Purchasing Staff

Product and commodity responsibilities should be clearly defined. However, from time to time, product responsibilities should change to break up relationships between buyers and vendors and instill a new sense of competition to the buying process. People with the right skills and experience are needed to head and staff the purchasing function.

If the company does not have people with the right skills and experience, it must replace the current staff with people who do have them.

Effective Procedures

The job emphasis for the buyer must be buying, not paper work preparation.

If one made a survey of how buyers spend their time, it might show that only approximately 18 percent of their time is spent on purchasing analysis and negotiation. The rest of their time is spent on clerical chores.

One useful alternative is for a buyer to have a computer, which allows him to instantly call up the previous purchasing and pricing history of the items and the experience had with the vendor.

Vendor identification and qualification can be hard task. Visits must be made to potential new vendors to see that they have the right equipment, people, and operating procedures. Another issue to examine is whether there are too many active vendors for similar items.

A company must determine whether an analysis of purchase requirements has been made, with resulting decisions on where to concentrate attention for greatest probable impact. From time to time, a fresh market test will reveal whether or not it would be advisable to change vendors.


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Functional Strategies
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