What do Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products do?

Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing.

  • Prepare purchase orders, solicit bid proposals, and review requisitions for goods and services.
  • Interview vendors and visit suppliers' plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices.
  • Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations.
  • Attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, conventions, and seminars to network with people in other purchasing departments.
  • Research and evaluate suppliers based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier's reputation and history.
  • Confer with staff, users, and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action.
  • Evaluate and monitor contract performance to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and to determine need for changes.
  • Maintain and review computerized or manual records of items purchased, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories.
  • Arrange the payment of duty and freight charges.
  • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other data and information to determine reasonable prices.
  • Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
  • Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts.
  • Formulate policies and procedures for bid proposals and procurement of goods and services.
  • Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters.
  • Study sales records and inventory levels of current stock to develop strategic purchasing programs that facilitate employee access to supplies.
  • Write and review product specifications, maintaining a working technical knowledge of the goods or services to be purchased.
  • Negotiate, renegotiate, and administer contracts with suppliers, vendors, and other representatives.
  • Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time and resolve problems related to undelivered goods.
  • Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets.

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