A company’s purchasing agent (in fields other that wholesale, retail, or farm products) has extensive knowledge of computers and a company's economic procedures. They use those skills to ensure purchasing and orders run smoothly. Purchasing agents must maintain good relationships with current vendors and buyers, which includes communicating changes in products, any new products that the vendor may be interested in purchasing, and any promotions by the company. The purchasing agent keeps up with current product demands and try to increase sales from vendors and buyers. Purchasing agents also regularly work with sales and marketing departments of the company to identify any products or services of the company that are not selling well to decide whether the product should be taken off the market.
Purchasing agents need a number of skills and prerequisites. For instance, in most cases, a bachelor’s degree typically is a preferred requirement, although a high school diploma may substitute. In addition, prior experience in purchasing or accounting is ideal. Because most of the work is done on the computer, these individual must have knowledge of relevant computer programs.
Purchasing Agent (but not Wholesale, Retail, or Farm Products) Tasks
- 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.