Purchasing Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Purchasing Manager, or Materials Manager, is in charge of supervising the process of sourcing and purchasing essential materials for a business’s operations. Their duties include researching raw materials suppliers and comparing costs, negotiating purchase agreements and developing inventory controls to identify demand for new materials.

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Purchasing Manager duties and responsibilities

A Purchasing Manager is responsible for evaluating suppliers and negotiating contracts to achieve the lowest price for high-quality goods. This role may have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Planning and overseeing the work of Buyers and Purchasing Agents
  • Hiring and training new staff  
  • Developing an organization’s procurement rules and regulations
  • Establishing guidelines on how often the company gets price quotes for items, the number of bids to accept and which vendors to consider
  • Buying goods and services for the company
  • Discussing contracts 
  • Evaluating quality, price, reliability, technical support and availability of goods and services
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What does a Purchasing Manager do?

Purchasing Managers work in all industries to secure the materials, supplies and equipment a company needs to complete essential business functions. This includes all kinds of products from raw materials to packaging and shipping supplies. The role of a Purchasing Manager is to design purchasing strategies that ensure constant availability of inventory within the company’s budget. Purchasing Mangers develop databases of potential suppliers and cultivate working relationships to ease the process of acquiring new materials.

Purchasing Manager skills and qualifications

A Purchasing Manager should have the following skills and qualifications to be effective in the position: 

  • Knowledge of procurement software and tools
  • Interpersonal skills such as teamwork and good listening skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to manage time and organize
  • Strong leadership skills

Purchasing Manager salary expectations

A Purchasing Manager earns an average of $73,345 per year. This amount may vary depending on the exact industry and geographical location of the position. Purchasing Managers may also receive an average of $5,000 per year through profit sharing.

Purchasing Manager education and training requirements

To get hired in the position for any sized company, a candidate should have a bachelor’s degree in business, which typically includes courses in business communications, principles of management, business law for commercial transactions, marketing management and strategic management. The degree gives applicants an overview of many functions in the business world and how they interact. Degrees in finance or supply management are also relevant. Purchasing Managers should have some experience in the field.  

Purchasing Manager experience requirements

In order to be promoted or hired as a Purchasing Manager, candidates are required to have at least 5 years of experience in a relevant area. A Purchasing Manager usually grows into the role through internal promotions. Many Purchasing Managers begin their careers as Buyers or Purchasing Agents and receive on-the-job training where they learn about the basics of procurement and how to negotiate with suppliers. After gaining experience, they are then promoted from that position to a Purchasing Manager.

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Frequently asked questions about Purchasing Managers?


What are the daily duties of a Purchasing Manager?

Purchasing Managers being their day by monitoring inventory levels and projecting which materials and other items need to be replenished. They communicate with their colleagues to determine what kinds of equipment or office supplies they anticipate needing for any new projects. They reach out to different suppliers and request samples to make decisions about which product to buy, balancing quality with affordability and accessibility. 

Once they’ve selected a supplier, Purchasing Managers confirm expected delivery times and arrange to accept incoming shipments. They note the purchase in the company ledger and adjust the remaining materials budget. When the materials arrive, Purchasing Managers perform a quality assurance test and process returns or replacements when necessary.


What is the difference between a Purchasing Manager and a Supply Chain Manager?

Purchasing Managers and Supply Chain Managers collaborate to manage company logistics. Supply Chain Managers oversee the overall flow of materials as the transform into completed products accessible to consumers. Purchasing Managers are in charge of actually buying the supplies that the Supply Chain Manager supervises. They’re also responsible for purchasing supplies that aren’t directly involved in the production of a product, like internal office supplies and equipment.

Supply Chain Managers instruct Purchasing Managers on the overall supply and demand within the company so they can prepare workflows by making essential purchases. They often work together to decide which supplier best fits into the existing supply chain. Once a Purchasing Manager closes a deal with a supplier, the Supply Chain Manager determines how to efficiently get the supplies to the next step in the production process.


What are the qualities of a good Purchasing Manager?

Good Purchasing Managers have shrewd business sense and use persuasion to achieve ideal business negotiations with suppliers. They enjoy performing research to find the best possible option for a company and constantly assess the quality of materials from each supplier. Because Purchasing Managers have to predict the amount of supplies their team might need for an upcoming project, they should have excellent foresight and planning abilities. Successful Purchasing Managers use data analysis and modeling skills to inform their decisions and make strategic choices about purchasing.


What should you look for on a Purchasing Manager's resume?

When reviewing applications for a Purchasing Manager position, look for extensive business experience. Being able to negotiate business deals is an important part of the job, so each applicant’s resume should reflect their ability to form lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers. You should also look for research experience that indicates their ability to track down resources for the company.

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