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Job description: Procurement manager

Written by: CIPS Procurement & Supply Jobs
Published on: 10 Apr 2019

A key role in any procurement department, we explore the responsibilities, salary expectations and skills of a procurement manager.

Procurement Manager

As a procurement manager, you’re often seen as the person who negotiates with suppliers to get the lowest possible price for your organisation. But of course there’s a lot more to it than that.

Your organisation increasingly relies on your strategic thinking to forecast and plan supply requirements. You develop innovative, efficient and ethical buying strategies and you build strong relationships with people inside and outside your organisation.

What are the duties of a procurement manager?

A procurement manager will usually be expected to:

  • Create and implement clear strategies for buying goods and services that are in line with your organisation’s wider objectives and goals.
  • Help your organisation to forecast and plan supply requirements.
  • Help your organisation to achieve the best value for money, level of service and quality standards when dealing with vendors and suppliers.
  • Make sure that vendors and suppliers meet required standards, such as ISO accreditation or having the right insurance cover.
  • Make sure the supply chain for your organisation is free from slavery and corruption.
  • Develop and maintain long-term, positive relationships with suppliers within the industry or industries your organisation operates in.
  • Compare costs and specifications in the proposals that suppliers and vendors send.
  • Review contracts with suppliers and vendors on behalf of your organisation.
  • Look for ways to improve procurement processes, making them more efficient and transparent.
  • Produce regular procurement reports to share with other people within your organisation.
  • Keep up-to-date with industry trends.

Like most roles, these duties will vary from one organisation to another. If you’d like to find out more, have a look at some of the job descriptions in the positions advertised on our site.

What salary can you expect as a procurement manager?

Experienced procurement professionals can expect to earn around £46,422, the current average in the UK according to the 2018 Procurement Salary Guide and Insights report produced by CIPS and Hays. Like most industries, people working in London and the South East earn the highest salaries.

Procurement managers are also in demand outside of the UK in Europe, the USA and Asia. You can find out more about the average salaries in the CIPS and Hays Procurement Salary Guide and Insights 2018 for different regions across the world.

What personal qualities and skills are required to be a procurement manager?

Careers in procurement can be challenging, interesting and rewarding. If you think it’s the kind of challenge you would enjoy, you’ll need to be good at:

  • Negotiating
  • Communicating
  • Leading people
  • Solving problems
  • Managing your time
  • Planning, forecasting and organising 
  • Developing and maintaining relationships
  • Customer service
  • Analysis
  • Understanding finance

What qualifications does a procurement manager require?

Unlike other careers, you don’t need any specific qualifications to become a procurement manager. However, having some qualifications certainly helps. Whatever level you’re at, you will be able to find opportunities to study.

A procurement, business administration or buyer apprenticeship could be a good first step towards a career in procurement. Apprenticeships are available at different levels which means there’s something for people at different stages in their careers. 

Undergraduate or postgraduate degrees in areas such as business administration, logistics, project management, business and management, supply chain or mathematics are also considered very useful and relevant for a career in procurement.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) also offers a range of qualifications for its members that are available globally and recognised throughout the profession. 

How do you get started in your procurement career?

As the industry body for procurement managers, CIPS can really help you kick-start your career or take the next step up.

Typical entry-level roles include:

  • Buyer’s Assistant
  • Junior Buyer
  • Finance Assistant
  • Procurement Assistant

If you’d like to see some examples of the opportunities available, have a look at the positions advertised through CIPS Procurement & Supply Jobs, the official jobs board for CIPS.

What career progression opportunities exist for procurement managers?

Procurement managers are in high demand so there are plenty of opportunities for people with the right skills and experience. Your career will go where you want to take it. 

You could become self-employed or work for an organisation. Depending on the size of the organisation you’re working in, you could progress in your career to become a: 

  • Head of procurement
  • Head buyer
  • Procurement director
  • Chief procurement officer
  • Operations director
  • Finance director

Because organisations across different industries are looking for procurement managers, you could work in an industry that interests you. You could be a procurement manager for a media company if that’s your thing or perhaps you’re more interested in construction.

Whatever you’re wanting from your procurement career, CIPS and its publication CIPS Procurement & Supply can help. Whether that’s keeping up to date with industry news and trends, personal development or searching for your next adventure. Why not have a scroll through our jobs site now?

Search CIPS Procurement & Supply Jobs for procurement manager roles