How to Become a Procurement Professional?

Before you decide to grow as a certified procurement professional, you must first understand procurement. Well, Procurement is the action of obtaining or procuring something. It is accomplished with needs recognition, acquisition requisition, requisition examination, solicitation strategy, evaluation and agreement, order administration, Invoice permissions and conflicts, and log keeping and recording.

Further, you must apprehend the functions and duties of a certified international procurement professional. Also, you ought to know about the career opportunities of procurement professionals.

So who is a Procurement professional, and what does he do?

A certified procurement professional is accountable for all the sourcing and purchasing needed in the organization or project. As an accredited procurement professional, you will be answerable for sourcing and purchasing the most delicate grade equipment, goods and services at the most competitive costs to allow a company or organization to perform successfully. You will be very crucial for the organization as you will be directly involved with a company’s profitability because your purchasing impacts the public spending figures of the whole organization. Similarly, you will be responsible for creating cost-saving measures which you can use across purchase classes.

As a certified international procurement professional, you can work at any seniority rank, from entrance positions to senior leadership. Your Job duties for the functions may vary depending on your years of proximate experience. As a procurement officer, you can work in public and private sectors, continuously interacting with specialists from other interconnected divisions such as finance, accounting, and senior-level leadership/ management.

  • Career Prospects

Your options for career development will rely on the organization you work. In larger companies, procurement actions are taken out by several individuals working in teams, possibly at different establishments or locations. You can move by thrusting on to handle a unit and then a set of teams. However, you may be accountable for all the work in a small business, so you’re more likely to move the company to advance your employment.

Professional leaders may also move to a department that manages a more significant volume of goods, products or services. Job titles at a higher level include:

  • Senior buyer
  • procurement manager
  • procurement director
  • Head of procurement
  • Chief procurement officer.

It’s also likely to specialize in a distinct area such as IT, facilities management or travel. You may have to travel overseas to evaluate the usefulness of goods or products, and there may also be opportunities to work abroad with significant global associations.

Skills Required for becoming a Procurement Specialist

Although some mandatory certifications and educational qualifications are required to become a certified international procurement professional, you must first match your personality traits and skills needed to be the best fit for the job.

Below are those personality traits needed to be a successful Procurement Manager.

  • Networking skills

Your role starts with Networking. The better the network, the better will you contribute to the company’s net worth. So having professional solid ties and connections will help you find vendors and suppliers. It will help if you have a robust database of the people you interact with within and outside the business and the key persons and decision-makers of the vendors and other organizations you deal with. Moreover, Networking contributes to your social appearance, and at the same time, Networking leads to the exchange of ideas. Thus, Networking will enable you to meet individuals at all professional levels, which boosts your professional confidence and helps you bring better vendors to the organization.

  • Exceptional communication Skills-Written and oral. 

Communication is not merely talking or writing. It is the power to convey or share ideas and feelings effectively. Constructing a network and having good interaction with them plays a vital role in establishing a business relationship within the network. Communication skills play a crucial role in this; whether written or oral communication, you need to be confident, sensible and precise with your words. You need to have excellent listening skills, understand the art of reading under the lines and at the same time be quick-witted to deal with difficult people. Thus, to make a remarkable career in procurement, you will have to master the art and understand communication science.

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  • Analytical skills

Analytical skills are the capacity to think critically, examine data, navigate the challenging and problematic decisions, and crack complex issues. Being a certified international procurement professional, you need to be a thinker and a calculative decision-maker. Your choices have to be very accurate as that will cost divisions such as finance, accounting and senior-level leadership/ management. Having Analytical skills involves accepting new knowledge and mentally processing it in a productive manner which will be profitable for the organization.

  • Decision-making

As you develop the habit of analysis and critical thinking, decision-making becomes very easy to achieve. Being a certified international procurement professional, you will have the responsibility to make crucial purchasing decisions about things like raw materials, real estate, and even office supplies that impact the public spending figures of the whole organization. Thus your preferences and decisions will directly cost the organization, so it is essential that you make decisions adding to the monetary benefits of the organization.

  • Arithmetic and Numerical skills 

You might be wondering why I have included the numeracy skills to evolve as a successful Procurement Manager. You must know that Mathematics enables us to comprehend the world and provides an effective way of building mental discipline. Further, math promotes logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, abstract or spatial thinking, problem-solving ability, and even practical communication skills, which are of utmost importance to playing the role of a Procurement Manager. The better you will be in problem-solving, the better it will help you make perfect decisions regarding the purchases and add to the organization’s profit margins.

