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Job Description and Average Salary of a Procurement Specialist

Job Description and Average Salary of a Procurement Specialist
A procurement specialist is adept at 'procuring' anything (goods, services, contracts, etc.) that benefits the organization. This CareerStint article will enlist the job description and average salary of a procurement specialist.
CareerStint Staff
Quick Fact
Procurement specialists may encounter legal issues in the course of their work; therefore, it is beneficial (not compulsory) for them to have sufficient knowledge about legal procedures regarding the industry they work in.

Supply chain management is an important part of the industry. Irrespective of the whether a company is big or small, the various phases that the business undergoes are required to be monitored. Every manager manages his department in the most efficient way possible; however, some people specifically help coordinate the process and ensure that it runs smoothly the way it was planned. Purchasing is an important aspect of this process, and this task is carried on by a procurement specialist. Through the paragraphs below, you will understand what a procurement specialist does.
Job Description   

Purchasing Strategies
  • 'Purchasing' is the keyword for a procurement specialist. It is what defines his work.
  • He has to plan and approve purchase orders.
  • He has to prioritize the purchased goods and services as per requirement.
  • Depending on the availability of material, he approves/disapproves further purchase orders.
  • He writes and updates suitable reports.
  • He is responsible for record-keeping and data entry.
  • He identifies the necessary raw material and other goods, and places orders to substitute for the bad ones as well as replenish the existing ones.
  • He conducts research about newer products and cost-effective material and writes reports about the same.
  • He evaluates the product and purchases standardized tools to improve the same.
  • He keeps track of the purchase orders and maintains reports about deadlines, expiry, registration date, etc.
Relationship Maintenance
  • As an efficient leader, he is supposed to maintain client and supplier relationships.
  • He visits trade shows and exhibits by different vendors and researches the information on new material and products.
  • He makes sure that his orders are in compliance with the supplier's agreement and guidelines.
  • He is responsible for consolidating the different suppliers that his company deals with.
  • He acts as the coordinator between the vendors and the company. He makes sure the complaints and requests are dealt with on a timely basis.
  • He strengthens relationships by providing high-quality customer service.
  • A senior procurement specialist is responsible for securing bids, creating a bidders' list, and selecting the suppliers from the list.
Contract Negotiation
  • Negotiating contracts and deals is one of the primary functions.
  • He will have to research on potential suppliers and other contacts, and initiate beneficial contracts.
  • Depending on the current scenario, he may sign long-term deals for a massive profit, or may sign short-term contracts for immediate gain. The choice depends on his vision and interpretation of the situation.
  • He has to develop and maintain procurement policies and other guidelines to be followed. This requires him to understand the law and comply with the established policies.
  • He oversees and coordinates all the aspects of negotiations and undertakes various strategies for successful process implementation.
Inventory Management
  • Inventory management is a tough one to crack, for a mediocre as well as massive company.
  • A procurement specialist has to lead the procurement function in the most efficient way possible.
  • He has to keep track of the huge inventory and develop tools to optimize the management.
  • He has to develop resources to improve the inventory function and maintain relevance with the established practices.
  • He has to be skilled in strategic management and logistics to handle the import and export of goods and services.
Financial Insight
  • A procurement specialist has to be very careful regarding cost reduction and cost management techniques. In fact, it is one of his primary duties to make sure that purchase orders are bought at the best price.
  • He has to keep track of changes in the market situation and understand the right time to place less expensive orders.
  • He has to oversee the financial position of the company for a stipulated period of time so that he may be able to judge where and how the capital needs to be managed.
  • He is expected to be aware of how much revenue has been spent, how much is available, and how much will be required in future.
  • Accordingly, he has to establish new financial policies and goals; perhaps, even a new financial structure to be followed.
  • In case more money is being spent, specialists should be able to assess the situation and justify the financial structure if the products are making sufficient revenue.
  • They should keep themselves updated about the latest policies and financial know-how.
Requirements
  • A bachelor's degree in a business-related field is a good start to this career.
  • You will need to gain at least 5 years of experience in logistics or supply chain management, to become a qualified procurement specialist.
  • Besides, you will need additional certificates for advancement opportunities.
  • On-the-job training will certainly open a lot of doors; you can gain sufficient experience and then move on to a sector of your choice.
  • Besides education, you will need communication skills, computer knowledge, and sufficient business ability for this designation.
Salary
  • The salary range of an entry-level procurement specialist falls between USD 24,000 to USD 32,000.
  • States like New York and Connecticut have a higher demand for this profession, given that their median salary ranges from USD 60,000 to USD 70,000.
  • In contrast, Alaska and Nebraska pay significantly lower salaries, between USD 40,000 to USD 50,000.
Alabama USD 60,000
Alaska USD 44,000
Arizona USD 49,000
Arkansas USD 61,000
California USD 64,000
Colorado USD 53,000
Connecticut USD 69,000
Delaware USD 52,000
Florida USD 56,000
Georgia USD 68,000
Hawaii USD 37,000
Idaho USD 39,000
Illinois USD 68,000
Indiana USD 57,000
Iowa USD 59,000
Kansas USD 55,000
Kentucky USD 52,000
Louisiana USD 53,000
Maine USD 53,000
Maryland USD 61,000
Massachusetts USD 72,000
Michigan USD 60,000
Minnesota USD 52,000
Mississippi USD 62,000
Missouri USD 59,000
Montana USD 50,000
Nebraska USD 44,000
Nevada USD 45,000
New Hampshire USD 59,000
New Jersey USD 64,000
New Mexico USD 52,000
New York USD 72,000
North Carolina USD 57,000
North Dakota USD 53,000
Ohio USD 57,000
Oklahoma USD 55,000
Oregon USD 58,000
Pennsylvania USD 58,000
Rhode Island USD 54,000
South Carolina USD 59,000
South Dakota USD 45,000
Tennessee USD 55,000
Texas USD 58,000
Utah USD 46,000
Vermont USD 53,000
Virginia USD 60,000
Washington USD 62,000
West Virginia USD 56,000
Wisconsin USD 53,000
Wyoming USD 49,000
Source: Indeed.com as of February 24, 2015. Figures are in US Dollars.
Work Environment
  • The work environment of a procurement specialist varies heavily depending on the industry.
  • At times, you may be working regular hours, from 9 to 5, in front of a computer, while sometimes, you may be constantly traveling to meet suppliers and vendors to negotiate deals.
  • You may encounter several deadlines in this field, for the job responsibilities are aplenty.
  • You will be employed in the government, oil and gas industries, software and electronic companies, medicine, manufacturing, retail, etc.
  • Like most of the management jobs, this one is highly stressful and demanding as well, and non-completion of any task may leave you harassed and frustrated.
  • However, all said and done, the work is very interesting and your people skills are always subject to increase exponentially.
The job of a procurement specialist is primarily related to purchasing, as you may have observed. Your job duties may be subject to variation as per your designation as different organizations have different expectations.