IT specialists paid more than general buyers

23 March 2000
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23 March 2000 | David Arminas

Salaries for IT procurement specialists in the UK are more than 8 per cent higher than for general procurement staff, according to a new survey.

The first IT Commodity Index from Purcon Consultants found that the average salary for IT specialists who have strategic roles, manage up to 30 staff and concentrate on large contracts is £50,250 a year.

In contrast, general procurement specialists, such as purchasing, contracts, operations and supply chain managers, have an average salary of £46,450 a year - 8.2 per cent less.

The survey, which questioned around 600 purchasing professionals in the UK, also found that IT procurement specialists are more likely than general purchasers to get a salary bonus, and more likely to receive one that is higher.

According to the research, junior IT specialists with around two years' experience and some relevant skills outside procurement have an average salary of £21,320 a year. This is 3.5 per cent more than general specialists at that level, such as buyers, provisioners, contracts negotiators and purchasing controllers.

This pattern is true for most areas, except Greater London. There, junior specialists are paid on average 3.9 per cent less than their general purchasing counterparts, taking home around £20,650 a year, compared with around £21,480 a year.

At a middle-management level, IT specialists - such as senior buyers, contracts professionals and commodity specialists - have an average salary of just 2.7 per cent more than their general purchasing equivalents, receiving around £27,660 a year, compared with around £26,925 a year.

These IT specialists usually mix strategic with operational roles and are responsible for an annual spend of up to £15 million.

Senior IT specialists - such as chief buyers, senior purchasing specialists, deputy purchasing managers and contracts co-ordinators - who manage up to 10 staff and focus on strategic issues, have an average salary of £36,520 a year. This means they receive 5.5 per cent more than their general equivalents, who are paid an average of £34,625 a year.

But the survey showed that a reverse trend appeared at middle-management level within medium-sized companies. In those firms, average salaries for IT specialists are 5 per cent lower than those for general purchasers.

"In large companies there is a definite IT procurement position, whereas in small and medium-sized companies it is not necessarily recognised as a specific discipline," said Jerry Smith, a director at Purcon and author of the report. "IT procurement gets lumped in with general procurement."

Professor Michael Quayle, Bosch chair in purchasing and supply at the University of Glamorgan, agreed: "It seems to reiterate the lack or recognition of IT procurement in medium-sized companies."

SMmar2000

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