A purchaser is responsible for coordinating purchases of various products and services for their company. They order supplies, inventory, equipment, and services for all departments in the company. They also have to ensure that they are keeping costs under control while not sacrificing quality in the items and services they buy.
They submit purchase orders in accordance with their company's policies and also verify that the order has been placed and that delivery has occurred. They also reconcile shipments, manifests, back-ordered items, and damaged items, and they also follow through with the supplier to correct any discrepancies. A purchaser must also maintain a database of vendor contacts and also constantly be on the lookout for new suppliers that may be able to more effectively supply a product or service than an existing supplier. A purchase also acts as a liaison between their department and all other departments in the company, and they may also be responsible for conducting necessary background checks to allow vendors access to the company. In addition to the above duties, a purchaser also has to maintain accurate records of all transactions with suppliers, answer phones, and schedule meetings with vendor representatives as needed.
Due to the nature of their job, familiarity with computers is a necessity, specifically with word processing and spreadsheet applications. A familiarity with the Internet is also crucial, as more and more business is being conducted online. It is also crucial that a purchaser be able to multitask and adjust their workflow as needed and to work without direct supervision.
Test and evaluate sample products, draw up and approve requisitions, and ensure adequate supply.
Research and identify vendors, and negotiate to achieve desired quality, price, and timetables.
Inventory existing property and conduct audits.
Procure and contract for goods and services in a specific industry.
Take corrective action when defective goods are received.