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.
In our fifteenth instalment, the role of Purchasing Officer is in the spotlight.
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.
Purchasing officers receive and review the forecast from demand planners for the materials/equipment that needs to be purchased.
Larger companies tend to diversify the purchasing function more than smaller companies. Larger companies 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 personal in 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.
Purchasing officers will often establish the logistics of delivery schedules 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 to the customer.
Key skills required:
- Strong numeral and analytical capability and the ability to work well with 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 liaison with internal and external stakeholders is essential
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 who prides themselves on learning and development opportunities that they have to 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.
We see candidates who work their way up to a job such as a purchasing officer post working in the likes of a warehousing 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 contracts and managing supplier performance.
Pre covid it’s likely that less than 1% of the NZ’s population had ever used the words ‘Supply Chain Disruption’ in a casual day to day conversation… fast forward 18 months and the news cycle can’t go a week without alluding to what has become a global topic of conversation that is going to have ripple effects for years to come….
Many companies are having to rework how they can service demand. Many are having to change or find additional suppliers for their raw materials, which means Purchasing Officers are having more suppliers and logistic movements to be across. Due to COVID, the slow motion of goods is currently causing many issues for companies; therefore, good communicators and proactive solutions-focused personal are essential for these roles.
Salaries of Purchasing Officers vary depending on the level of experience and the responsibilities within a role. A Supply Chain Graduate or personal moving from a warehouse or administration-based role could expect a salary between $50,000 to $55,000. With a season or two under their belt they could expect to be on $55,000-$65,000. 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 $65,000 to $75,000. 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 Kat Biggelaar. Kat specialises in Supply Chain, Procurement and Purchasing, Operations, Logistics, Warehousing, Production, Planning, Health and Safety and Project Management, emphasising temporary and contract solutions. For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn.
Supply Chain Salary & Employment Forecast Series
- Demand Planner
- Maintenance Engineer
- Warehouse Manager
- Sales & Operations Planning Manager
- Procurement Category Manager
- Production Planner
- Lean Manufacturing Manager
- Supply Chain Co-ordinator
- Supply Chain Manager
- Logistics Co-ordinator
- Production Manager
- Supply Chain Manager – SME
- Inventory Manager
- Reliability Engineer