Purchasing Managers

What they do:

Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services. Includes wholesale or retail trade merchandising managers and procurement managers.

On the job, you would:

  • Maintain records of goods ordered and received.
  • Locate vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interview them to determine product availability and terms of sales.
  • Prepare and process requisitions and purchase orders for supplies and equipment.
  • Control purchasing department budgets.
  • Interview and hire staff, and oversee staff training.
  • Review purchase order claims and contracts for conformance to company policy.
  • Analyze market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.
  • Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.
  • Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products or substitute materials.
  • Resolve vendor or contractor grievances, and claims against suppliers.

Knowledge

  • Administration and Management
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing
  • Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Law and Government
  • Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Transportation
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills

  • Coordination
  • Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Persuasion
  • Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Negotiation
  • Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management
  • Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Management of Personnel Resources
  • Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities

  • Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Recognition
  • The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity
  • The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Fluency of Ideas
  • The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering
  • The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Work Activities

  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources
  • Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
  • Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Interests

  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness
  • Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self Control
  • Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership
  • Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence
  • Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.