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Skills Needed To Be a Successful Head of Purchasing Department

Skills Needed To Be a Successful Head of Purchasing Department

The chief buyer is responsible for all the procurement operations in the enterprise. The main duties of a manager include: monitoring the implementation of the chosen enterprise strategy, sourcing, accounting for the purchase costs, etc. 

The main responsibilities of the head are the following ones:

  • Development of the procurement strategy

  • Identification of opportunities for cost savings

  • Procurement system selection and management 

  • Budget management

  • Staff management

Below you can see a list of top competencies required for the head of procurement. Here are they:

  • Strategic thinking

  • Analytical mindset

  • Risk management framework awareness

  • Common understanding of finance and accounting

  • Negotiating skills to carry out beneficial commercial transactions

  • Communication and listening skills 

  • Leadership

  • Ability to work in a team, collaborate with colleagues

The ideal applicant not only has all the needed skills, but also - a long (about 10-15 years) supply management experience. In most cases, potential applicants are the experienced buyers of related industry organizations. However, managers of the absolutely opposite business spheres (eg, consulting, engineering, finance) have a higher chance of getting this job. If your achievement list incorporates experience in procurement field and contribution to the common cause of the department, it greatly increases the likelihood that your CV will interest an employer.

When it comes to education, of course, it is more preferable to have a profile in economics. Candidates with a master's degree are more likely to get the head department position, even though bachelors can also try their luck. Different kinds of certificates associated with the procurement management and related operations will also work in your favor. 

Head of purchasing department is certainly a worthy job. Once you decide to get this position, follow the next steps.

Firstly, prepare a competitive CV, taking into account the advice of this article. Describe your skills, considering the employer's requirements. Do not be upset if you don’t meet some of the job requirements. Remember, employers usually search for talented, promising and confident employees.

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