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Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products

Purchase machinery, equipment, tools, parts, supplies, or services necessary for the operation of an establishment. Purchase raw or semifinished materials for manufacturing. May negotiate contracts.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Maintain and review computerized or manual records of purchased items, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories.
    • Confer with staff, users, and vendors to discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services and determine corrective action.
    • Write and review product specifications, maintaining a working technical knowledge of the goods or services to be purchased.
    • Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
    • Negotiate, renegotiate, and administer contracts with suppliers, vendors, and other representatives.
    • Formulate policies and procedures for bid proposals and procurement of goods and services.
    • Evaluate and monitor contract performance to ensure compliance with contractual obligations and to determine need for changes.
    • Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets.
    • Monitor and follow applicable laws and regulations.
    • Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters.
    • Interview vendors and visit suppliers' plants and distribution centers to examine and learn about products, services, and prices.
    • Prepare purchase orders, solicit bid proposals, and review requisitions for goods and services.
    • Maintain and review computerized or manual records of purchased items, costs, deliveries, product performance, and inventories.
    • Purchase the highest quality merchandise at the lowest possible price and in correct amounts.
    • Monitor changes affecting supply and demand, tracking market conditions, price trends, or futures markets.
    • Hire, train, or supervise purchasing clerks, buyers, and expediters.
    • Study sales records and inventory levels of current stock to develop strategic purchasing programs that facilitate employee access to supplies.
    • Arrange the payment of duty and freight charges.
    • Analyze price proposals, financial reports, and other data and information to determine reasonable prices.
    • Monitor shipments to ensure that goods come in on time, and resolve problems related to undelivered goods.
    • Review catalogs, industry periodicals, directories, trade journals, and Internet sites and consult with other department personnel to locate necessary goods and services.
    • Attend meetings, trade shows, conferences, conventions, and seminars to network with people in other purchasing departments.
    • Research and evaluate suppliers, based on price, quality, selection, service, support, availability, reliability, production and distribution capabilities, and the supplier's reputation and history.
    • Prepare purchase orders, solicit bid proposals, and review requisitions for goods and services.

    Skills

    • Active Listening

      Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

    • Science

      Using scientific rules and strategies to solve problems.

    • Programming

      Writing computer programs.

    • Mathematics

      Using math to solve problems.

    • Technology Design

      Making equipment and technology useful for customers.

    • Repairing

      Repairing machines or systems using the right tools.

    • Speaking

      Talking to others.

    • Equipment Selection

      Deciding what kind of tools and equipment are needed to do a job.

    • Operation and Control

      Using equipment or systems.

    • Monitoring

      Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.

    • Negotiation

      Bringing people together to solve differences.

    • Operations Analysis

      Figuring out what a product or service needs to be able to do.

    • Systems Evaluation

      Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

    • Management of Financial Resources

      Making spending decisions and keeping track of what is spent.

    • Management of Personnel Resources

      Selecting and managing the best workers for a job.

    • Writing

      Writing things for co-workers or customers.

    • Social Perceptiveness

      Understanding people's reactions.

    • Instructing

      Teaching people how to do something.

    • Troubleshooting

      Figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work.

    • Coordination

      Changing what is done based on other people's actions.

    • Systems Analysis

      Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it.

    • Time Management

      Managing your time and the time of other people.

    • Management of Material Resources

      Managing equipment and materials.

    • Reading Comprehension

      Reading work-related information.

    • Learning Strategies

      Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things.

    • Persuasion

      Talking people into changing their minds or their behavior.

    • Complex Problem Solving

      Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

    • Installation

      Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs.

    • Judgment and Decision Making

      Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.

    • Critical Thinking

      Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

    • Operations Monitoring

      Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.

    • Active Learning

      Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.

    • Service Orientation

      Looking for ways to help people.

    • Equipment Maintenance

      Planning and doing the basic maintenance on equipment.

    • Quality Control Analysis

      Testing how well a product or service works.

    WorkKeys®

    Applied Math
    5
    Workplace Documents
    5
    Graphic Literacy
    6

    Abilities

    • Information Ordering

      Ordering or arranging things.

    • Perceptual Speed

      Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

    • Manual Dexterity

      Holding or moving items with your hands.

    • Response Orientation

      Quickly deciding if you should move your hand, foot, or other body part.

    • Hearing Sensitivity

      Telling the difference between sounds.

    • Sound Localization

      Noticing the direction that a sound came from.

    • Gross Body Coordination

      Moving your arms, legs, and mid-section together while your whole body is moving.

    • Oral Expression

      Communicating by speaking.

    • Written Expression

      Communicating by writing.

    • Fluency of Ideas

      Coming up with lots of ideas.

    • Inductive Reasoning

      Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.

    • Speed of Closure

      Quickly knowing what you are looking at.

    • Time Sharing

      Doing two or more things at the same time.

    • Finger Dexterity

      Putting together small parts with your fingers.

