Purchasing specialists typically hold manager-level positions charged with making purchases necessary for their organization's operations. The day-to-day duties performed by these specialists vary depending on the needs of the company. However, generally, a purchasing specialist works in a service-oriented business and oversees the purchasing and inventory of operating supplies rather than retail goods. Hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and companies that repair, maintain, or conduct construction work typically have a purchasing specialist.
The purchasing specialist works to develop and adhere to systems that track the inventory of necessary operating supplies. For instance, at a hotel, it might be linens, uniforms, and various cleaning and laundry chemicals and detergents; at a restaurant, they may be tasked with maintaining maximum freshness of food on hand and finding the best quality produce and meats within budget. At a hospital or clinic, the purchasing specialist would manage the inventory of perishable and disposable medical supplies.
In addition to assessing on-hand inventories of supplies and ensuring they are at appropriate levels, a purchasing specialist also analyzes and forecasts trends and adjust pars and inventories as required. The purchasing specialist is also tasked with finding the best possible quality within budget.
The education requirements for a purchasing specialist typically include a bachelor's degree in business, accounting, or a related field. Purchasing specialists typically work during regular business hours in an office environment, but they may also be expected to spend time in warehouses or similar storage facilities. For specialists employed by mult-iunit companies and organizations, they may travel as well.
Purchasing Specialist Tasks
Maintain working relationships with vendors, evaluate vendor contract terms, and negotiate prices.
Place, schedule, and follow-up on orders to ensure accuracy and timely delivery.
Predict required packaging or resources according to customer requests and coordinate with vendors to obtain products.
Resolve billing issues and any conflicts between the company and the vendors.