Finance, Business, Law Finance, Business, Law

Purchasing Manager

If you're good with numbers and enjoy negotiating and communicating, this could be the job for you

Purchasing managers are responsible for buying the best quality equipment, goods and services, at the most competitive prices, to enable a company or organisation to operate. They work in a range of sectors for many different organisations, often overseeing supply chain management and procurement, sometimes on a worldwide scale.

Through effective negotiation, networking and dealing with numbers, purchasing managers can help a business or organisation save money and increase profits. They also deal with other factors such as sustainability, risk management and ethical issues.


Discover more about this career and other professions in construction on one of our Budding Brunels courses - find a course near you.


This career information has been adapted from Prospects and National Careers Service


What The Job Involves

What are the key responsibilities for this position?


Key Responsibilities

Forecast levels of demand for services and products
Keep a constant check on stock levels
Conduct research to ascertain the best products and suppliers in terms of best value, delivery schedules and quality
Liaise between suppliers, manufacturers, relevant internal departments and customers
Build and maintain good relationships with new and existing suppliers
Negotiate and agree contracts, monitoring the quality of service provided
Process payments and invoices
Keep contract files and use them as reference for the future
Forecast price trends and their impact on future activities
Give presentations about market analysis and possible growth
Develop a purchasing strategy
Produce reports and statistics using computer software;
Evaluate bids and make recommendations, based on commercial and technical factors;
Ensure suppliers are aware of business objectives


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Entry Requirements

Athough this area of work is open to all graduates, the following degree subjects may improve your chances:Business studies; engineering; management; marketing; operations management; purchasing and logistics

What key skills and personal attributes help with this role?

Skills & Attributes

Good oral and written communication skills
Strong analytical skills
Commercial awareness
The ability to adapt to different client needs and to develop and maintain successful working relationships
An excellent standard of numeracy in order to analyse facts and figures
A flair for negotiation and networking
The ability to make important decisions and cope with the pressure of demanding targets and tight deadlines
A confident and mature approach
Tact and diplomacy

How much can you expect to earn and what are the career progression options?

The following figures are intended as a guideline only.

Salary & Progression

Graduate: £20,000 - £25,000
Experienced: £30,000 -£45,000
Senior: £50,000 - £100,000
Case Study

Beth West Commercial Director HS2

Commercial Director


Read the highlights

In her role at HS2 Beth is responsible for all contracts that economists use in their business cases and all things construction.

“We need to think hard about how we work, we make the most out of technology but also keep must keep in mind whether we put time and effort into meeting people”. 

Work experience placements are key, the longer the better - 

Read the amazing full interview here

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