A procurement officer uses negotiation skills and strategic planning to reduce costs and drive efficiency – as a result, they are a key person in many large companies. We spoke to an experienced procurement officer about what their job involves.
What do you do every day as a senior procurement officer?
I develop systems and processes to ensure my team is purchasing everything the company needs at the best possible value for money. That can involve reviewing contracts to establish whether they meet our cost and performance needs, and if not, seeking out alternative options – often overseeing the entire tender process. That is of course coupled with reporting to internal stakeholders on the team's targets and savings, which last year were extraordinary.
What skills do you find most useful?
An analytical eye for detail is essential when reviewing contracts, and understanding where savings can be made or when negotiation is appropriate. More recently I have had to learn strong leadership and strategy skills too, as my team continues to grow and become more central to the business. My MCIPS qualification has been very useful in learning the practical ins and outs, as well as developing my strategic thinking.
What do find most challenging about being a procurement officer?
Probably supplier relationship management – keeping everybody happy and maintaining that relationship through negotiations or even ending contracts can be difficult, and requires strong communication and interpersonal skills.
What's your next career move?
After making my mark in this role I feel I'm ready to progress, so I'm keeping an eye out for a challenging procurement manager job; I'd like to learn more about e-procurement and be responsible for driving transformation. Eventually, the aim is to become chief procurement officer.
Find your next procurement officer job with Portfolio Procurement
Portfolio Procurement is a recruitment agency which specialises in finding top talent for sourcing and procurement jobs. To find your next role, browse our available procurement vacancies or call Pat Law on 020 7650 3191.