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Purchasing Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Purchasing Assistant, or Procurement Agent, coordinates the purchase of products and materials for an organization. Their duties include building and maintaining relationships with vendors and suppliers, conducting market research to identify the best quality materials, products and prices, and handling all company administrative responsibilities related to purchases, order tracking, purchase agreements, and product records.

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Purchasing Assistant duties and responsibilities

A Purchasing Assistant must be well-versed in the type of products and supplies a company needs and the key suppliers and vendors that can supply them. Primary duties and responsibilities of a Purchasing Assistant usually include:

  • Maintaining strong relationships and long-term purchasing agreements with suppliers and vendors
  • Keeping open lines of communication with vendors
  • Maintaining accurate inventory records
  • Determining purchasing needs based on sales numbers
  • Staying up-to-date with industry trends
  • Comparing product deliveries with issued purchase orders to ensure there are no discrepancies
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Purchasing Assistant Job Description Examples:

What does a Purchasing Assistant do?

A Purchasing Assistant maintains the inventory levels for an organization’s products and is responsible for negotiating deals with potential vendors and suppliers. A Purchasing Assistant is also responsible for understanding company policies and procedures, and matching them against purchasing and organizational agreements on supply inventory levels. An important task of a Purchasing Assistant is to conduct regular price comparisons to ensure that the company gets the best value for products purchased. Their core objective is to ensure the company’s operations run smoothly without product shortages or delays in fulfilling orders.

Purchasing Assistant skills and qualifications

A Purchasing Assistant must have the necessary skills and qualifications to meet set company goals. Some qualities to seek in a Purchasing Assistant candidate include:

  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written
  • Excellent negotiation and customer-service skills
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, effective supply management and related work
  • Ability to conduct market comparisons, monitor trends, and identify potential suppliers

Purchasing Assistant experience requirements

The ideal candidate for the role of a Purchasing Assistant would usually have a minimum of three years experience in a purchasing role, and may also be well-versed in the specifics of supply management. This is essential to be able to perform the required purchasing related tasks.

Purchasing Assistant education and training requirements

Most applicants interested in the position of a Purchasing Assistant will have a high school diploma or equivalent, but a candidate with an associate degree or higher is generally preferred. They should also be well-versed with supply management software, purchase agreements, and purchase orders.

Purchasing Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Purchasing Assistant is $18.93 per hour in Canada. Wages may vary dependent on experience, location, and company.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Purchasing Assistant is not quite what you’re looking for, here are a few other job description samples that may fit your needs:

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Purchasing Assistant job description FAQs

What qualities make a good Purchasing Assistant?

The most important quality in a Purchasing Assistant is the ability to negotiate. Purchasing Assistants must also actively follow market trends and stay in touch with all key vendors and suppliers to get the best rate possible for their company’s offerings.

In addition, a good Purchasing Assistant would have an excellent grasp of inventory management. This is essential for the smooth operation of any business. Any sudden shortages can have a significant impact on a company’s ability to fulfill client requests. Shortages and delays can also have a negative effect on client retention and satisfaction. An efficient Purchasing Assistant would always be a step ahead when it comes to inventory management as well as the timing of purchases and product prices.

Who does a Purchasing Assistant report to?

A Purchasing Assistant generally reports to the Purchasing Manager. However, there may not be a Purchasing Manager in smaller organizations, so the Purchasing Assistant may directly report to the Head of Finance, the CEO, or the owner of the business.

What makes a good Purchasing Assistant job description?

A good job description for a Purchasing Assistant would include the required level of experience and minimum education requirements for the job. Also, since a Purchasing Assistant has to maintain records of inventory as well as prepare purchase orders and agreements, the job description should specify that candidates who have a history in a similar role related to supply management may have an advantage in the selection process. Fluency in the use of supply management software as well as Microsoft Excel may also be helpful.

Certain soft skills can help improve the performance and efficiency of a Purchasing Assistant. These include negotiation and communication skills. This must also be highlighted in the job description to ensure that the right candidates will apply. Expectations for the position including specific activities and responsibilities to be done must also be outlined.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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