"What Separates A World-Class Purchasing
Professional From The Average Buyer?"
PurchTips - Edition # 24 June 3, 2003
By Charles Dominick
Purchasing Expert Panel
From time to time, Next Level Purchasing, Inc. will pose a question to our Purchasing Expert Panel (PEP).
Here are the PEP's responses to the above question:
"The purchasing professional thinks like a business owner. He or she understands the goals and objectives of the organization, understands the business climate, builds customer relationships, makes effective choices, and markets and sells the procurement function to both internal and external contacts."
Marilyn Gettinger, C.P.M.
New Directions Consulting Group
"There are several items which separate a world-class purchasing professional from the average buyer. The
first item is purchasing with a strategic mindset. The purchasing professional focuses on ensuring his or her
purchasing activities support the organization's strategic goals. The average buyer focuses on tactical purchases, or simply buying what he or she is directed to buy. A second item which distinguishes the purchasing
professional is self-development. The purchasing professional continually seeks to promote his or her
development by attendance at training seminars, continuing post-secondary education, reading and
benchmarking practices of world-class purchasing organizations. The average buyer will do little more than attend mandatory training sponsored by his or her organization. A third aspect is supplier relationships. The purchasing professional seeks to develop partnerships with world-class suppliers who have competitive pricing, outstanding quality systems, on-time delivery and customer centricity. The average buyer focuses on finding suppliers with the lowest price without focusing on the total cost of ownership. A fourth aspect displayed by purchasing professionals is a desire to engage cross-functional teams in the purchasing process. This ensures adherence to specifications, team-building, and organizational acceptance of purchasing activities. The average buyer may participate on teams if asked, but does not seek to develop and lead these teams."
Adam Gustetic, C.P.M.
Manager, Supplier Management
University of Pittsburgh
"A world class purchasing professional should consider himself or herself not just a buyer but a supply manager. Such a professional will have a solid understanding of value analysis, target costing, strategic sourcing, the impact of technology on the discipline, and a cross-functional view of the business."
William D. Presutti, Jr. Ph.D., C.P.M.
Associate Dean/Associate Professor
John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business- Duquesne University
"World Class Purchaser - As the title implies, a World Class Purchaser is interested in the events of the
business world both domestically and internationally. Keeping a pulse on new business trends throughout the
world is critical to expanding the Purchaser's outlook and openness to different views, methods, tools and, in
general, personal growth. Being interested in progress and improvement, World Class Purchasers look for
avenues to improve their knowledge base via continuing education programs using their own resources as
necessary because they thrive on learning and gaining new knowledge to become increasingly more savvy and
effective Purchasers. They seek additional knowledge in order not to become outdated in their thinking or skill
sets and continually challenge themselves regardless of their work status or employer's corporate culture.
World Class Purchasers feel it is necessary to develop new abilities in order to continually achieve personal
growth and improved job satisfaction. They seek more challenging opportunities because they are in the field
they enjoy and are striving to learn from best practices. They do not hold dear or rely on old rules and outdated
views of Purchasing which do not encourage progress and growth. They view their work as a career in
development, continually seeking ways to improve results and test their new skills, rather than view the more narrow confines of their current abilities, skills and opportunities as all that is possible."
Aircraft & Technical Buyer
"The world-class purchasing professional has an obsession with optimizing the key performance indicators of the overall organization through the application of purchasing best practices and continuous improvement."
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
Are You A World-Class Purchasing Professional
We have taken the salient points from the comments of the PEP and converted them into the following checklist. Use the checklist to evaluate yourself and identify areas for improvement.
- I understand the goals and objectives of the organization
- I ensure that my purchasing activities support the organization's strategic goals
- I have an obsession with optimizing the key performance indicators of the overall organization through the application or purchasing best practices and continuous improvement
- I understand the business climate
- I build customer relationships
- I make effective choices
- I market and sell the procurement function to both internal and external contacts
- I continually seek to develop new skills and abilities through continuing education
- I develop partnerships with world-class suppliers who have competitive pricing, outstanding quality systems, on-time delivery and customer-centricity
- I have a desire to engage cross-functional teams in the purchasing process
- I have a solid understanding of value analysis
- I have a solid understanding of target costing
- I have a solid understanding of strategic sourcing
- I have a solid understanding of the impact of technology on the discipline
- I am interested in the events of the business world, both domestically and internationally
- I seek more challenging opportunities
Spotlight On Professional Development Opportunities
Are these 7 little-known negotiating mistakes letting your suppliers laugh all the way to the bank? Look, even if you've successfully negotiated price reductions, you may not be getting the best deals possible. Knowing a few techniques is not enough. You especially need to know what NOT to do in a negotiation. In just 15 minutes, Next Level Purchasing's 15-Minute Tutorial "Negotiation No-No's" will teach you how to avoid the common negotiation mistakes that can cost your organization dearly. A "virtual negotiation" exercise allows you to assess your negotiation prowess.
When you register, you will get immediate access to the tutorial. You can take the tutorial whenever you want to over a 60-day period.
Plus, your online learning experience is 100% risk-free. If you are not satisfied for any reason, let us know within 7 days and you'll get a hassle-free refund.
For more information on this 15-Minute Tutorial and other online classes for purchasing professionals, visit:
There are four irreversible business and technology trends that are likely to cost purchasers like you their jobs in the next 12 months. Do you know what they are? Do you know how to protect yourself from their effects? If not, you should get your FREE report entitled "Career Survival In Supply Management."
"Career Survival In Supply Management" describes these four trends and how they are steadily decreasing the number of purchasing jobs in today's volatile global economy. It then gives you a seven-step process to stay in the game under the new rules. If you want to remain in the purchasing profession for years to come, you owe it to yourself to check out this report!
"Career Survival In Supply Management,"follow the instructions at