What does an Industrial Buyer do?

Industrial buyers are professionals who are authorized to make purchase decisions on behalf of a company, non-profit organization, or government agency regarding the acquisition of raw materials, finished goods, or services that are necessary for the organization’s ongoing operations. The buyer’s goal is to find high-quality goods and services and negotiate the best possible price for them. An industrial buyer is typically involved in the process of establishing contracts with suppliers and utilizing those contracts in the company’s, agency’s, or association’s best interests.

An industrial buyer may work as an entity’s sole buyer or as part of a team of buyers who oversee the acquisition process for larger corporations. When a company or other entity has multiple buyers, it’s common for each of them to focus on finding the best deals for specific product classes or types. One buyer, for example, might focus on business products such as phone and Internet services, as well as other telecommunications products like audio teleconferencing and web conferencing solutions. A different buyer may be in charge of overseeing the purchase of raw materials required to manufacture finished goods for sale, while a third is in charge of overseeing the purchase of manufacturing equipment and components.

In some companies, an industrial buyer collaborates closely with other departments to develop realistic operating budgets. As part of this role, the buyer is frequently asked to forecast demand for the entity’s products, as well as price changes for the goods and services required to keep the entity running smoothly. This frequently entails conducting market research, looking for indicators of upcoming changes that the entity will need to address in order to remain successful.

The industrial buyer frequently acts as a liaison between the company and its vendors. The buyer may also provide communication between department heads and vendors approved the entity’s purchasing department, depending on the operational structure. Rarely, the buyer may be asked to meet with potential customers as part of the sales process, usually to educate them on how quality products are chosen and how that selection benefits them.

In terms of education and experience, it’s not uncommon for an industrial buyer to have a master’s degree in business or finance. Many companies hire buyers who have a track record of successfully negotiating with suppliers and accurately reading market conditions. When a buyer is asked to manage a group of buyers, the individual will almost always have some business management education.