Buyers and Purchasing Agents
Buyers and purchasing agents obtain the products and services a business needs to sustain operations. These professionals provide crucial functions in organizations to help them achieve their objectives.
A buyer and purchasing agent is a professional who buys the raw materials, equipment, and services a business needs to carry out its operations. They collect and screen information about suppliers, products, and prices in order to select and purchase goods and services.
There are several types of buyers and purchasing agents, such as:
- Buyers and purchasing agents of farm products: These buyers and purchasing agents buy agricultural products to resell or use them as raw materials. Such products include corn, grain, cotton, and rubber.
- Wholesale and retail buyers and purchasing agents of consumer goods: Wholesale/retail buyers purchase products solely for resale. Another name for a buyer or purchasing agent who obtains consumer (finished) goods as merchandise manager.
- Service companies also rely on these buyers and purchasing agents to guarantee seamless operations. An insurance company doesn't need chemical products or raw materials, but it needs office supplies and services such as cleaning and communications.
This professional manages the inventory of a business, selects suppliers, verifies and records details of business purchases, negotiates contracts with vendors on behalf of the company, and ensures compliance with regulations guiding procurement of goods and services.
Buying and purchasing agents must have a high school degree or GED. Large organizations may expect a bachelor’s degree in an area like supply management, business, finance, or agriculture.