Buyers of technical products oversee the purchase of raw materials and technical equipment necessary for effective manufacturing. After project managers outline the manufacturing processes, the buyer for the technical products must help determine the raw materials needed and begin the purchasing process. They need to understand the specifications of these materials (for instance what kind of metal used for an airframe or for I-beams in the construction process). Buyers of technical products also have to follow the production schedule so that the necessary materials are on hand when they are needed, not stored on site for months beforehand or arriving days late holding up other workers. Developing productive relationships with vendors and suppliers is important in this position; buyers must also be able to hold vendors accountable to their side of the agreements. These professionals' skills at product research and vendor relationships help contribute to reducing overall costs of manufacturing and production as well. Buyers of technical products also verify shipments and work with accounting professionals to make sure invoices are paid according to contract.
Relevant education - such as a bachelor's degree in a relevant field - is usually required for this position. Previous related experience is typically required as well. Communication skills are necessary, as clarity is essential in discussions related to needed materials and purchase orders. Skills related to setting up requests for proposals and interpreting bids are required throughout the purchasing and delivery cycle.
Buyer, Technical Products Tasks
- Ensure that orders are delivered on time and at cost.
- Resolve billing and shipping problems and provide information to suppliers.
- Identify suppliers, select merchandise and negotiate bills of sale for a business.
- Inspect deliveries for shipping errors, improper handling, or quality issues.