As a buyer planner, it is important to have good communication and negotiation skills. Since you will be contacting vendors and negotiating the best prices, this is a skill that is essential. Understanding production needs and inventory needs are important. A buyer planner will need to manage the amount of inventory need to produce a company's product and need to make sure that quality and pricing is adhered to for profitability and customer satisfaction.
In other words, a buyer planner needs to find the best product for the price. This doesn't always mean finding the cheapest product because the quality could be inferior. Finding the best quality at the lowest cost is the goal and this can be negotiated based on the volume of product you are buying, in most cases. While a college degree isn't necessary, a good working knowledge of these factors is the most desirable in procurement jobs like a buyer planner.
Many manufacturers will have a certain amount of each ingredient that is necessary for a certain amount of product output. If you know what the production schedule is by units, you will know the proper amount of inventory to have on hand for each ingredient or component that goes into the final production. As a buyer planner, it is essential that a constant monitoring of inventory, production scheduling and vendor relations are well-balanced.
In a procurement job, the success of the company can depend on the profit margins. When costs go up on the ingredients, pricing adjustments might need to be made on the final product. As a buyer planner, it might be essential that a contract is negotiated to keep the costs consistent throughout a certain time period. On the other hand, this can work against you if there are drastic drops in prices of the ingredients used in the final product, so many judgment calls need to be made in vendor negotiations.
As a buyer planner, a working knowledge of costing is essential and a constant monitoring of quality is essential. If a vendor substitutes an inferior product during a time when prices are going up, but certain quality was negotiated at a set price, somebody has to make sure that standards are adhered to. This responsibility falls on the buyer planner and it is an important part of procurement jobs.
Whether you are in the private sector or the public sector, a procurement job is a steady labor market. A buyer planner job is one of the most common jobs in this field because it is an essential part of any production company or one that uses a large amount of various products as part of their operation, such as government agencies or the military that don't produce an end product.