Purchasing coordinators are responsible for all aspects of an organization's purchasing. They must identify what products are to be purchased, working closely with other departments in the organization and customers to determine current and future purchasing needs. Then, purchasing coordinators must identify the best supplier for their needs; they compare prices, investigate quality issues, and research delivery times for each supplier and weigh these aspects with the organization’s needs to determine the best supplier for each item. Finally, upon delivery, they confirm all purchases and resolve any delivery failures.
Purchasing coordinators typically work in a warehouse environment or, occasionally, in an office environment. They must work closely with project managers and warehouse managers to ensure the proper flow of inventory and items to keep the organization functioning without overstocking. Their typical day involves placing orders and contacting suppliers, meeting with customers or organizational members to determine needs, and inspecting orders that arrive at the warehouse. This is a dynamic position, and purchasing coordinators must be able to respond to changes quickly and effectively to inventory is properly maintained and workflow continues uninterrupted.
Purchasing coordinators are required to hold at least a high school diploma or equivalent. In some cases, a college degree is preferred, although equivalent experience in the field is usually accepted. To reach the coordinator level in certain industries, they must have experience in purchasing in a closely related field. Strong negotiation and communication skills are required to work with suppliers and secure the best deals for the organization.
Purchasing / Inventory Coordinator Tasks
- Authorize payments, returns of merchandise, and pricing.
- Organize and locate inventory in databases and online systems.
- Coordinating and managing all activities during the purchasing process, such as creating purchase orders, monitoring transportation and invoice creation and follow-through.
- Analyze and monitor internal, economic, and consumer trends to forecast sales and inventory.