Ever sat at your desk and felt unappreciated? As you drink the umpteenth coffee of the day do you question why you even bothered turning up for work?
Then it’s time to consider a career where you’re not only needed, you’re vital for the whole operation. It’s time to think about turning to procurement management.
So, what will I actually be doing?
At its most basic level, procurement management is about ensuring companies are taking a sensible and strategic approach when they buy their goods and services.
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The nitty gritty
Procurement management can cover buying in anything, from raw materials and marketing services to getting the best price and quality for purchases.
As well as ensuring your company is getting the best deals, procurement management is also about developing good relationships with suppliers so everything runs smoothly. Keep the suppliers happy and future opportunities to work on joint innovative solutions could head your way.
Money, money, money
The average salary for procurement managers is around £45,000. Not bad huh?
"Procurement professionals can command higher salaries than their equivalents in IT, sales, marketing and Human Resources," says Salandiak.
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The good points...
Take this on as a career and you’ll have an important role in any company so you’ll never feel like you aren’t making a difference in your job. On average companies spend up to two-thirds of their revenue on buying goods and services, so it’s a vital role in any business.
Despite an explosion of people turning to procurement, the recession has meant that talented procurement people are actually hard to find, so recruiters are desperately seeking them out. If you’re talented at your job then you have a very good chance of working for the best companies.
There’s also a great deal of scope for promotion. Handing this question to an expert, Trudy Salandiak at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) says, "Possessing a good mix of hard and soft skills will help you get to the top… Some businesses with larger procurement teams will have a specific career ladders, in others you may be the only procurement cog – but a vital one."
...and the bad
Do a bad job and a domino effect kicks in. If you screw up and a key supply chain gets disrupted, goods aren’t delivered and the perception of a brand or company can be irreversibly damaged.
Is there study involved?
Salandiak explains, "Unlike law and accountancy, there’s currently no licence to practice, so many procurement managers can come from different fields such as finance or general business." But that's no excuse to be lazy if this is the career for you as it’ll still be incredibly useful to get work experience or earn a CIPS qualification as many recruiters want candidates that can demonstrate relevant skills and professionalism.
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OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?
Procurement management is certainly a busy and varied career where you’ll never be sat twiddling your thumbs. Acting like a human octopus across the business, procurement managers can expect to find themselves getting involved in a number tasks that are critical for both the profits and the development of the company they work for. Tasks can include…
- Getting goods and services for the best price and value
- Cutting any waste and unnecessary costs to create a streamlined process and fast production times
- Working with suppliers to ensure that key processes are running efficiently and cost-effectively
- Building strong working relationships both internally and with key suppliers
- Contract management and negotiation
- Understanding and keeping up with new trends and regulations in the business
- Dealing with international suppliers
- Understanding technology and managing online systems such as e-auctions and e-tendering