How to Become a Procurement Agent

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Procurement is a process of obtaining the goods and services for a company keeping in mind the price and the quality of the goods. Every company needs to acquire goods and services and hence uses procurement services. Every company authorizes an agent who is authorized to take care of the needs and requirements of a company's goods called the procurement agent. He acts on behalf of a company or a client and purchases goods and services when required.

Procurement contractors have to keep track of the company's inventory system. He should have knowledge of when the goods in the inventory will run out of stock. So he has to make arrangements for the goods such that there is no shortage of goods even for one day. It is the job of a procurement agent to ensure that the goods meet the company standards. At the same time, the goods must be made available at optimal rates. He takes all the procurement decisions, establishes correspondence between the company and the supplier and drafts the procurement contract. He also has to keep track of when the contract with different suppliers expires. Procurement service includes looking for new suppliers and establishing a relationship between the supplier and the company. It is the agent's responsibility to overview the workforce and the working patterns of the suppliers to ensure that they will meet the deadlines or your company will be at a loss. He has to come up with procurement solutions that meet the company's goals and standards. The job profile of procurement contractors also include developing and requesting information, asking for quotations, and giving proposals. They might also be required to conduct bidding conferences and choose the best bid for the company. Also, another dimension to this job is being an E-procurement agent. This involves looking for the availability of goods on the internet. The bidding process takes place online and the best bid is selected by the agent.

There are no strict qualifications imperative for procurement service jobs. A four year bachelor's degree in any field will do. If you also have a 1 year master's degree in this field, it will provide you with better job opportunities.

Skills required for this job are huge. You must have good negotiation skills. This is important because you job revolves around finding apt suppliers that meet the company requirements and earn maximum profit out of that. You must have good communication skills. Knowing a foreign language can help while dealing with foreign clients. You have to have good human relationships skills as constantly you have to deal with your clients, the suppliers, and your accomplices. Decision making is an important part of a procurement agent's job. You have to make decisions as to which supplier is more likely to be more profitable, recognizing the optimal bid for your client, deciding as to when you have to place the orders so that there is no delay and other such decisions. You need to take initiatives and not wait for someone else to take actions or tell you that. You must be good at numbers and must have accounting skills. You must like problem solving. Also, a complete command over the internet is required as most of the negotiations these days are done online. E-procurement has become a very popular these days. Assertiveness, paying attention to minute details, organizational skills, and writing accounts are some of the other skills that can make you excel in procurement service job.

If you only have a bachelor's degree, most companies require a minimum of 3 years of work experience in related field. Alternately, if you have a master's degree, you are required to have one year of work experience. To start off with, you can accompany the senior procurement agent while he is dealing with the suppliers just to get a feel of how negotiations are done.

Future prospects for procurement contractors are huge. You can work for government jobs. You can get a procurement engineer job or an administrator's job. With experience, you can even get into the management side of the procurement job or directors job.

The salary depends highly on which company you are working for and at what position. The average salary entry level procurement agent is around $40,000 annually. In case of senior agents, this figure rises to $48,000 annually. This figure can even reach to about $80,000 annually if you have the experience and are working with a high profile company.
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