Purchasing Manager Duties and Responsibilities

These days, there is a big need for the existence of purchasing manager, the role that has grown in importance as the global business landscape has transformed. Especially as the world became more globalized and supply chains became increasingly complex, so that corporate roles have evolved and changed.

Also known as a buying manager or purchasing director, a purchasing manager heads a department responsible for purchasing products and services for use or resale by their organization.

It’s much more complicated than just making purchases in the name of the company. By understanding the role of purchasing management, you can streamline your company while ensuring the highest quality of goods and services purchased.

What Does a Purchasing Manager Do?

Understanding the precise nature of procurement management and supply chain purchasing allows your company to define the role and customize the procurement management system to achieve maximum efficiency.

So, what is a purchasing manager?

The responsibilities of the purchasing manager depend on the industry and the company. Whether purchasing raw materials for manufacturing or working with manufacturers to secure final goods, their duties can be many and varied.

A large part of the role involves managing teams of other professionals in supply chain purchasing and procurement.



When asked (What is purchasing management?) You need to think about the needs of your organization and the skilled professionals at its disposal.

The duties of a purchasing manager can include but are not limited to:

  • Determine the frequency of the order.
  • Evaluation of different suppliers.
  • Determine shipping requirements.
  • Ensure that purchases meet company criteria.
  • Negotiate contracts.
  • Discussion and identification of priority criteria.

Purchasing management also includes a significant deal of delegation and oversight. These professionals are required to manage multiple ongoing projects simultaneously.

Purchasing Manager vs. Supply Chain Manager

These terms are often used mutually. In small businesses, it is not uncommon for the same person to hold both titles. Despite there are many of their responsibilities overlap, there is a difference between the two.

Unlike a purchasing manager, a supply chain manager will have responsibilities that cover the entire supply chain.

Supply chain managers deal with both the incoming orders and the outflow of goods and services. These professionals must manage the entire incoming and outgoing supply chain with cost savings and reduced risk.

In other words, this is a managerial role that takes a higher level view from the perspective of the manager responsible for purchasing alone.

However, regardless of the role, both managers are expected to regularly collaborate on overall supply chain issues.


What Skills & Experience Does a Purchasing Manager Need?

Despite the fact that the role changes depending on the industry, employers expect potential candidates to possess certain skills and qualifications.

Above all, most companies prefer that their managers already have experience in their industry. This is the reason why it is not uncommon for these roles to be filled via internal promotion.

Skill Sets


Financial management is one of the most valuable skills in this field. Purchasing managers must be able to work within a set budget to achieve company goals.

Other soft skills required include: –

  • Strong communication skills.
  • Superb management skills.
  • Excellent research skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.

As mentioned above, most employers prefer that their managers already have intimate knowledge of the industry in which they work.


Most employers and recruiters expect a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or economics. Employers also prefer candidates with specific supply chain certifications. When promoting internally, it is not uncommon for employers to train selected candidates via external training programs.

How to Become a Purchasing Manager?


If you already have the required educational qualifications, here’s what you need to know about becoming a purchasing manager.

Step one- get experience: Most managers have at least five years of experience as an agent or buyer.

Step Two- Be aware that you may need to go back to school in order to be eligible for high-level positions: Employers increasingly require candidates to obtain a master’s-level qualification.

Step Three- Obtaining certifications in Supply Chain Management: There are many qualifications recognized, including CPSM, CPPM, CPP, CSCP, and SPSM. Some of these require regular renewal through additional classes and exams.

Since many employers prefer to promote internally, a track record of working within your company may mean that your employer is willing to pay for additional training for this role.

However, it should be mentioned that there is no single way to secure this position.


In the end, we cannot deny that purchasing management is an essential function for any company. This is a highly specialized role with a great deal of responsibility attached to it.

If you want to be the next Purchasing Manager…

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