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You are here: Home » Career Sector Information » Retail, Sales & Purchasing » Purchasing

Retail, Sales & Purchasing

Retail, Sales & Purchasing


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Purchasing and procurement is an increasingly important aspect of successful business performance in a wide range of sectors.  Purchasing cuts across all sectors and for many organisations their biggest cost is the cost of goods and services from third parties.

Purchasing professionals are responsible for ensuring that their companies select the most appropriate goods and services on the basis of price, quality and services support. They must also take their own business brand needs and customer interests into consideration.

Purchasing professionals develop the best buying strategies for their organisation with a view to consistently maintaining quality and managing costs. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, with growing public awareness of corporate social responsibility, buyers have a key role in industries as diverse as telecommunications, financial services and manufacturing.

Part-time study to gain the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) qualifications is regarded as essential and some companies will sponsor individuals or groups to gain the relevant qualifications. The CIPS is currently redeveloping its qualifications to offer a structured programme of training for buying professionals at all levels. Purchasing and procurement are increasingly recognised as key to the successful business development and performance of companies across a wide range of industries and organisations. Potential employers include: manufacturing and service companies, the construction industry, the civil service, local authorities, public services industries, the armed forces and the NHS.

Graduates who have studied a foreign language are often more attractive to employers especially in international operations. Employers are also likely to look for graduates who display strong verbal communication skills as well as sales and negotiation skills. You will also be expected to be highly organised, be a self starter and be able to manage workloads effectively.

Job vacancies in Retail, Sales & Purchasing

Useful links:

Account Planning Group

Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS)

Skillsmart Retail: The Sector Skills Council for Retail