- Work behind the scenes, sourcing and buying products and services for companies.
- Get involved in contract preparation and negotiation.
- Potential to progress into senior buying and category management roles.
Assistant buyers work as part of a procurement team to source and purchase goods, services, and equipment for lots of different kinds of organisations.
You'd support senior buyers or managers with procurement-related tasks like selecting product mixes, managing purchase orders, checking inventory, preparing budgets, and providing administrative support. You will also work closely with vendors and may be tasked with keeping track of market trends.
You could work in retail, purchasing goods for sale on the high street or online, for industry, where you'll buy goods for parts of manufacturing processes, or in a wide range of other settings like the public sector, hospitality, and many more. So many different industries need buyers and procurement professionals, so this is a great way into an industry you're passionate about.
- Negotiating cost savings (lower prices)
- Helping to write contracts
- Researching new suppliers to support more senior buyers
- Ensuring products are purchased at the right time and to the right specification
- Normally office-based
- You may need to travel to supplier sites
There are no set requirements for this kind of role, although studying business, economics, or law may help you gain skills and knowledge that will be useful to you.
Key requirements include:
An understanding of the role purchasing plays in the organisation
An understanding of how a basic contract works
The ability to communicate well
The ability to discuss and reach an agreement (negotiation)
There are excellent opportunities to progress to Buyer level - where there'll be similar things to do but at a more senior level - more money, and more suppliers!
From there you could move into category management, operations management, and more senior management roles.