The smart shoppers of the business world are its purchase managers. They plan and direct a company's purchasing activities. Making sure buyers and purchasing agents get the best services at the lowest price. They also insure that the materials are bought in the right amount and are on hand when needed. That keeps the flow of work on schedule and production lines humming. Purchasing managers often coordinate the work of staff of buyers and agents offering guidance for the more complicated negations. They approve or reject buyer's bids and view contracts. They keep track of market conditions and price trends relating to their product. There can be stress in this job, especially when materials need to be acquired or replaced on short notice. A bachelor's degree in business administration and experience as a buyer purchasing agent are minimum requirements for the management position. Professional certification is becoming increasingly important. Computer literacy is a must. Computer systems handle the routine purchasing tasks allowing the manager to concentrate on the analytical aspect of the job. This is generally an office job with a forty hour work week. There is a lot of responsibility however and that can translate to extra hours. You might also log some travel time on trips to suppliers and trade shows.
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