Agency buyers and procurement specialists work toward improving the performance of organizations through efficient procurement of goods and services. Where confusion arises: Occasionally, a category manager will have a job title of “Buyer” even if their role has strategic oversight over the Procurement process. Within Procurement (which is already a sub-category of Supply Chain), there are an often-bewildering array of job titles and qualifications. Irrespective of their differences mentioned in the procurement vs. purchasing table, both processes demand meticulous documentation. Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. They both comprise a complex web of procedures. Purchasing is a small subset of the broader procurement function. This can lead to confusion for candidates looking for new roles, and occasionally clients looking to hire. To be successful as a Purchasing Specialist, you should be able to develop efficient procurement solutions and support senior management with the development and implementation of sourcing strategies. Cloud-based digital procurement software like Kissflow improve productivity by standardizing strictly regulated processes like procurement and purchasing. Agency buyers, also known as buying agents, and procurement specialists are procurement professionals who help organizations obtain goods and services from external sources. This might be because, in their organization, they’re tasked with buying a certain category of goods or services for direct (used in production) or indirect (used in the operation of business) purposes. For example, procurement specialists working in managerial positions oversee all procurement activities, including monitoring procurement budgets, supervising staff and managing contract negotiations with suppliers. That’s because I see “procurement” being increasingly used vs. “purchasing” in departments that have renamed themselves in the past 10 years. The tricky thing is that there are actually at least two different types of Category Managers, depending on the industry: Retail Category Managers and Indirect Category Managers. They maintain contact with vendors and product manufacturers to foster positive working relationships. Thanks very much to the Argentus Recruitment team for contributing their expertise to this article! Someone else may totally disagree. Canada's Leading Recruiters in Luckily, Argentus’ recruiters are specialists in the field who pride ourselves on a deep understanding of the field as it grows and changes. But this is much less common than the other way around. Skills required to be a buyer: attention to detail, strong customer service skills, analytical skills and strength with numbers. In 2012, procurement specialists in management positions earned an average annual salary of $100,170, while purchasing agents and buyers earned anywhere from $51,470 to $58,760, the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

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