Purchasing Manager Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does a Purchasing Manager Do?

Purchasing managers are responsible for purchasing supplies, equipment, products, services, and materials for a company. They typically manage a purchasing department where they oversee and approve purchases. These managers develop strategies based on company needs and must stay within an organization’s guidelines, regulations, and restrictions. They track purchases in an effort to reduce costs and increase effectiveness. Professionals in this role must be strong leaders, good decision-makers, and have excellent negotiation skills to secure purchases at the best prices and terms. A purchasing manager also needs great communication skills in order to deal with internal management and outside suppliers and vendors. 

Purchasing managers can be found in all industries, and work to mitigate risks, especially with large purchases. They must have a knack for finding reliable partners and building and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers, so they need good interpersonal and networking skills. These individuals must be aware of company needs and should be able to access the appropriate quantity of goods and services to avoid any gaps in production. Sound judgment and excellent organizational skills are also essential.

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National Average Salary

Purchasing manager salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.

The average U.S. salary for a Purchasing Manager is:


Purchasing Manager Job Descriptions

Crafting the perfect job description may be the key to finding an exceptional purchasing manager. To help you with your recruiting search, our team has put together some examples from past openings.

Example 1

At [Your Company Name], we’re dedicated to our customers, which is why we’re hiring a purchasing manager. In this position, you will direct and maintain the purchasing function to assure the timely, economical purchase of raw materials, parts, equipment, and operating supplies. You must be able to establish and implement procedures for procuring materials and services in accordance with required specifications.

You will also need to establish policies to assure timely and accurate processing of materials from receipt through requisitioning to production. As an ideal candidate, you should have proven experience managing purchasing activities and processes, excellent leadership qualities, and proven experience negotiating with suppliers.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Demonstrates effective communication and problem-solving skills
  • Manages purchasing clerks including hiring, training and supervising
  • Administers, reviews, manages, files, evaluates, analyzes, and negotiates contracts
  • Prepares and evaluates orders and bids and recommends vendors, etc.
  • Ensures contracts comply with regulations
  • Evaluates vendors to ensure performance is aligned with established specifications
  • Develops and implements purchasing and contract management instructions, policies, and procedures
  • Maintains accurate purchasing records
  • Reviews and monitors capital purchases to ensure compliance with company policies and procedures
  • Identifies opportunities for cost savings
  • Continually improves purchasing methods and processes
  • Responds to inquiries from internal and external sources as pertains to purchasing
  • Prepares and presents market conditions and merchandise cost reports
  • Resolves grievances with vendors, contractors, and suppliers
  • Negotiates with suppliers
  • Coordinates removal or disposal of surplus materials

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, economics, or related field
  • 3+ years of experience in the purchasing-related field

Required skills and qualifications

  • In-depth knowledge of inventory and supply chain management
  • Supervisory or management experience
  • Intermediate proficiency using Microsoft Office and purchasing software
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent negotiation skills
  • Strong planning and organizational skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience with sourcing and vendor management
  • Good business sense and strong interest in market dynamics

Example 2

If you are a person who enjoys negotiating cost-effective purchasing strategies and fostering long-term vendor relationships, consider a Purchasing Manager position with ABC Company! Strong communication and independent decision-making skills coupled with ERP purchasing experience would make you the perfect candidate for this position.


  • Performs quality control of all incoming product and materials
  • Develops sourcing strategies and purchasing strategies within company procedures
  • Creates Purchase Orders
  • Assists in the preparation of bidding documents
  • Monitors all purchase requisitions and handle adjustments with vendors
  • Communicates with the Production and Service teams
  • Works with engineering and other internal departments as needed
  • Develops and maintains a professional business rapport with vendors
  • Negotiates pricing, terms, lead times
  • Works with co-workers and vendors to resolve items
  • Performs risk management assessments


  • Degree in Business Management, Supply Chain Management, or Procurement and Contractual Management
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) a plus
  • Ability to maintain a high quality of work while presented with competing tasks in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong Microsoft Office Skills
  • Experience with ERP purchasing software equivalent to Epicor, SAP, or NetSuite
  • Independent decision-making skills
  • Strong interpersonal communication and negotiation skills

Example 3


You will work with multiple functions to focus on the overall purchasing need for the company along with partnering with our Operations teams to drive our order management process. In supporting these functions, you will be accountable for all Purchase Order creation, and all inbound order acceptance, resolution and processing including validation, organization, and accuracy of these deliverables.


