Supply Chain Excellence – Purchasing Manager

Hunter Campbell’s Supply Chain Excellence Series profiles roles within the Supply Chain job family including jobs in demand, salaries, and employment prospects.

In this article, the role of Purchasing Manager is in the spotlight.

Purpose of the Role

Purchasing Managers oversee and ensure their company acquired the necessary goods and services at the right; quality, quantity, and price. This can include materials, supplies, equipment, finished goods and various services such as electricity and water. 

The responsibilities of a Purchasing Manager can vary depending on the industry. However, it is likely they are working closely with other departments, such as finance, operations and production, to ensure that purchases align with the company’s strategies and goals. 

In larger companies, it is likely they are managing a team of Purchasing Officers and occasionally Purchasing Analysts. This frees the Purchasing Manager to look at other areas such as managing and overseeing vendor contracts and supplier reviews as well as risk and strategy to help achieve the overall business strategy. 

Purchasing Managers usually have a strong analytical background so can often spend time analysing market trends, overseeing inventory levels and working to align with procurement strategies. 

Key Skills Required

Most employers expect a bachelor’s degree in business, finance, or economics. Employers also prefer candidates to hold specific supply chain certifications for example NZPIC’s or CIPS qualification 

Financial management is usually considered one of the top skills needed in a Purchasing Manager as they need to be able to work within a set budget to achieve the company’s goals 

People management and excellent interpersonal skills are a must as they will not only be leading a team but need to collaborate and influence internally with other departments. They also need to work externally with suppliers and vendor management 

Strong analytical skills are imperative. Most Purchasing Managers will often come from a purchasing background themselves. Most employers prefer their managers to already have an intimate knowledge of the industry they work in, usually a minimum of five years’ worth of experience as an officer, buyer or even in inventory management 

Finally, excellent market researching tactics and skills to ensure cross-functional support throughout the business 

Career Prospects

Due to the relationships Purchasing Managers hold across the entire business and the cross-collaboration they need to have on a day-to-day basis, they may progress into a Supply Chain Manager role, depending on their previous experience. 

They could also move into more of a direct Procurement Management or Head of Procurement role if they have been working strategically in their previous roles. They could also specialise in a specific space such as a Strategic Sourcing Manager or a Procurement Category Manager depending on the industry and size of the business. 

Recruitment Forecast

In 2022 we saw excessive consumer demand meaning Purchasing Managers would have been busier than ever sourcing extra stock and working with new suppliers to meet customer demand. Fast forward to 2024, we have seen a softening market. However, supply chain continues to be at the forefront of discussion for any company and an experienced and effective Purchasing Manager will be vital to their continued success. For businesses, there is now a strong focus on sustainability and risk ensuring there is visibility and transparency within the supply chain whilst also trying to achieve tangible and sustainable cost benefits and delivering operational efficiencies. Purchasing Managers will play a key role in achieving this, ensuring they are working with ethical suppliers who have been correctly audited. We expect to see continued demand for qualified Purchasing Managers. 

Salary guide

This information is anecdotal and based on roles Hunter Campbell is currently recruiting or has previously recruited and relate to base salaries. They do not include any additional bonuses or benefits. 

Junior: $90,000 – $110,000 

Intermediate: $110,000 – $120,000 

Advanced:  $120,000 – $150,000 

Junior Purchasing Managers may not be managing a team but overseeing the whole purchasing function for the business or a specific category in larger businesses. They are likely to have at least 2 years’ experience and can be looking at a salary of $90,000 – $110,000. 

Intermediate Purchasing Managers will likely be moving into a people management role. 

As an experienced, accomplished Purchasing Manager who can engage with and influence suppliers and stakeholders as well as effectively manage a full purchasing team can expect a salary in the region of $120,000 – $150,000. At this level, it is likely they will have procurement responsibilities including supplier relationship management or elements of contract management and negotiations. 

These salaries will vary depending on the industry, company size and levels of responsibility. 

If you would like to find out more about the role of Purchasing Manager, please contact Senior Consultant Wayne Fry. Wayne specialises in the recruitment of Supply Chain, Procurement & Operations roles. For more news and views visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.

Back to Insights