We often tend to believe that in business there are only sales. To a certain extent the same thing happens as in football. The golden ball is always awarded to a striker. However, there is another crucial individual in both large companies and SMEs: the purchasing director. Even if you don’t appreciate their genius, they are definitely essential to the success of a business.
What Companies Value in a Purchasing Manager
If you think about the responsibility that purchasing managers have in a company, you immediately realize that a large part of the success and reputation of a company relies on their activity. Aspects such as the quality of the final product, the optimization of logistics and the correct functioning of the entire production chain depend on the success of their work.
It is for this reason that in the ideology of any company you find that the profile of these executives is especially valued for presenting a perfect balance between their hard skills and their soft skills. In this difficult equilibrium you find that experience, market knowledge and general skills normally have greater value than academic training and knowledge.
Ability to plan and organize
This is an essential quality required of purchasing executives at any company Not only do they have to organize and structure their department perfectly, but they also have to adapt it to other departments, knowing their exact requirements and establishing the perfect business strategy to meet those requirements on time.
The purchasing manager must not only take into account the quality of the products when selecting the suppliers. For the company, good judgment in this area is fundamental. It is judgment that must take into account many other factors such as regular supply capacity, alternatives to supply, the logistical structure of those chosen or their ability to react to unforeseen events.
In the absence of such judgment it is easy to imagine the high risk to which a company’s activity would be exposed if its supply chain failed at any of its points.
Ability to negotiate
Negotiation skills are another of the most sought-after characteristics in a purchase manager. So much so that, being soft skills by definition, these skills have become the object of study in training courses. You also find important specialist courses to develop the same between the managers of this activity or aspiring managers.
Reaching the best supply agreements involves commitments on both sides. Getting the best prices and payment terms are, together with the service guarantee, the main objective of negotiation.
Leadership capacity and image
The executive director of purchasing exercises leadership in two spheres. One internal, directing in-house human resources and another oriented to the external, mobilizing the response of suppliers to any adverse situation.
It is precisely in this external sphere that purchasing managers must deploy their best presentation skills to impose all their personality and competence.