other retail subsidiary industries. Entry-level professionals are paid an average salary of $36,000 per year. Those in the top 10% make above $65,000 yearly. Benefits include health insurance, 401(k) plan, vacation, and paid time off, amongst others. Commonly, assistant buyers can progress into roles such as the buyer, senior buyer, associate buyer, or purchasing manager.
Responsibilities of an Assistant Buyer
The job role of an assistant buyer usually varies with the business type and location. Their primary responsibility is to assist the buyer with product selection, ensuring purchases get made at the right time and price. They write, place, and track all purchase orders of the business. Assistant buyers also maintain a favorable relationship with suppliers and vendors while negotiating deadlines, specs, and pricing. They should be able to work independently and prioritize job duties to maintain and manage project deadlines. In case there are any problems, they must be able to work closely with all departments involved in the buying process and resolve bottlenecks. Other essential duties that are an integral part of the job role include preparing cost analysis and competitive retail and pricing strategies. Apart from this, they are in charge of developing the buying budget and the sales and profit margin plans. Moreover, they perform administrative duties such as compiling reports on product performance and statistics to forecast purchasing trends.
Requirements of an Assistant Buyer
Most employers expect assistant buyers to have a degree in business, economics, marketing, or a related field. Previous experience in merchandising or retail buying or allocation is preferred. Many companies also prefer candidates with retail operations expertise. An understanding of merchandising software and proficiency in Microsoft Office is beneficial. An ideal candidate for the position must have strong organizational skills and the ability to multitask and perform well under pressure. They have to be experts in the products they are buying. Since the assistant buyer has to liaise with vendors and the various departments, they must have excellent interpersonal, communication, and negotiation skills. In addition to these traits, they must have strong analytical skills and be passionate about the current industry trends.