The Purchasing Manager plays a key role in logistics companies. Their decisions are of great importance, resulting in considerable investments for companies. If they make the right decisions, they can generate an increased return on investment. But if they make mistakes, they can cause considerable losses. 

what is a purchasing manager?

A Purchasing Manager is a person who defines the purchasing policy in companies within the logistics sector. Let's picture a purchasing manager involved in fleet management. They make decisions about the acquisition of new vehicles, which directly influences the return on investment that the company can obtain from the purchase of assets for the fleet. Therefore, their main role is to provide the company with the resources it needs, ensuring that this maximises the use of the company's budget. The budget can be spent purchasing quality assets and materials, at a price that creates a favourable return.

roles and responsibilities of a purchasing manager

Design and Management of the Purchasing Department 

The Purchasing Manager is responsible for the design of the purchasing department, and the different tasks that this entails. They are also responsible for selecting the best supplier with the help of the human resources department.

Finding the Best Suppliers

Many potential clients will contact the company, however most of them will not be adequately efficient or reliable. Selecting the best suppliers is not an easy task. Again, the need to value the price variable as a return on investment must be carefully considered. Many suppliers will offer low prices that seem appealing, but it is necessary to thoroughly investigate every potential supplier, in order to fully understand their terms and what they are offering. The Purchasing Manager must therefore know about all of the current suppliers in depth, whilst proactively searching for new potential suppliers, who offer better conditions.

Stock Management

Along with punctual delivery and productivity improvement, stock control is a key aspect within logistics companies. Although the Purchasing Manager is not directly responsible for stock management, it is important that they have access to real-time information about the state of the company’s inventories. This will allow them to control order placement as well as the state of materials and products within the reverse logistics process.

Price Analysis

Price analysis in real time allows the Purchasing Manager to examine possible current and future profitability of all the different materials, products and services that the company needs to make use of. Reducing costs in the fleet is a clear example of this, where the appropriate price is determined according to the possible return on investment. It is the Purchasing Manager who analyses the different suppliers of fleet management solutions, in order to determine which one offers the best guarantees for improving efficiency and productivity.

Strategic Supply Management and Quality Control

Along with proactive supplier management and analysis, the Purchasing Manager must also negotiate favourable prices, times and delivery conditions with these suppliers. This requires negotiation skills that allow for a balanced and efficient relationship between the company and its suppliers. Another role of the Purchasing Manager is assessing the quality of the products received, following the parameters established by the quality department of the company. When the order received by the company does not meet the requirements previously negotiated with the supplier, the order will need to be returned.

Document Management and Bureaucratic Procedures

The Purchasing Manager should know about all of the processes associated with the department, as well as managing the documents and administration work associated with each purchase. They are not only involved in daily management, but also in the improvement of internal bureaucratic procedures that streamline the purchasing process and productivity of the department.

what does it take to be a purchasing manager?

The four main skills that a Purchasing Manager must have are:

  1. Proactivity and the ability to react quickly to unforeseen events in the supply chain;
  2. The capacity for analysis and strategic planning of the variables within the department that can positively affect the company's profitability;
  3. Teamwork and being able to generate coefficient relations with other departments, such as production and finance;
  4. Negotiation and relationship management skills with external agents (mainly suppliers).

what is the salary of a purchasing manager?

According to data obtained by Reed, the average salary of a Purchasing Manager in the UK is between £40,658 and £45,019, depending on experience levels. However, other sources suggest an average salary of around £47,435.

We hope that this article helped to answer your questions about this role in the supply chain, and its importance within logistics companies. In our Resources Center, you can find more information about how companies in the logistics sector can improve the performance of their fleets. Also, feel free to contact our experts if you would like to learn more about our solutions, or request a demo.