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Purchasing Manager

Short Description

Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services.


Wages & Employment Trends

  1. Median wages (2006) $39.22 hourly, $81,570 annual
  2. Employment (2006) 70,000 employees
  3. Projected growth (2006-2016) Slower than average (3% to 6%)
  4. Projected need (2006-2016) 22,000 additional employees



Director of Purchasing, Materials Manager, Commodity Manager, Director of Materials, Director of Strategic Sourcing, Procurement Manager, Purchasing Supervisor, Supply Chain Manager.



  1. Maintain records of goods ordered and received.
  2. Locate vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interview them to determine product availability and terms of sales.
  3. Prepare and process requisitions and purchase orders for supplies and equipment.
  4. Control purchasing department budgets.
  5. Interview and hire staff, and oversee staff training.
  6. Review purchase order claims and contracts for conformance to company policy.
  7. Analyze market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.
  8. Develop and implement purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures.
  9. Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products or substitute materials.
  10. Resolve vendor or contractor grievances, and claims against suppliers.


Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  1. Calculators or accessories — 10-key calculators
  2. Desktop computers
  3. Personal computers

Technology used in this occupation:

  1. Data base user interface and query software — Corel Paradox; Database software; Microsoft Access; Oracle DBMS
  2. Electronic mail software — IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Outlook
  3. Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Epicor Vantage ERP; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne; Oracle PeopleSoft; SAP software
  4. Procurement software — Ariba Spend Management Suite; Automated purchase order software; Purchasing software; PurchasingNet eProcurement
  5. Project management software — Microsoft Project; Primavera SureTrakProject Manager
  6. Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
  7. Word processing software — Microsoft Word



  1. English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  2. Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  3. Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  4. Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  5. Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  6. Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  7. Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  8. Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  9. Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.



  1. Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  2. Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  3. Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  4. Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  5. Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  6. Management of Material Resources — Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  7. Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  8. Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  9. Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
  10. Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.



  1. Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  2. Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  3. Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  4. Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  5. Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  6. Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  7. Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  8. Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  9. Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  10. Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).


Work Activities

  1. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  2. Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  3. Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  4. Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  5. Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  6. Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  7. Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
  8. Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  9. Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  10. Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Work Context

  1. Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
  2. Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
  3. Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
  4. Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
  5. Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
  6. Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
  7. Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
  8. Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
  9. Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
  10. Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?


Job Zone

Considerable Preparation Needed

  1. Overall Experience A minimum of two to four years of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  2. Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  3. Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, human resource managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, and police detectives.
  4. SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)



Most of these occupations require a four – year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.



  1. Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  2. Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  3. Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.


Work Styles

  1. Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  2. Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  3. Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  4. Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  5. Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  6. Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  7. Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  8. Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  9. Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  10. Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.


Work Values

  1. Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
  2. Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employs to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.


Other Occupation Details:

  1. Controller/Treasurer
  2. Chief Executive
  3. Financial Examiner
  4. Financial Manager
  5. Accountant
  6. Auditor
  7. Tax Examiner
  8. Personal Finance Advisors
  9. Bookkeeper
  10. Budget Analyst
  11. Financial Analyst
  12. Credit Analyst
  13. Supervisor
  14. Loan Officer
  15. Bill Account Controller
  16. Administrative Officer
  17. Purchasing
  18. Cost Estimator
  19. Tax Preparer
  20. Clerk – Junior Accountant
  21. Clerk – Statement
  22. Teller
  23. Cashier

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