To be a purchasing analyst, a person must have an analytical mind, a keen business sense and excellent communication skills. Individuals in this position are responsible for finding the best deals on supplies, then buying and selling or distributing those supplies. In most cases, a purchasing analyst will need a bachelor's degree in logistics management or a related field. Some primary duties of this position include researching the market outlook, contacting suppliers, negotiating deals, maintaining supplier reports and monitoring budget.
One of the key roles of a purchasing analyst is to research the market outlook. Prior to striking deals with vendors and ordering supplies, it's crucial for an individual to have a thorough understanding of which items are selling and which ones aren't. For example, if he is working for an electronics chain, he might perform research into what types of computers are popular at the moment. Knowing the market outlook should help a purchasing analyst make smart business choices and maximize company revenue.
Contacting suppliers is another big part of this job. For a purchasing analyst to find the most affordable supplies and best service, it's important for him to seek out business relationships with top notch suppliers. This practice usually involves searching online, looking in trade magazines or asking other professionals.
After finding a potential supplier, a purchasing analyst will usually negotiate deals with the supplier. Some factors that might be negotiated include types of products, quantity of products, price and shipping. To increase a company's chances of a positive return, it's essential for a purchasing analyst to have great interpersonal skills, be able to build rapport and be an expert negotiator. Otherwise, poor negotiations could jeopardize the financial stability of a company.
Along with this, a purchasing supplier will often be required to maintain supplier reports. Information on these reports typically includes orders placed, orders received, length of transport time and order accuracy. As more and more data is compiled, he will usually review the reports to determine how well or poorly the supplier is performing. If the supplier has a pattern of poor performance, a purchasing analyst may choose to end the relationship and seek a new supplier.
Additionally, this position usually requires an individual to consistently monitor the company budget. Keeping track of supply expenses, shipping expenses and sales are all vital to maintaining financial stability and staying in business. Consequently, a purchasing analyst needs to be fiscally responsible and always be aware of the financial outlook of his company.