Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast Series – Purchasing Officer

Hunter Campbell’s Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast series profiles roles within the Supply Chain job family, including jobs in demand, wages, and employment prospects. The role of Purchasing Officer is in the spotlight this week.

What does a Purchasing Officer do?

Purchasing Officers ensure stock levels are maintained by purchasing general and specialised equipment or materials for use or further processing by their company. Additionally, they can be responsible for purchasing services that are used as part of a business’s daily operations. Purchasing officers receive and review the forecast from Demand Planners for the materials and equipment that needs to be purchased.

Larger companies tend to diversify their purchasing function more than smaller companies and generally have Purchasing Officers that are category-specific whereas smaller companies may have one person who purchases everything. Purchasing Officers work with the purchasing of direct goods (e.g. raw materials, packaging) and indirect goods (e.g. electricity, water etc).

Purchasing Officers primarily work with suppliers that have already been sourced and had contracts negotiated by someone within procurement. Purchasing officers have dealings with suppliers in and around the raising of purchasing orders. Although a Purchasing Officer does not typically source or negotiate conditions in contracts with suppliers, they are often involved in supplier performance evaluations or doing supplier market research.

Purchasing Officers can also often establish the logistics of delivery post purchase orders being made. This will see them monitor the movement of goods from the supplier right through until the goods are delivered into the warehouse or direct through to the customer.

Key skills required

•             Strong analytical capability and the ability to work well with ERP systems, Microsoft Excel and data.

•             The ability to work under pressure, high levels of organisation and the ability to prioritise changing needs.

•             Solutions orientated, quick to troubleshoot and a good team player as there are many stakeholders to liaise with around the movements of goods.

•             Willingness to acquire product-specific knowledge.

•             Excellent communications skills as a liaison with internal and external stakeholders is essential.

Recommended Qualifications

A standard route is to gain a tertiary qualification with a supply chain specialisation.

Those already working often opt to study and can upskill themselves through NZPICS, an organisation that prides itself on learning and development opportunities that bring out the best in supply chain professionals in New Zealand.

Gaining a qualification demonstrates a commitment to higher learning that is acknowledged by many employers and will give candidates an additional edge.

Career prospects

We see candidates who work their way up to a job such as a Purchasing Officer post working in the likes of a warehousing or administrative-based role.

Career progression can see Purchasing Officers move into a range of different roles within the supply chain or operations space.

Purchasing Officer career progressions could see individuals moving into a Purchasing Manager role or procurement role where the focus becomes less transactional and more strategic. Strategic procurement involves creative sourcing, negotiation of contracts and managing supplier performance.

Recruitment

Post covid most companies were having to rework how they can service the demand having to change or find additional suppliers for their raw materials, which meant Purchasing Officers were having to be across more suppliers and logistic movements. Fast forward 12 months and a softening market, most companies are now finding themselves with excess stock and inventory issues. There is now a push for more visibility and increased technology across the supply chain, which will support the purchasing function, candidates who are systems savvy will do well in purchasing roles.

There is also a strong focus on sustainability within the supply chain meaning Purchasing Officers will work closely with their suppliers to ensure stainable procurement excellence is continued through ongoing supplier evaluation and management. This could certainly mean further upskilling going forward for candidates in purchasing roles.

Salary Guide

Junior: $55,000 – $70,000

Intermediate: $70,000 – $75,000

Advanced: $80,000 – $90,000

Salaries of Purchasing Officers like most roles have increased over the last 12 months, although they are now stabilising. Salaries are dependent on the level of experience and the responsibilities within a role.

A Supply Chain Graduate or moving from a warehouse-based role could expect a starting salary from $55,000 to $60,000, moving from a role that is already administrative with existing ERP experience you could expect to be looking at the higher end of that bracket. With a year or two under their belt, they could expect to be on $60,000-$70,000.

Once they gain more experience and show promising signs of progression, they may take on further responsibility in their role, which would likely see them having more autonomy in decision-making and moving to a salary between $75,000 to $90,000. When moving into the advanced side there is typically the opportunity to move into Team Lead/Leadership positions.

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 Officer, please contact consultant Chelcea McCauley. Chelcea specialises in Supply Chain, Purchasing and Supply Chain support roles. For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.

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