Working as a procurement manager is a challenging yet crucial role. In many ways, the entire company relies on you doing your job well. Procurement managers are in charge of obtaining whatever the company needs, be it items essential to your day-to-day operations like phones and desktops or equipment necessary to carry out your services like hydraulic power packs or power tools.
If you hope to one day become a procurement manager or are starting your career as one and looking for advice, here are some skills that will prove important to your success.
1. Being a great negotiator
Negotiating with suppliers will be a big part of your job. Of course, it’s ideal that your costs are low so that your business gets the highest profit margin possible, but you can’t just go and buy the cheapest option because you might get a poor-quality product. You need to strike a balance between getting the best price and quality. You can accomplish that by successfully striking a deal with your supplier. Most suppliers are open to negotiating. However, they also have their limits and might hesitate to work with a client who’s too demanding or unreasonable. It would be advantageous for you to practice diplomacy and persuasion skills to improve your ability as a negotiator.
2. Open to change
You need to establish a procurement process that’s streamlined and quick. Having an unnecessarily long and complex process might cause your company to incur costs due to late payments or missed discounts. As the procurement manager, you’re in charge of the procurement process, so if you notice any inefficiencies or unnecessary steps, propose a better system to your superiors by explaining the benefits of an improved procurement system. You can propose a completely digitized system to reduce paper waste and cost and to minimise human error like lost or misrouted documents.
3. Punctual at all times
Procurement managers have strict schedules and deadlines they must adhere to. A missed deadline could affect your whole business and could result in major losses. You need to learn to be more mindful of dates and times. Use handy tools like calendars, whiteboards, or scheduling apps to help you stay on top of everything that needs to be done.
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4. Good risk management
Having backup plans is important in case of untoward scenarios like a delayed delivery from the supplier or receiving less than the expected quantity of orders. The ability to predict and prepare for unfortunate outcomes is valuable in this job because it’s impossible to assume that everything will go well all the time. Procurement managers need to account for worst-case scenarios, and if a scenario happens that they failed to formulate a plan for, they must also work well under pressure and think on their feet.
Being a procurement manager is a rewarding job. Your efforts will directly translate to the company’s smooth operations. Hone the necessary skills, and we guarantee that your superiors will notice your contributions and compensate you accordingly.