Commodity Lead jobs
To get the most value out of a procurement operation, a commodity lead is often employed to deal directly with suppliers on behalf of the purchasing company. They will have a multitude of specific roles, but in essence they will be expected to keep costs as low as possible while maintaining the expected level of supply as per the business’s production requirements.
The commodity lead will need to keep a keen eye on the industry as a whole, checking out prices from a range of suppliers as a matter of routine. Identifying savings elsewhere will put the company in a stronger negotiating position with existing suppliers, creating a win-win situation as long as the competitor can meet delivery expectations. However a well negotiated long-term deal that saves future time and expense of seeking out new suppliers is far preferable.
Of course, it’s not all about saving money in simple terms; a good deal is about much more than that. Supplier might charge more for reasons that could prove highly advantageous to your own business, that save you more than they cost the supplier (perhaps because of their buying power in the sector, for example). So delving deep into bids from potential suppliers and modelling their propositions against your own company’s projections will form a key part of the job.
The skills required
The ideal commodity lead will have had some experience in procurement and will know their way around a negotiating table, representing their employer. They might well accompany superiors to such negotiations, where their in-depth knowledge of the particular deals in question will be used to strengthen the company’s position. Because negotiations are often fast-paced, a good grasp of maths, particularly mental arithmetic, will be vital for instinctively taking the temperature of a deal in progress.
Great communication skills and the ability to easily work in a team will be essential, as will competence at problem solving and forming firm, assertive decisions based on the best available data.
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