Purchasing Assistant

Purchasing Assistant jobs

Helping to keep company expenditure to an absolute minimum whilst ensuring delivery of orders on time are the main tasks of the purchasing assistant. As the name suggests, they might be working alongside purchasing managers or heads of procurement, and might be streamed into specific parts of the procurement operation, for example dealing with certain countries or certain materials, depending upon their expertise.

The role will involve a good deal of administration work too, as distinct from the work done by the more supplier-facing buyers. The purchasing assistant will usually need to collect the data on procurement quite regularly in order to keep on top of the reporting effort and maintain complete control over budgets and forecasts.

There could be some contact with suppliers in the job, perhaps chasing up invoices or keeping in communication to ensure things are running smoothly and that no issues threaten to jeopardise the constant supply should it be required by the employer.

The purchasing assistant is an important role in a procurement department, dealing with the paperwork and other admin work in order to allow the buyers to go about their work more efficiently.

The skills required

The buyers and purchasing management will be relying on the purchasing assistant to maintain a smoothly running procurement department, so independent-minded people who are able to work on their own initiative will be highly valued. They will need to understand the procurement process, and any specific knowledge of the sector that the position is in will certainly help, as it will increase the likelihood of awareness of specific documents and legal aspects of it.

The purchasing assistant may well have several or tens of buyers to process the work of, so they should be excellent at juggling many different sets of figures and lines of communication at once. The ability to collect and present information accurately will depend upon the purchasing assistant’s ability to communicate effectively, making this skill key to potential candidates.

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