A sourcing associate finds suppliers and evaluates them for quality and price. This associate then negotiates and purchases goods or services from these suppliers. Prior to making purchases, a sourcing associate should come up with a strategy that is approved by management.
Generally, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required for this position. The position requires someone with high analytical, communication, and negotiation skills. Computer skills will be used for many aspects of the job. The sourcing associate will be required to keep track of prospective and past purchases using electronic record keeping. Vendor profiles should also be organized electronically. The sourcing associate will also have to create contracts, reports, and presentations regarding purchasing activity. A sourcing associate needs to have extensive knowledge of current regulations, laws, and company policies in order to effectively create contracts. The associate should know what is going on in the company in order to properly acquire goods that will solve certain issues at work.
When products are acquired, the sourcing associate follows up with the departments receiving them in order to make sure that everything is satisfactory. If anything is unsatisfactory, the associate devises a new plan of action in order to obtain quality goods. The sourcing associate will often need to follow up with suppliers and other departments to make sure that deliveries occur on time. The position generally occurs in an office during standard daytime hours, though some positions may require travel. When positions involve negotiating with international vendors, hours may vary.
Sourcing Associate Tasks
Review financial goals and provide metrics to understand and report on initiatives and cost structure.
Ensure books and databases are up to date and accurate.
Review historical and competitive costs to identify cost savings opportunities and variances.
Analyze category, service, material, and vendor costs to provide key decision information.