As the guarantor of procurement strategy and supplier relations, the position of procurement manager has become essential in large companies, particularly in industry. Moreover, the procurement manager increasingly sits on the company’s executive committee or management board. To find out more about the job of procurement manager, take a look at this job description, which covers all aspects of the position: objectives, skills, responsibilities, salary and training.
What are the tasks of a procurement manager?
The role of the procurement manager is to define and implement the procurement strategy and policy, in line with the business environment and requirements of the company.
The key task of a procurement manager is therefore to use their skills to develop the company, particularly by controlling spending.
A procurement manager thus has five main tasks:
- To define the procurement strategy and policy: liaising with senior management to adapt to strategic objectives, carrying out business intelligence, identifying the needs of the various departments, etc.
- To manage the procurement department: optimising organisation, recruiting new talent, leading, and training the team, etc.
- To participate in negotiations: supporting staff on sensitive or strategic issues, monitoring framework agreements, etc.
- To manage purchasing projects: monitoring by milestones, implementing processes and tools, etc.
- To monitor suppliers and procurement performance: drawing up specifications, defining key performance indicators, overseeing overall procurement costs and budgets, regular reporting, etc.
Throughout their career, the procurement manager continues to search for quality products or services at the best price. As a skilled negotiator, their role is to develop partnerships with suppliers that meet their commitments (delivery times, CSR approach, value for money, etc.).
Sometimes the procurement manager’s tasks vary according to the company’s needs, as well as the sector of activity. Their scope of action is expanding, touching on supply, logistics and even marketing in some cases. The procurement profession is increasingly focused on value creation, particularly through the search for innovative solutions and the consideration of environmental criteria.
What are the skills of a procurement manager?
As with any job, a procurement manager must combine expertise and interpersonal skills. The skills expected of a procurement manager are varied.
In terms of expertise, the procurement manager must have a good grasp of:
- Sales and negotiation techniques;
- Currently available procurement management tools and solutions, such as e-procurement or e-sourcing;
- The business environment: sector of activity, professions, economic and organisational constraints, products and services necessary for production and proper functioning;
- Essential legal knowledge: commercial law, customs regulations, transport of goods, etc.;
- Economic culture as well as national and international news;
- Project management and tendering procedures;
- One or more foreign languages, including English.
In terms of interpersonal skills, the procurement manager must demonstrate:
- Charisma and interpersonal skills to work with their teams, other departments in the company, suppliers and senior management;
- Resistance to stress and tenacity, especially in the case of strategic negotiations;
- Active listening to understand the needs of their many stakeholders;
- Creativity to design new optimisation levers;
- Taking a step back and looking at the big picture to guide their strategy over the long term;
- Autonomy and adaptability to optimise relations with the various partners.
What training do you need to become a procurement manager?
The skills required to become a procurement manager are acquired through initial training, years of experience and regular upskilling.
To become a procurement manager, you need to be a senior manager with about ten years of professional experience in procurement, and also have a relevant degree, usually at Master’s level.
To become the procurement managers of tomorrow, students can attend a business school or a general or specialised engineering school. A Master’s degree in management, economics or procurement management will also provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to work in this demanding profession.
As part of their training, the future procurement manager will learn to grasp all global markets. The development of digital skills is also very much part of this training. After graduation, they must master the value chain in a constantly fast-moving environment.
What is the salary of a procurement manager?
The average annual salary for a procurement manager is around £40,000 – £50,000 in the UK. Of course, this varies according to their level of experience in the profession, the company they work for and the average salary in the country where they are located.
Usually, the procurement manager is employed by a large group. Companies with more than 500 employees also tend to recruit people for this type of role. Their skills are increasingly in demand and this opens a lot of doors for them. For example, a procurement manager can also work in the automotive or retail sector or in telecommunications.
During their first few years in the job, these professionals can earn between £25,000 and £30,000 as a gross annual salary. Once they become more senior (i.e. when they have more than eight years of experience) or in certain business sectors, procurement managers can earn up to £65,000 a year.
In the long term, a procurement manager may progress to operations manager, industrial manager or even managing director.
To find out more, take a look at the current and future challenges for procurement managers.
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