  • Excellent Negotiating and Bargaining skills

As a Procurement Manager, you need always to be the offer winner. Simultaneously, it will help if you control all the monetary decisions concerning the purchases in the organization. Thus having excellent negotiating skills will make you win against the best vendors at a competitive momentum. Your negotiation and bargaining skills will help you make monetary gains for the organization. Besides, you should never forget the following steps for negotiating:

  • Preparation
  • Discussion
  • Clarification of goals
  • Negotiate toward a Win-Win outcome
  • Agreement
  • Implementation of a course of action

Having followed the negotiation strategies, you will be able to add to the organization’s profits.

  • Persuasion skills

With the help of excellent communication, and negotiation skills, the following critical skill to own being a Procurement Manager is the skill of persuasion. The art of persuasion means influencing others to harmonize with your point of view or pursue a course of action. Once you have the art of persuasion, you will be able to manage your networks and win the best profitable deals; with your persuasion skill, you can impact several aspects of your job execution. Not only winning the clients and making deals with vendors, but your persuasion skill will also help you establish credibility within your team and network making you get better productivity and responses from subordinates and management. Thus, you must master the skill of persuasion by practising it.

  • Conflict resolution 

No matter how hard you try, you’ll consistently bump into a conflict, especially when working as a Procurement Manager. So, retaining the correct technique for addressing the competition will help you do your job well.

For your convenience, I have mentioned the following strategies to follow for effective conflict resolution:  

  • Don’t Overlook any Dispute/ Conflict.
  • Explain What the Problem is.
  • Bring Engaged Parties Together to Talk.
  • Identify a Resolution.
  • Resume to Monitor and Follow Up on the Discord.

In the Procurement Manager position, you will have to manage conflict, including dodging, overpowering, compromising, adapting, and teaming. Thus, conflict resolution is a must-have skill for you.

  • Adaptability 

Another important soft skill you need to possess as a procurement manager is “Adaptability”. Adaptability is to fit to adjust. Simply it is the quality of being able to adapt to new conditions. Indeed, adaptability expands your capacity to handle change, no matter how severe it might be. Instead of throwing away your energy trying to change your circumstance, you will transform yourself directly from within, thus making you blossom in whatever cases you see yourself. When you are a Procurement manager, you may have to deal with continuous change in the market, the organization policies, the vendor policies and many more. Thus, once you have the skill of adaptability, you will be able to adjust and conquer demanding situations in the purchase process easily. 

After discussing the soft skills or personality traits required to be a certified procurement professional, let us look at the educational qualifications and certifications you need to pursue a procurement management career. You need to have a bachelor’s degree as your base. A bachelor’s degree in economics, engineering, business management or supply chain management and some relevant certification in Procurement management will help you climb high on the career ladder. For being a Procurement Professional, you can take lessons on accounting, Financial management, Legal standards of global supply chains, Materials handling, Procurement practices and Product distribution.

You need to follow a straightforward career path to become a   “Certified Procurement Professional.”

  • (A ) Consider a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.

A bachelor’s degree in economics, engineering, business management or supply chain management and some relevant certification in Procurement management will help you climb high on the career ladder. For being a Procurement Professional, you can take lessons on accounting, Financial management, Legal standards of global supply chains, Materials handling, Procurement practices and Product distribution. However, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) would help you get ahead

  • (B) Gain Work Experience

The level at which you intend to start your career as a procurement specialist can dictate how much prior work experience you must get before applying for jobs. Having internship experience and a bachelor’s degree may be suitable for an entry-level procurement specialist position. However, for more advanced managerial roles, you may need more, such as between four and six years of history working in the supply management field.

  • ( C ) Get Certified

As a Procurement Professional, you may get to work in diverse industries. Getting the industry-based certification is not possible, but with your previous experience and the certificate, you can decide your domain and continue to grow in a particular sector. Once you obtain a professional certification in procurement, you will have global recognition and gain the desired knowledge for your work. Similarly, it improves your credibility and depicts your hold on the industry’s best practices.

There are many certifications available in the market, as mentioned below: 

  • Certified Procurement Professional (CPP)
  • Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB)
  • Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM)
  • Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO)
  • Certified Purchasing Consultant (CPPC)
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
Conclusion :

Honing a suitable skill set will help you stay ahead in the profession. But along with your skills, you need the correct work experience and certifications to get a well-paid job as a Procurement Professional. As I have already mentioned about many certificates above, I would suggest taking up GSDC’s Certified Procurement Professional certification out of all these. GSDC’s Procurement Professional certification will give you global recognition. After gaining the certificate, you may be hired for leadership positions in Supply Chain Industry, especially for areas such as Strategic Sourcing, where you will handle operations and transactions for products/services worth Billions of dollars, including direct and indirect materials & services.

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