Chief Procurement Officer

Chief Procurement Officer jobs

Maintaining the efficiency of the procurement efforts of the employer’s key operations will be the responsibility of the chief procurement officer. She or he will need to keep in constant touch with the suppliers to ensure they are aware of future needs and also to keep costs as low as possible. Because procurement is so closely tied to profitability, the chief procurement officer will also need to be constantly surveying the market to find out whether savings could be made by switching suppliers, or indeed to decide whether a close client relationship is worth paying extra for if it brings efficiencies in other ways.

The procurement officer will need to have a keen sense of the market in which his or her employer operates, in order to gauge good costs and spot trends that could lead to prices rising or falling. Good intelligence will allow better planning to take place at board level, and the longer in advance they are made aware of such changes, the better will be their decisions.

The job will probably also involve a good deal of negotiation with suppliers to drive down prices, but a sensitivity towards their own requirements will be required; in some markets, suppliers themselves have a lot of bargaining power.

Good chief procurement officers can make a huge difference to the company’s expenditure, and therefore particularly skilled and experienced operatives can be remunerated extremely well.

The skills required

For such a senior procurement role, the entry requirements will be strict. Typically, experience of working in a procurement environment should be several years, but ten or fifteen would not be an unusual request. Management skills will be required, as the chief procurement officer will be overseeing a whole team, especially in larger companies. And finally, experience in the type of goods being supplied to the employer will be hugely advantageous to potential candidates.

An ability to work independently of senior management and make critical decisions without constantly referring them to the board will be highly valued. Chief procurement officers will be judged on their experience and results, and as long as they are delivering and maximising profits, their personal stock will be forever on the up.

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