If you are thinking of being a procurement professional or if it’s worth still investing in a buyer’s career, you must know that the supply management area is one that shows the fastest growth in the country.
In fact, procurement is among the most promising careers for 2023, according to a study conducted by PageGroup. Professionals in that area usually have degrees in Business Administration, Accounting, Economics or Engineering.
You may be wondering: what attracts so many people to the buyer job? Well, in addition to average salaries around R$14,000 for procurement managers, according to the Glassdoor website, the area offers new challenges and a variety of sectors to work.
Being a procurement professional is a great choice for newly graduates who are looking for a busy career with great possibilities for growth.
We have listed below the top questions and answers about a career in corporate procurement.
Keep on reading and find out!
Why is the buyer career booming?
On the companies side, the main reason of a high demand for procurement professionals, who really understand the area’s routine, lies in the fact that the area accounts for a large part of the expenses of the whole organization.
In this context, the need for savings and increased competitiveness is evident, even more so in times of uncertain scenarios. That’s because $1 saved in purchases means $1 in profit for the company.
The increasing complexity of supply chain and the difficulty in predicting supply and demand trends are factors that put a pressure on businesses to seek more prepared professionals.
This reinforces the fact that the procurement area, which was previously seen only as a support means for other departments, has undergone a significant upgrade and became strategic for businesses.
How to pursue the procurement career?
Despite the growth of that function in recent years, there’s no specific undergraduate course for procurement management. Professionals in the industry usually have degrees in Business Administration, Accounting, Economics or Engineering.
The most common positions are: assistant, analyst, manager and procurement expert. The chief procurement officer (CPO) corresponds to the C-Level.
To upgrade their curriculums and gain more opportunities in the job market, procurement professionals can specialize in procurement, logistics and supply chain courses, in addition to training focused on leadership and people management.
Additionally, the procurement professional must develop the most diverse technical skills, such as the use of digital tools and negotiation techniques; and also behavioral skills, such as creativity and active listening.
Most of the time, the buyer interacts with people from different areas and with suppliers. Therefore, that professional must know how to relate and communicate with everyone.
To reach the position of procurement manager, you must know the universe of corporate procurement like no one else, analyze the market, trends and goods availability, and also handle the responsibility of training and coordinating the whole procurement team.
Having a master’s or MBA in the field increases your chances of advancing to a managerial position. Some schools offer courses in supply chain 4.0, supplier negotiation and evaluation, operations management, management for competitiveness, analytics and data science, among others.
What are the responsibilities of a procurement professional?
The buyer looks for alternative supply sources and new business partners. The focus here lies in achieving savings and higher competitiveness, and also bringing innovation.
As important as the selection of the best partners is understanding the processes of evaluation, certification and audits. Therefore, it’s vital that the buyer knows about supplier management practices.
Evaluating and tracking procurement history, demand, seasonality of goods and better opportunities for purchases are some of the buyer’s duties.
And when we talk about negotiation, it isn’t just about relationship with suppliers. The procurement professional must also evaluate purchase requests, and whether they meet business goals, among other criteria.
What are the main challenges of a procurement professional?
Despite the advantages of a career in the procurement area, such as competitive salaries and opportunities both in the country and abroad, the buyer faces many challenges.
In order to prosper in their careers, the key challenge for procurement professionals is the development of strong analytical skills.
In fact, even if risks will always be part of their routine, knowing how to manage them, using the right tools, is a distinguishing point to build a solid career.
Being aware of suppliers’ behavior is also vital to a buyer. After all, their image will soon be a reflection of the buying company.
Therefore, these professionals are expected to build strategies for an efficient management of all important details for the procurement area.
It’s no wonder that the most outstanding professionals in the area are those who use all available tools to their advantage, in order to generate savings, operational gains, collaboration with suppliers and profit.
What are the trends that will enable growing in the job?
Organizations are investing in new technologies to meet market challenges. However, few of them have already adopted digital transformation and are knowledgeable about procurement management tools.
Like Information Technology (IT) professionals, professional buyers must keep themselves updated to act strategically.
This requires constant interaction with technology, not only to optimize procurement practices, but also to drive business and innovation.
Currently, professionals who consider technology as a great ally of the procurement area, who use digital tools to optimize processes and make their decisions more transparent, are among the most sought after in the market.
With the automation of procurement processes, buyers are now free from manual and decentralized tasks, to dedicate themselves to the most relevant strategies.
Through digital solutions, procurement professionals have access to reports and KPIs and, by tracking and measuring the performance of all the department’s actions, can make decisions based on data and not on mere assumptions.
Finally, the procurement area is one of the few sectors that give professionals the opportunity to show their skills and take control of projects, from start to end.
By having to keep pace with changes and adapt quickly to the most different scenarios, the buyer job is one of the most promising today and in the future.
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