Procurement contractors and subcontractors are buying experts within their companies or organizations supporting the sourcing and purchasing of materials, equipment, and services. They negotiate with vendors to get the best deals for items and are often involved in managing the process from tracking orders through production and shipping to monitoring inventory levels, and ensuring supplies are available when needed.
In addition, procurement contractors must implement purchasing strategies, maintain positive supplier relationships, evaluate their performance regularly, and actively coordinate with internal teams to ensure their supply needs are met. A high level of business acumen, sales and negotiation skills, and accuracy are therefore demanded in the roles of procurement contractor and subcontractor.
Procurement contracting is the art of purchasing, which is why such contractors are needed in practically every sector where any kind of product, equipment, tools, and services need to be acquired. From manufacturing to construction, and from IT to pharmaceuticals, there are opportunities everywhere for contractors and subcontractors in procurement.
A procurement contractor in the pharmaceutical industry may need to compare pricing for key ingredients for a particular medicine. In the manufacturing industry, a procurement contractor may need to tender and select a company that offers professional cleaning services for industrial spaces.
An Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management, or EPCM contractor is responsible for tendering and establishing contractual agreements with external contractors, vendors, subcontractors, and sub-vendors within the construction management sector.
Regardless of the sector, procurement contractors must know the required products well to know exactly what to procure and become successful in doing so.
Common procurement contractor responsibilities
Procurement contractors are responsible for performing a range of business purchasing tasks. Responsibilities may include:
- Supporting development and implementation of purchasing or sourcing strategies using market and competitive data;
- Coordinating strategic purchasing projects to improve internal business processes that help reduce cycle times and enhance efficiency;
- Implementing supplier strategies and liaising with suppliers on delivery schedules;
- Driving procurement strategies to meet cost savings targets;
- Creating monthly performance reviews and reports;
- Ensuring compliance in all procurement transactions;
- Preparing and administering contracts and purchase orders;
- Reviewing cost and pricing proposals;
- Evaluating vendor proposals to ensure that all requirements are met;
- Confirming that terms and delivery dates are accurate;
- Evaluating the competence of vendors and reviewing their invoices for accuracy;
- Maintaining a database of vendors' performance and product quality;
- Coordinating with vendors on continuous quality improvement;
- Delivering outputs in compliance with relevant timelines, budget and requirements, and in line with customer needs and demands.
Qualifications for procurement contractors
Procurement or purchase engineers should have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Business or a related field.
Additional supporting skills and experience include:
- 1-3+ years of procurement experience;
- Excellent sales and negotiation skills;
- Quick to grasp core business processes, market demands, and needs;
- Proficiency in using diverse procurement and supply chain management software systems;
- Proven experience in sales and project management;
- Strong verbal and written communication skills to be able to work easily with suppliers, engineers, and other diverse team members.