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How to Become a Procurement Manager

Mukta Gaikwad
Being a procurement manager is no easy task. It is a job that requires planning and devising strategies to make optimum use of available resources.
A procurement manager is essentially a manager by nature. The term procure means 'to acquire'. Following the meaning, his job includes acquiring and managing the raw materials that are required to make the finished product. The task may seem a simple one from the meaning, however, it is definitely the one which requires skill and strategy to manage resource.
A procurement manager needs to have the expertise to gauge the possible deficit of materials, available funds to procure them and conditions to store them. He also has to maintain relations with vendors and clients.

Requisites to Become a Procurement Manager?

Kind of Work

The nature of work ranges from acquiring perishable goods, non-perishable goods, durable goods, farm products, inexpensive raw materials and expensive one too.
His work also includes taking a stock of the available inventory, keeping its record, recording usage of acquired materials, checking their quality, availability, after sales services provided by the vendors and the feasibility of getting this material.
The job description of such managers differs according to the nature of their job. For instance, the nature of work will change depending on type of business. A wholesale business will look for a manager who can handle larger quantities, as opposed to one in the retail business.

Education and Training

A procurement manager must have a bachelor's degree in commerce or business administration. This helps the candidates perform better, as they get an academic insight into the nature of the job. Additionally, a master's in finance, administration, production or operations opens up opportunities of landing on a high paying job that gives you a lot of exposure.
However, although you will get a job that challenges your managerial skills, you must undergo a training period for honing them. Academics give you an early insight, but training gives you the real hands on experience.
Training period will teach you the intricacies of purchasing commodities, price hikes and lows, kind of suppliers, changing market conditions and skills required to maintain a smooth work flow. You will also learn basics like checking invoices, materials received and used, keeping a record of trade and cash discount and constantly maintaining trade stock.

Skills and Duties

Besides being good at calculations, he must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. As he has to interact with clients and vendors on day-to-day basis, he must possess good negotiation skills too.
Keeping the vendors happy is a crucial part of the job description, as satisfied vendors help in maintaining quality of your products received. He must also be able to predict the changes in prices by studying the market forces.
The important skills required by such a manager is that of a leader and team player. As he has to work with the production team, he must be in tandem with their plans. He must consult the team, listen to their suggestions and be open to discussions with them to make his task more effective.
As the economy finds its footing after a sharp plummet in the past years, there are a score of openings for managers in the industry. It takes experience, academic support and insight to be a successful procurement manager.