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What Does a Procurement Supervisor Do?

By Jan Fletcher
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Also referred to as a purchasing manager, a procurement supervisor manages the various aspects of a supply chain. Someone in this position typically ensures a consistent and adequate supply of materials is procured and at the ready for a manufacturing operation. Various duties of a procurement supervisor may include managing imports, understanding shipping regulations, and performing an analysis on suppliers and their capacities. Possessing high-level negotiating skills is usually a prized trait in a procurement supervisor. Someone who works in this position may have supervisory functions similar to other mid-level management jobs.

The procurement supervisor will typically ensure the flow of required supplies is adequate at all times. Doing so allows for optimal productivity, as a reliable supply chain is a major contributor to a leaner manufacturing operation. A supply chain consists of all the links between the source of required supplies, and the end destination at a manufacturing facility. Tracking shipments generally involves employing analytics. This is typically done to ensure both optimal efficiency and reliability in procurement channels.

The supervisor usually will stay abreast of any changes related to imports and shipping regulations. Keeping track of the various legislative changes that may affect the import of goods is a critical aspect of a procurement manager. Even if goods are not imported, there are still shipping regulations that may apply. For example, a procurement supervisor would need to have at least some familiarity with shipment regulations if a raw material that poses risks to public safety were part of the company's supply chain.

Those who work in procurement management are usually expected to possess higher than average competency as a negotiator. Since it's likely that the seller will want the top price for a supply-chain item, and the buyer usually wants to reduce costs, there is a tension involved when negotiating for the best deal. Negotiating skills become even more paramount if a high level of competition exists for a necessary item.

A procurement supervisor may also research and make recommendations to company management in the event of a price hike. These recommendations may include a materials analysis of other sources for the item. At times, if critical supplies are hampered by a highly competitive market, the procurement supervisor may research and make recommendations for a substitute material. In other cases, the procurement supervisor may search for and locate a better product in order to maintain a competitive, innovative edge. This type of position is generally classied as mid-level management.

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