  • Measure food cost percentage
  • Supervise and develop an existing team: Buyer(s), Admin Clerk(s), and Receivers
  • Develop and streamline process, e.g. accessibility, availability, cost, and quality assurance
  • Assist in food presentations and develop in conjunction with management and manage pricing structure to meet food cost goals
  • Guarantee systems for best price/value for products such as: High value fish, meat, poultry, specialties, dairy fruits, and produce. as well as basic F&B supplies
  • Create and monitor reports with variable year and seasonality prices input in order to create most cost effective high-end menus together with corporate executive chefs
  • Analyze procurement and financial data in conjunction with the Unit Controller for opportunities including supplier rationalization, tenders, aggregation, and specification alternatives
  • Attend food tasting sessions for new products
  • Maintain contracts, buy side related paperwork, and related files
  • Develop sourcing plans and budgets, track results as necessary to meet contract obligations
  • Review Purchase requisitions, obtain competitive quotes, and plan Purchase Orders
  • Monitor and resolve supplier performance and business issues that may occur to ensure food safety compliance, HACCP regulations, and FDA regulations
  • Establish cross-functional sourcing targets such as redesign improvements and material and process standardization
  • Manage day-to-day supplier communications
  • Establish and negotiate agreements and maintain business relationships with the established supplier to assure on-time delivery, favorable pricing, and capacity allocation and Purchase terms


  • Awareness of the operational sequences
  • Ability to work well within the team as well as independently
  • Planning, co-ordination, communication, and leadership skills
  • Three (3) to five (5) years in related purchasing or contract purchasing field
  • Background in institutional and contract food purchasing
  • Proficient in using Microsoft: Word, Excel, Outlook, purchasing software preferred
  • System knowledge MS Navision
  • Contract and negotiation skills
  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) knowledge required
  • Ability to reduce complex issues to basic components
  • Ability to work well in a fast paced environment and with a diverse clientele that requires a hands on approach to our guests needs
  • Ability to complete assigned tasks within the given time in order to meet strict deadlines
  • Flexibility (different shifts – night, weekends, holidays)

Example 4

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Responsible for sourcing equipment, goods and services, and managing vendors
  • Perform strategic procurement activities, search for better deals, and find more profitable suppliers
  • Track and report key functional metrics to reduce expenses and improve effectiveness
  • Craft negotiation strategies and close deals with optimal terms
  • Forecast price and market trends to identify changes of balance in buyer-supplier power
  • Seek and partner with reliable vendors and suppliers
  • Determine quantity and timing of deliveries
  • Monitor and forecast upcoming levels of demand

Education and/or work experience requirements:

  • Knowledge of purchasing raw materials and key components for manufacturing process
  • Proven working experience as purchasing lead/manager
  • Familiar with sourcing and vendor management
  • Interest in market dynamics along with business sense
  • A knack for negotiation and networking
  • Working experience of vendor management software
  • Ability to gather and analyze data and to work with figures
  • Knowledge of process-oriented operations and/or related industry
  • Knowledge of financial, accounting, and project management principles and practices
  • Experience working with manufacturing based technology
  • Ability to effectively communicate with other managers/employees

Candidate Certifications to Look For

  • Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP).  The CPP program is designed for professionals who have demonstrated the skills needed to successfully implement improved purchasing and supply chain practices in an organization. Administered by the American Purchasing Society, the CPP is available to all professionals working in purchasing, materials management, or in an executive position who are also members of the American Purchasing Society or who work for a company that holds a valid membership in the Society. 
  • Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM). The CPSM credential is designed to help supply chain and procurement professionals drive value in their organizations. Offered by the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), the CPSM demonstrates a candidate’s advanced skills and understanding of the supply chain from end to end. Major competencies covered include sourcing, negotiation, legal and contractual, supplier relationship management, and supply chain strategy. Eligibility requirements are three years of full-time, professional supply management experience with a bachelor’s degree or five years of supply management experience without a degree.
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). The CSCP is managed by the Association for Supply Chain Management and is designed to equip candidates with end-to-end supply chain knowledge to help their businesses stay competitive in today’s economy. The certification works across a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, education, government, healthcare, and distribution. To be eligible, candidates must have either 3 years of business experience, a bachelor’s degree, or an active CPIM, CPIM-F, CIRM, SCOR-P, CPM, CPSM, CTL, or CLTD certification.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What are your criteria for selecting the most ideal suppliers and vendors? 
  • Do you have experience purchasing both raw materials and finished goods?
  • What are some negotiation tactics you employ when dealing with suppliers?
  • What projects have you worked on while leading a purchasing team?
  • Can you give an example of a cost-saving measure you were able to employ? 
  • Which vendor management software are you familiar with?
  • How do you resolve disagreements with vendors? 
  • Can you give an example of a purchase that was unsuccessful? What did you learn?
  • How do you ensure the success of your team?
  • What are the biggest challenges in the industry right now? 
  • How do you ensure that your team complies with national and international codes of conduct?
  • How do you ensure delivered products meet specifications?
  • How do you ensure that important orders aren’t delayed? What do you do if they are? 
  • What’s your sourcing strategy for accessing new suppliers?
  • How do you evaluate a supplier?
  • How do you document purchase agreements?
  • How would you go about canceling a vendor account?
  • How do you process purchase requisitions?
  • How do you monitor and maintain purchasing budgets?
  • How would you handle a consistently underperforming buyer or purchasing agent?

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