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You become a much more valuable employee when you know more about a product than anyone else in your org..." />

Become a Products Specialist Purchaser

Date: 04/01/2012

You become a much more valuable employee when you know more about a product than anyone else in your organization. For example, if you buy steel, engineers and production people will come to you for advice. Even those who market your company’s product will ask you when the price of steel will rise.

If you buy printing, other departments will want your advice about how to design a brochure or form to save expense. If you buy packaging, they will ask you what specifications to make.

If you buy paint, the maintenance department will appreciate your advice about obtaining the best coating for a certain material surface.

By becoming a specialist you improve your job security. A company hesitates before laying off an expert that they need.

However, there is a downside when your skill is needed in a certain area. Management may not want to promote you if they think they will lose your knowledge and efforts in an important function. Therefore you must show that you are not only very knowledgeable about a certain product, but you also know how to manage in general, and know professional purchasing management in particular. To do so, make sure you have obtained your CPP and CPPM and they are up to date.

Purchasing managers can’t be thoroughly familiar with every product or service purchased by the organization, but they can know about several. It is a good idea to become an expert about the major products the company buys. Those products are the ones for which the organization spends the most.

In addition, it is wise to become well informed about the products your company sells. This information shows your interest in the organization and helps you convey what your company requires from suppliers. It helps you explain the products to your suppliers so they can offer suggestions to help your company improve in various ways. Supplier salespeople who call on you can indirectly help sell your company’s products by spreading the word.