    • Speed of Limb Movement

      Quickly moving your arms and legs.

    • Trunk Strength

      Using your lower back and stomach.

    • Extent Flexibility

      Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching with your body, arms, and/or legs.

    • Problem Sensitivity

      Noticing when problems happen.

    • Deductive Reasoning

      Using rules to solve problems.

    • Mathematical Reasoning

      Choosing the right type of math to solve a problem.

    • Flexibility of Closure

      Seeing hidden patterns.

    • Visualization

      Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

    • Arm-Hand Steadiness

      Keeping your arm or hand steady.

    • Control Precision

      Quickly changing the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.

    • Rate Control

      Changing when and how fast you move based on how something else is moving.

    • Reaction Time

      Quickly moving your hand, finger, or foot based on a sound, light, picture or other command.

    • Static Strength

      Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying.

    • Explosive Strength

      Jumping, sprinting, or throwing something.

    • Dynamic Flexibility

      Quickly and repeatedly bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching out with your body, arms, and/or legs.

    • Gross Body Equilibrium

      Keeping your balance or staying upright.

    • Night Vision

      Seeing at night or under low light.

    • Depth Perception

      Deciding which thing is closer or farther away from you, or deciding how far away it is from you.

    • Glare Sensitivity

      Seeing something even if there is a glare or very bright light.

    • Spatial Orientation

      Knowing where things are around you.

    • Oral Comprehension

      Listening and understanding what people say.

    • Speech Recognition

      Recognizing spoken words.

    • Auditory Attention

      Paying attention to one sound while there are other distracting sounds.

    • Written Comprehension

      Reading and understanding what is written.

    • Originality

      Creating new and original ideas.

    • Memorization

      Remembering words, numbers, pictures, or steps.

    • Multilimb Coordination

      Using your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down.

    • Wrist-Finger Speed

      Making fast, simple, repeated movements of your fingers, hands, and wrists.

    • Dynamic Strength

      Exercising for a long time without your muscles getting tired.

    • Stamina

      Exercising for a long time without getting out of breath.

    • Speech Clarity

      Speaking clearly.

    • Near Vision

      Seeing details up close.

    • Far Vision

      Seeing details that are far away.

    • Visual Color Discrimination

      Noticing the difference between colors, including shades and brightness.

    • Peripheral Vision

      Seeing something to your side when your are looking ahead.

    • Category Flexibility

      Grouping things in different ways.

    • Number Facility

      Adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.

    • Selective Attention

      Paying attention to something without being distracted.

    Knowledge

    • Administration and Management

      Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

    • Administrative

      Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

    • Biology

      Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

    • Therapy and Counseling

      Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    • Fine Arts

      Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

    • History and Archeology

      Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.

    • Public Safety and Security

      Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

    • Communications and Media

      Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

    • Sales and Marketing

      Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

    • Production and Processing

      Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

    • Design

      Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

    • Sociology and Anthropology

      Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.

    • Mechanical

      Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    • Food Production

      Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

    • Chemistry

      Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

    • Geography

      Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

    • Mathematics

      Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

    • Psychology

      Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

    • Foreign Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of a foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

    • Philosophy and Theology

      Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.

    • Transportation

      Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.

    • Computers and Electronics

      Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    • Building and Construction

      Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.

    • Engineering and Technology

      Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

    • Medicine and Dentistry

      Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

    • Education and Training

      Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

    • Law and Government

      Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

    • Telecommunications

      Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

    • Economics and Accounting

      Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking, and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • Personnel and Human Resources

      Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.

    • Physics

      Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.

    Career Video

    Additional videos and more information available on CareerOneStop

    Pay

    • Ohio Annual Salary 63170/yr
    • Typical Salary
    • Ohio Hourly Wage 30.37/hr
    • Typical Hourly Wage

    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 16,500
    • Yearly Projected Openings 1560

    Typical Education

    Personality

    Conventional: People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Integrity
    • Attention to Detail
    • Dependability
    • Stress Tolerance
    • Analytical Thinking
    • Initiative

    Tools

    • Desktop calculator
    • Desktop computers
    • Laser fax machine
    • Notebook computers
    • Personal computers
    • Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers
    • Photocopiers
    • Scanners
    • Special purpose telephones
    • Tablet computers

    Technology

    • Accounting software
    • Analytical or scientific software
    • Business intelligence and data analysis software
    • Cloud-based data access and sharing software
    • Data base reporting software
    • Data base user interface and query software
    • Document management software
    • Electronic mail software
    • Enterprise resource planning ERP software
    • Enterprise system management software
    • Financial analysis software
    • Graphics or photo imaging software
    • Internet browser software
    • Inventory management software
    • Office suite software
    • Presentation software
    • Process mapping and design software
    • Project management software
    • Sales and marketing software
    • Spreadsheet software
    • Word processing software

    Tags

    • Apprenticeships are available for this occupation. These programs can help you get hands-on experience and build your skills.
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