Supply Chain Salary and Employment Insight Series – Purchasing Manager.

Hunter Campbell is pleased to bring you our updated Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast Series.

This series will profile Supply Chain, Operations, Procurement and Technical positions with information including jobs in demand, salaries, and employment prospects with recently updated information to reflect salary changes and the everchanging market conditions.

In our next instalment, the role of Purchasing Manager is up.

Purpose of the role
Purchasing Managers oversee and ensure that their company acquire the necessary goods and services at the right, quality, quantity, and price. That 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, but it is likely that 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 also 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.
  • 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 could be seen to 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 highly 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 2023, 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 be essential in the business achieving this, ensuring they are working with ethical suppliers and fostering a climate that maximises the use of people. This is certainly something we are going to see coming up in interview processes going forward and another reason why purchasing managers will remain in demand.

 Salary guide

Junior: $90,000-$110,000

Intermediate: $110,000-$120,000

Advanced:  $120,000-$150,000

Junior Purchasing Managers may not yet see them 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 under their belt 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.

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