Want to Become a Purchasing Agent? Here Are 3 Skills You Must Possess
If you want to be a part of the manufacturing, wholesale, or retail trades and are able to make well-thought out decisions that result in better products for your customers and higher sales for your company, becoming a certified purchasing agent may be an excellent career move. Purchasing agent training can be highly beneficial in preparing you for your purchasing agent duties and for obtaining any certifications that your potential position may require. But before you even start applying for purchasing agent jobs in your area, you might want to take a look at these three skills that you should possess. Most likely, any job description for purchasing agents that you see will highlight these, as well as other purchasing agent responsibilities you’re likely to encounter. If you want to go into this field, you’ll want to make sure you possess the following:
- Math Skills
You don’t need to be a mathematical genius to pursue purchasing agent training or positions, but you do need to have a good basic math foundation. You need to calculate and compare prices to make sure your company is getting a good deal on product and is able to make a more substantial profit in the end. You may have software to help you with your calculations, but you still need to be comfortable and accurate with numbers.
- Analytical and Decision-Making Skills
In order to become a successful purchasing agent, you need to be able to analyze and make thoughtful (and sometimes fast) decisions. You’ll likely have a choice of many options for suppliers and products. You’ll have to choose a supplier that has the best price, quality, delivery options, and overall service. You may even have to make decisions about the type of packaging you’ll use for your products. For instance, using paper to package goods will reduce the use of plastic and can make cargo more eco-friendly. This may or may not be a cost-effective option depending on your industry, but you need to be able to weigh other factors — like overall brand identity and goals of the company — when making decisions. You’ll also need to make these choices quickly and with all pertinent information at your disposal. And in the end, you need to choose products that will translate into successful sales for the company. There are numerous factors to keep in mind, and you’ll have to juggle them all. For this reason, purchasing agent training can be very valuable.
- People Skills
A purchasing agent mustn’t shy away from a negotiation. Often, you’ll have to haggle a bit with a supplier or negotiate the terms of contract. You need to have a lot of knowledge about your industry and the product in question to do this effectively. You also need to know how to interact with people in a way that can get you what you need while maintaining positive working relationships. Self-confidence is a must, as is self-awareness and a positive attitude. This is not a job you can do without interacting with people; interpersonal skills are required to succeed.
If you’d like to find out more about getting your purchasing agent certification or additional details about what a purchasing agent position entails, please contact us today.