Buyers do more than just checking lists and placing orders. They rely on their strategic, analytical, planning and negotiation skills to perform different demanding tasks. Operational buyers are primarily responsible for operational procurement activities.
Which opportunities do buyers have on the labour market?
Buyers enable companies to increase their profits – the cheaper the materials they buy, the higher is the company’s profit. Thus, qualified buyers play a key role and are highly sought-after.
What are the tasks and responsibilities of buyers?
Buyers develop strategies to ensure a best possible purchasing process, observe markets and decide on how many and which suppliers to work with.
There is a difference between strategic, technical and operational buyers: While technical buyers are mainly responsible for the purchasing of technical operating equipment and machinery, strategic buyers may also work in other business units. Operational buyers, in turn, are in charge of ordering and deadline tracking processes and process returns and complaints.
Market observation and analysis with focus on prices, suppliers, producers and new technologies
Determination of purchasing strategies
Identification of cost improvement potentials of logistics areas
Application of their good knowledge regarding stock and production processes for the analysis of defined requirements
Ensuring the timely provision of production materials
Processing of returns and complaints
Which hard skills and soft skills should buyers have?
Buyers do not necessarily require an academic degree. However, if they have completed a study programme in business administration, their chances of finding a suitable job improve. Technical buyers, by contrast, need to have completed a course of studies in an engineering-related field or a technical training to be able to assess the own products, the relevant requirements and the quality of the goods purchased. Furthermore, buyers should possess certain other skills.
Very good language skills, at least in English (nowadays, purchasing processes increasingly take place at global level)
A high willingness to travel (for visits to suppliers)
Good mathematical skills and business knowledge for the assessment and execution of cost calculations
Strong negotiation and communication skills
Basic legal knowledge (to be able to assess contracts)
What is the average salary of buyers?
Buyers have a rather high salary: Junior buyers with an academic degree annually earn between EUR 43,000 (with a bachelor’s degree) and EUR 47,000 (with a master’s degree). Depending on professional experience and industry, the average annual salary may rise up to between EUR 63,000 (automotive industry) and EUR 76,000 (mechanical engineering). With a starting salary of under EUR 40,000 per year, operational buyers earn a little less.
Are you a qualified buyer searching for a new position with responsibility and a broad range of activities? Then contact us! We have a good network with top German companies and can offer you challenging, well-paid jobs. Make use of the numerous benefits of finding a job with Hays!