What does a Purchasing Coordinator do?

A purchasing coordinator’s main responsibility is to purchase goods and services for his or her company or organization. Identifying and researching potential suppliers, preparing requests for proposals (RFP), reviewing proposals, and negotiating prices and terms are all examples of this. Purchasing coordinators receive requests for specific products or services that the company requires, and then obtain price quotes for those items. They create and place purchase orders with suppliers, as well as track orders to make sure they are delivered.

For organizations, receiving products and services on time is critical, particularly for manufacturers who rely on suppliers to deliver parts so they can build their own products. When shipments are late, the purchasing coordinator must ensure that suppliers deliver on time and resolve issues with suppliers. Purchasing coordinators also deal with issues such as damaged items, inferior products, and other issues that arise when purchase orders are delivered. Working in this position can sometimes require extensive travel to supplier locations, particularly when researching suppliers and negotiating contracts. Purchasing coordinators are frequently expected to assist their organizations in lowering costs negotiating better contracts and prices with vendors.

Purchasing coordinators may buy products and services for their own organizations or to resell wholesale or retail items. A purchasing coordinator at a large company with many purchasing employees may be in charge of specific aspects of purchasing, such as developing RFPs or placing orders. In smaller businesses, the purchasing coordinator may be in charge of all aspects of the procurement process. In small businesses, the purchasing function may be one of several roles held the same person.

Another aspect of the purchasing coordinator’s job is managing inventory for the company or organization, which may entail using computer databases to track inventory levels. Managing inventory levels can include forecasting when and how much to buy. Purchasing coordinators also create purchasing-related status reports and presentations. They might also be tasked with figuring out how to make purchasing processes and procedures better. The purchasing coordinator’s role may also include documenting processes and procedures.

Purchasing coordinators are also known as buyers, purchasing agents, and other similar terms. Depending on the employer’s requirements, a purchasing coordinator can have anywhere from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree. Purchasing coordinators must have strong communication skills to negotiate contracts, a strong analytical ability to choose suppliers and review contractual terms, and strong decision-making abilities. It’s also beneficial to be comfortable working with numbers and to have good computer skills.