Hire a Purchaser
Purchasers, often known as purchasing agents, purchase products and supplies from various vendors. They play a critical role in business success by developing purchasing strategies, working with suppliers, negotiating contracts, and closing deals. They control the purchase costs while ensuring that the quality of items is not sacrificed in any way. Most retail businesses, big or small, hire purchasers, and the role has become an essential part of all retail operations. Purchasers operate in a collaborative environment that requires frequent communication with other departments and report to upper-level management. They usually work full-time shifts, primarily in an office environment but are required to travel when visiting warehouses or meeting global suppliers. Purchasers are compensated based on the job responsibilities, work location, experience, and expertise. A mid-career professional with 4-7 years of experience earns an average compensation of around $50,000 annually. The pay usually includes bonuses and overtime pay. Most employers extend benefits packages like health care coverage, retirement planning options, and paid vacation holidays. Occasionally, some companies might offer profit-sharing bonuses to purchasers. The career path usually leads a purchasing manager or a buyer role.
Essential duties and responsibilities
The daily responsibilities of a purchaser vary based on the merchandise type or company. However, the core tasks performed are universal for all businesses. Apart from purchasing products, the primary duties include conducting market research, building a network of reliable service providers, contract negotiation, and inspecting deliveries. In some cases, purchasers have to travel overseas to meet potential clients and secure deals. They are required to execute purchase orders in accordance with their company's policies, ensuring that the delivery is on time. Purchasers have to reconcile shipments, check for damaged items, and follow through with the supplier in case of discrepancies. A purchaser should constantly be on the lookout for new vendors who are more cost-effective for the company. In addition to the above duties, they have to maintain accurate records of all supplier transactions and perform related administrative functions.
Required education and skill sets
Employers look for candidates with the skills and qualifications required to carry out their duties. Applicants should have a high school diploma and a degree in business administration or a related field. They must have proven retail experience and practical expertise with purchasing software. Due to the nature of their job, familiarity with computers is a necessity, mainly with MS Office. To be successful as a purchaser, the candidate should have stellar communication skills and demonstrate a high degree of cultural sensitivity. They should be able to identify emerging consumer trends and make critical decisions in a fast-paced environment. It is also crucial that the applicant be able to multitask and adjust their workflow as needed.