If you have been thinking about a career change and you’re looking for a new challenge, then a procurement specialist could just be the perfect opportunity. But, what does a procurement specialist do, and what are the key skills that every procurement specialist should have? In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about this specialist job role and whether or not you have what it takes!
What is a procurement specialist?
So, what is a procurement specialist? Procurement specialists are responsible for overseeing the purchasing of materials and supplies for a company or organisation. This role is highly important as the supplies and/or services that procurement specialists are tasked with securing are necessary for the business to operate on a day to day.
What qualifications will a procurement specialist need?
If you are thinking about becoming a procurement specialist, you should be aware of the fact that most employers will prefer candidates who have earned a bachelor degree in a related area (e.g., business / economics / logistics).
What are the 4 main roles of procurement?
What are the 4 main roles of procurement? A procurement specialist will need to excel in the following areas:
- Understanding what supplies an organisation needs to function properly: As a procurement specialist you will need to have a deep and thorough understanding of precisely what supplies and services your organisation needs to operate on a day to day basis. With this understanding you will be in a better position to track down and secure the relevant supplies as necessary.
- Building and maintaining solid supplier relationships: A key role in procurement is building and maintaining solid supplier relationships. You will need to find the best suppliers with the finest products, at the best possible prices. But it goes beyond that – you also need to have a number of backups to ensure that your organisation will always have access to the supplies and services that it needs.
- Understanding the business’s goals and objectives: Having a solid understanding of your business, its goals and objectives is a crucial aspect of being a procurement specialist.
- Being conscious of sustainability and ethics: A procurement specialist should also be conscious of sustainability and ethics. Securing a cheaper deal on certain supplies at the expense of the environment or vulnerable people is not a healthy way to do business as a modern organisation that wishes to thrive and maintain a competitive edge and brand image.
What are the key skills that every procurement specialist should have?
What are the key skills that every procurement specialist should have? Here is a list of 10 skills that can help you to not only survive in your position, but help your organisation reach even greater heights:
- Risk management: Being able to take a holistic approach to risk management is a must-have skill for a procurement specialist. Having the ability to predict, manage, and mitigate risk is the kind of skill that can make or break a procurement specialist.
- Sustainably aware: As mentioned above, a great procurement specialist should be conscious of ethics and sustainability. Being able to secure the supplies and services that your organisation requires consistently, economically, and ethically is a great skill to have.
- Great communicator: Being able to communicate well and build solid supplier relationships is a must. If you are unable to communicate well and develop trust with others, then you may find yourself unable to succeed in such a client-facing role.
- A global eye: The best procurement specialists need to be able to look beyond their doorstep and feel comfortable tapping into the global market. It’s a big world out there and being able to recognise opportunity to secure supplies from overseas for the benefit of your organisation will make you an asset.
- A taste for technology: As a procurement specialist you will need the skills to be able to adapt to new and emerging technologies. As the world of business continually moves towards digitalisation, you will need to be able to handle yourself with unfamiliar software – and indeed spot the opportunities to innovate and evolve.
- Good with numbers: Procurement specialists must also be very good with numbers, given that handling finances is a huge aspect of this important role. Having a firm grasp of the principles on finance will help you succeed as a procurement specialist.
- An innovative mind: Although the task for developing new technology does not fall to you, remaining up-to-date and spotting new innovations that can benefit your organisation is a skill that will help you go far in such a competitive position.
- An excellent collaborator: Procurement specialists much be able to collaborate with others well, both internally and externally. This is a job role that requires you to build solid supplier relationships, whilst also being able to collaborate seamlessly with the various departments within your organisation.
- Honest and open: You must be savvy in the world of public relations and pride yourself in being open and honest with others. You should be able to maintain the best procurement practices at all times for both your own integrity and that of the brand you represent.
- Critical thinker: Being able to think critically, analyse data, and understand your business’s KPI’s is vital in being a successful procurement specialist. The road will be fraught with challenges and only the most flexible of thinkers will succeed.
As you can see, the role of a procurement specialist is a complicated one that will present many challenges. However, for those of you who love a challenge and wish to work in a career that will provide plenty of opportunity for progression, this could just be the perfect opportunity for you.
If you’ve ticked off many of the boxes above and feel as though you have the skills and qualities required to thrive in this position, then why not give it a go?
We hope that this article has been helpful to you and that you now have a much clearer idea as to whether or not a career as a procurement specialist is something that would interest you.