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What roles are available in procurement and supply chain?

Written by: CIPS Procurement & Supply Jobs
Published on: 16 Dec 2019

Procurement and supply chain cover a range of functions relating to a company’s purchasing and supplier policies. It is the function’s job to ensure an organisation is compliant, sustainable and spending efficiently. 

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In this article we will explore some of the key roles within procurement and supply chain management.

What are the areas covered by procurement and supply chain?

Procurement and supply chain are part of a broad function occupied with procuring the necessary services and products to ensure the smooth running of a company’s product production and delivery.

Procurement and supply chain are becoming more aligned with one role often covering the delivery of both aspects from purchasing to manufacturing and distribution.

Here are some of the areas that a career in procurement and supply chain could entail:

Buying products or services
Purchasing is a key component of any procurement role. The task of buying products or services and ensuring that suppliers comply with legal and company policies. 

Managing procurement processes
Procurement may involve the management of internal processes such as adding new suppliers and ensuring they are compliant.

Supplier relations
A key aspect of a role within supply chain and procurement is supplier relations. It’s important to ensure that suppliers are happy but also delivering on their promises and price. 

Understand business goals and objectives
Naturally as a function with its hands around the purse strings, procurement professionals need to have good business accum to be able to understand the main goals and objectives of their organisation, and how their role fits into that.

Policy management
Policy management is important for procurement professionals as they need to ensure that their policies are being implemented and adhered to, whilst also updated as business priorities and legislation changes.

Sustainability & Ethics
As a function concerned with the production, buying, selling and transportation of products and services, sustainability and ethics fall under supply chain and procurement professional’s remit. Ensuring that supply chains are sustainable and ethical is essential to ensure a company does not break the law as well as maintaining company image.

Some supply chain roles may be directly involved in the manufacturing of products. A supply chain professional needs to be aware of the products being sold ensuring quality, quantity and price.

Supply chain professionals may also be involved in the merchandising of a product such as the packaging, design and product description. Working closely with marketing teams, supply chain professionals will work on a go to market plan to ensure the success of their product.

Operations & Logistics
Operations and logistics are important for supply chain professionals who need to ensure the efficient transportation of goods, especially in a global market, and project manage the systems, structures and processes to plan and execute the flow of goods and services from supplier to customer.

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What roles are available in procurement and supply chain?

Buyer/Purchasing roles
Buyers or purchasing professionals are responsible for researching, evaluating and buying products for companies to either resell to customers or use in their everyday operations. If you want to make decisions on what products an organisation sells or uses, then this might be the right role for you.

Roles start at Assistant/Junior Buyer or Purchasing Assistant level and progress through to Senior Buyer or Purchasing Manager and up to Head of Procurement or Purchasing Director. Find buyer/purchasing roles.

Procurement roles
Procurement covers a broad spectrum of tasks and responsibilities as you can see above. Procurement roles are more generalist covering many aspects of the function from selecting vendors to negotiating contracts and purchasing products. It also has quite a strategic impact on the business and its goals.

Roles start at Procurement Assistant and progress into Procurement Manager and Procurement Director positions. It’s also a great route into a Chief Procurement Officer or CEO role. Find procurement roles now.

Supply Chain and Supply Chain Management roles
A supply chain role involves the end-to-end delivery of a product or service. This includes everything from warehouse management, purchasing materials, logistics and sourcing suppliers. The role of a supply chain professional is varied and differs across sectors and industries. 

As such, roles can start as Logistics Administrator, Supply Chain Assistant or Coordinator, Stock Administrator or Planning Assistant. Moving on to Supply Chain Manager, Supply Chain Consultant, Supply Chain Planner and Logistics Manager. Whilst leadership roles include Supply Chain Director and Head of Supply Chain. Find Supply Chain roles now.

Roles are also available in merchandising, logistics, operations, contract and category management. Find out more here.

Find your next job

If you are looking for the next step in your career make sure you search for vacancies with Supply Management Jobs.

We are the official job board of CIPS and CIPS Procurement & Supply Jobs. Our long-standing reputation within the industry as a trusted source of procurement and supply management knowledge, insights and opinion makes us the top specialist job board for the profession. We can place you in the best position to find your next job.

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