07 March 2008 | Jake Kanter
The biggest change to buyers' responsibilities over the past five years has been the growth in managing other purchasers.
According to a survey of 2,100 buyers, carried out by procurement training provider Next Level Purchasing, people management is now the main responsibility buyers did not have five years ago. It was followed by negotiation with suppliers and supplier development and management.
The survey explained senior management is increasingly recognising the value of buyers and as a result more procurement departments are being created. In addition, centralised procurement and a greater number of people joining the profession means buyers are now managing their own teams.
But managing other purchasers doesn't always mean providing training. Some 62 per cent of those questioned said their employers paid for their training, leaving a third to pay for it themselves.
The buyers reported that suppliers are now more important to organisation, increasingly working to produce successful, productive partnerships.
The respondents also pointed out that negotiation skills are the most important for their job, closely followed by inventory management and leadership qualities.