What Do Purchasing Managers Do: Job Description, Responsibilities and Duties

Stanley TanLeave a Comment

daily life of a Purchasing Manager
are Purchasing Managers happy with their job

Purchasing Managers

Other names for this job might include Buyer, Circuit Rider, Circuit Walker, Commissary Superintendent, Commodity Manager, Contract Administrator, Contract Coordinator, Contract Manager, Contracting Manager, Contracting Officer

  • $114130
  • 73%
    Job satisfaction
  • Quite Hard
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
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Being A Purchasing Manager: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Purchasing Managers do and what is their typical work day like.

After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Purchasing Manager or not.

Job summary

Purchasing Managers plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services. Includes wholesale or retail trade merchandising managers and procurement managers.

We asked Purchasing Managers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


73% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 49% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Purchasing Managers Maintain records of goods ordered and received. They Prepare and process requisitions and purchase orders for supplies and equipment.

1 of the main responsibilities as A Purchasing Manager is to Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in buying, selling, and distributing materials, equipment, machinery, and supplies.

Some may also Administer online purchasing systems.

A typical day for A Purchasing Manager look like this:

Maintain operational records.
Prepare forms or applications.
Supervise employees.

We asked some Purchasing Managers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?100% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?100% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?42% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?83% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?33% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?4% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?4% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?54% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Purchasing Managers do, they Locate vendors of materials, equipment or supplies, and interview them to determine product availability and terms of sales. They might also Control purchasing department budgets.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Purchasing Managers Review purchase order claims and contracts for conformance to company policy. and Analyze market and delivery systems to assess present and future material availability.

In addition, they Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products or substitute materials.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Resolve vendor or contractor grievances, and claims against suppliers.

To some Purchasing Managers, it is also their responsibility to Represent companies in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Interview employees, customers, or others to collect information.
Coordinate with external parties to exchange information.
Prepare operational budgets.
Examine financial records to ensure compliance with policies or regulations.
Analyze data to inform operational decisions or activities.
Implement transportation changes to reduce environmental impact.
Develop specifications for new products or processes.

Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Purchasing Manager, you can expect to work More than 40 hours per week.

Do Purchasing Managers work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Purchasing Managers work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Purchasing Managers work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Persuaders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

You will like this career if you are someone who likes starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

You also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

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Rank: A
Salary: $93180

They plan, direct, or coordinate purchasing, warehousing, distribution, forecasting, customer service, or planning services. Manage logistics personnel and logistics systems and direct daily operations.
Rank: C+
Salary: $64730

They purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semi-finished materials for manufacturing.
Rank: A
Salary: $110210

They direct or coordinate production, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, or financial forecasting services or activities to limit costs and improve accuracy, customer service, or safety. Examine existing procedures or opportunities for streamlining activities to meet product distribution needs. Direct the movement, storage, or processing of inventory.
Rank: B+
Salary: $93180

They plan, direct, or coordinate the transportation operations within an organization or the activities of organizations that provide transportation services.
Rank: B+
Salary: $76830

They analyze product delivery or supply chain processes to identify or recommend changes. May manage route activity including invoicing, electronic bills, and shipment tracing.

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Additional resources


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Purchasing Managers
Written by: Stanley Tan
Purchasing Managers plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services. Includes wholesale or retail trade merchandising managers and procurement managers.
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