Changes in the procurement area occur all the time. To keep up with the fast pace of change, it’s crucial for buyers to develop skills and refresh their knowledge frequently.

As the relevance of the procurement area increases in businesses, so do the demands from the market for such professionals.

As a result, both technical and behavioral skills deserve attention in a buyer’s career.

In this post, we are listing 5 skills to improve your career and stand out in 2022.


Procurement skills: a maturing process for professionals

When comes to skills for the buyer, we must understand that, a few years ago, the procurement area ceased to be strictly operational and became a strategic one.

Nowadays, the skills required to be a good buyer are the result of a long process of maturing of that area and all crises faced by businesses.

The pandemic, the most recent challenge, has given new meaning to certain work formats, with procurement teams working remotely, and has accelerated the digitization of the procurement area.

With all these changes, the skills required to be a successful buyer are no longer the same as they were in years past.

Therefore, we listed below the 5 skills that we deem indispensable for 2022. Keep on reading!


5 skills to be a successful buyer in 2022

1. Commit to sustainability

Modern buyers deem sustainability and ESG issues – environmental, social and governance issues – as a crucial process of their procurement strategy.

But to put this intention into practice and actually contribute to society’s most pressing issues, it’s a must going beyond the creation of responsible sourcing policies.

In the procurement area, an engagement with sustainability means being willing to seek ethical and transparent partnerships, focused on shared commitment.

Besides, a sustainable procurement area helps its suppliers to develop, prosper and consider changing what must be changed in favor of this cause.

In this sense, one of the most required skills is the continuous improvement of processes. From now on, it’s vital not being afraid of change.


2. Search for trends and technologies in the market

For some time now, the procurement area is no longer just a department of purchases – and, today, it’s one of the key areas for the creation of new products and services for a company.

Therefore, to stay competitive in such a fierce market, the buyer must be aware of trends and seek technologies that can add value to products and services.

In procurement, innovation isn’t linked only to the creation of a product or the implementation of new raw materials, but also to the integration of digital solutions and process automation.

It’s important to consider that, many times, a possible innovation can be found in a visit to your supplier, for instance.

Another point is that in future procurement – which is closer than we imagine – consumer behavior will determine purchasing strategies. Keep an eye on it!


3. Find cost reduction opportunities

Cost reduction is one of the most relevant issues in the procurement area. After all, $1 saved in purchases means $1 in profit for the company.

How much do we spend? What do we spend? With whom do we spend? When do we spend? Questions like these can be answered with spend analysis, within the strategic sourcing methodology.

Spend analysis helps the procurement area to identify cost reduction opportunities, and its application can’t put vital aspects of the business at risk.

Besides understanding the methodologies of strategic procurement and spend analysis, in order to decrease costs in the area, the buyer will have to master negotiation techniques.

The use of digital procurement solutions – such as Procure-to-Pay, for instance – allows the buyer to make smart negotiations, access spend analysis and achieve more savings.


4. Make metric-based decisions

In procurement, to be more agile and assertive in a decision-making process, it’s crucial to consider KPIs (key performance indicators), such as saving, lead time and productivity, among others.

It is through KPIs that the procurement area can access the scenario of activities – this enabling the buyer to have more chances of making the right choices.

In other words, by accessing such indicators, professionals can leave assumptions behind, to make way for data intelligence at the moments they must plan or act.

This analytical skill, added to intuition, experience and observation, compose a powerful combo for professionals to succeed in the area.


5. Develop and improve behavioral skills

Technical knowledge has been very relevant in the past. Today, it’s no longer enough in the career of any professional.

In the procurement area, soft skills (behavioral skills) are some of the most required skills for professionals, particularly for the procurement leader.

And you may be probably wondering: how to develop my behavioral skills? One of the key points is to seek self-knowledge and develop active listening, in addition to always give some time to thought and reflection before making any important decision.

A good tip here is to observe people and their attitudes in different situations, as it can help you to develop your behavioral skills in a more assertive way.


In this post, we saw the top skills for a buyer’s career in 2022.

Do you have any other skill to suggest? Share it in the comments!