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Occupation Details

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Procurement Officer / Buyer

Job Zone

Education
Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€28k > 80
Buyer / Planner Staff
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€28 - 80
Related Information:
Buyer/Planner: 28 - 60
Planning Manager: 55 - 80
Data Source(s):
Brightwater / Morgan McKinley / Sigmar

Last Updated: July, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

The National Skills Bulletin 2016 reports evidence that demand for specific administrative skills is increasing, particularly for procurement agents/officers (especially indirect procurement).

1%
Occupational Category

Buyers & Procurement Officers

Also included in this category:

Buyers; procurement officers; purchasing consultants

Number Employed:

3,700

Part time workers: 8%
Aged over 55: 22%
Male / Female: 52 / 48%
Non-Nationals: 0%
With Third Level: 58%
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At a Glance... header image

Sources and buys products and stock for use, or resale, by retailers, wholesalers, companies or organisations.


Videos & Interviews header image

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Art Buyer - from: icould [UK] Video
Go..Buyer - from: BAE Systems [UK] Video
Go..Fashion Buyer - from: iCould [UK] Video
Go..Production Buyer - from: icould [UK] Video

Go..Search YouTube for Procurement Officer / Buyer videos

The Work header image

Procurement officers (also known as purchasing and supplies officers, or buyers) buy raw materials, equipment, services and other items for use by an organisation. They might buy anything from office furniture to helicopters, timber for a shed manufacturing company to paper for a printing company, security services for a hospital to horses for the police force - the list is endless.

They make sure that they get the best value for money, that the company is holding the right amount of stock and that it has the appropriate suppliers in place to deliver the goods and services needed.

Buyers consult with user departments to find out which goods and services they need and then find companies that might be able to supply these. They obtain estimates of prices from possible suppliers and check on their past performance, for example, if they always deliver on time. Then they negotiate with them to agree the best possible price and quality.

Buyers have a budget and must try to buy what is needed without spending any more than this amount. When they have chosen a supplier, they agree the terms of the contract. They need to consider the legal aspects of buying and selling, and to understand the business needs and processes of their organisation.

Buyers use their knowledge of market conditions to forecast the availability and prices of supplies in order to buy at the right time.They take into account any problems that could occur and try to work around them. This could include placing several smaller orders for the same product with different suppliers in case of non-delivery or poor quality. They might have to accept or reject deliveries and be responsible for making sure that the items are suitable and delivered at the right time.

Some buyers might be involved in authorising payment, once they are satisfied with the quality and quantity of products. Buyers check the performance of their suppliers and try to solve any problems that might occur. If problems cannot be overcome, the buyer must find another supplier.

Some buyers might be involved in stock control and the safe and efficient storage of goods. Stockpiling goods is uneconomical and inefficient so the buyer tries to make sure that orders arrive 'just in time' for use or distribution. Increasingly, purchasing is an international profession and buyers might need to travel to meet suppliers across the world.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Use computers to organize and locate inventory, and operate spreadsheet and word processing software.

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Negotiate prices, discount terms and transportation arrangements for merchandise.

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Manage the department for which they buy.

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Confer with sales and purchasing personnel to obtain information about customer needs and preferences.

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Examine, select, order, and purchase at the most favorable price merchandise consistent with quality, quantity, specification requirements and other factors.

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Monitor and analyze sales records, trends, or economic conditions to anticipate consumer buying patterns and determine what the company will sell and how much inventory is needed.

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Set or recommend mark-up rates, mark-down rates, and selling prices for merchandise.

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Authorize payment of invoices or return of merchandise.

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Interview and work closely with vendors to obtain and develop desired products.

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Conduct staff meetings with sales personnel to introduce new merchandise.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Selling or Influencing Others: Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

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Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

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Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Administration and Management: Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Sales and Marketing: Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Economics and Accounting: Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a buyer, you will need to have:

  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Negotiating skills.
  • An aptitude for figures and the ability to manage a budget.
  • An analytical mind.
  • IT skills.
  • An interest in the activities of your own organisation.
  • The ability to build up a good knowledge of manufacturing and distribution methods and suppliers.
  • Teamwork skills.
  • The ability to prioritise tasks and manage your time to meet deadlines.

You should be:

  • Able to build good relationships with all kinds of people.
  • Persuasive.
  • Willing to make decisions and take responsibility for them.
  • Well organised, self-reliant and motivated.
  • Able to forecast future needs and plan ahead.

For some jobs, employers look for applicants with a technical or scientific background. Foreign language skills could be useful if you are buying from other countries.


Entry Routesheader image

Entrants typically have a Degree in a relevant subject area i.e. business studies, economics, marketing, retail management and IT. Foreign language skills are valued by companies who trade with overseas suppliers.

Last Updated:


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Buyer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Media buyer/planner - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management
Address: 17, Lower Mount St., Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 644 9660
Email: Click here
Url Click here

Job Search


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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Sales, Retail & Purchasing
Business Organisation & Management
Fashion & Beauty
Transport & Logistics

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