One of the most vital aspects of running a company’s procurement processes is the responsibility of the purchasing agent. This is to ensure the company is amply supplied in order not to run out of much-needed supplies. A purchasing agent has the primary responsibility of keeping track of all purchases and keeping inventory records to make sure the company is supplied with everything it needs. He has the task of ensuring production capacity is not hampered and smooth operation is maintained through supplies being provided for manufacturing.
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A purchasing agent’s responsibility is not only to purchase goods or services but are given prime responsibilities of reviewing each product’s quality to ensure whatever is used in the manufacturing department is up to standards. They’re also tasked to evaluate suppliers to find out if they can supply both on a long-term or short-term basis depending on the contract. Oftentimes, manufacturing problems are caused by suppliers not being able to supply much-needed materials needed in the manufacturing process after several deliveries.
Other tasks and duties of a purchasing agent includes,
- staying up to date of any current market updates of the products and services used by the company and explore alternative products whose quality and costs are lower than the current products being bought by the company;
- review purchase requisition processes within established paradigms and contacting suppliers when requirements do not meet specifics of cost and quality or if any of the procedures do not meet established criteria;
- develop primary and alternate sources of supplies if current suppliers cannot meet requirements and assure company is not at risk from a single-source vendor whose supply capabilities may not be up to par with company requirements;
- establishing supply arrangements that should be advantageous with company requirements such as reducing costs and procurement timetables and inventory investments; and
- work with both management and suppliers to establish product standards and availability within established parameters to ensure orders are meeting all the requirements of the company’s standards.
Those are some of the primary functions of a purchasing agent. Besides the ones mentioned above, a responsible purchasing agent should always implement ongoing reviews of each procurement policy to ensure the best possible practice of procurement, tendering, and contracting of services in the company are being followed.
For sales-related job descriptions, our website also offers Merchandiser Job Description Samples and Buyer Job Descriptions. These are for companies looking to hire the services of these professions and ensure only the best possible qualified applicants are hired.
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Lastly, it’s vital that purchasing agents need to discourage uniform bidding and discourage unscrupulous suppliers from gaining favors through offering of bribes and gifts. Not only is the practice frowned upon by companies, it can also result in a loss of trust and confidence that can lead to the purchasing agent being fired from his job.
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