Procurement Assistant – Everything a Procurement Professional Should Know

A procurement assistant handles one of the arduous parts of the supply chain which is procurement. Yet, many of us do not know what they really do. We only know them through some of their tasks such as receiving purchases and checking requests. 

In this article, we will tackle what a procurement assistant is. We will study its duties and responsibilities inside your business. 

After this article, You will know the duties and responsibilities of a procurement assistant. This will allow you to know if hiring one will be beneficial for your business. 

What is Procurement?

Even though most of us know this already, let’s have a recap of procurement for those who have just started their career in procurement. Procurement is the process of acquiring goods or services needed by you or your business. It is essentially the lifeblood of the business. 

Although procurement means acquiring the needed goods or services, it has many steps before the acquisition starts. The steps allow for an effective way of getting the goods that match your requirement and budget. Click here to know more about the steps!

What is a Procurement Assistant?

We know for a fact that a procurement assistant handles the procurement process. But what exact task does it do? Well, a procurement assistant aids the procurement department of a company by providing administrative support. 

A procurement assistant performs numerous duties within businesses that require a continuous supply of items. It ensures that the workers in a company have sufficient materials to sustain their productivity. 

A procurement assistant acquires goods or services within the range of its budget. Sometimes, it even manages to get the lowest price with the best quality. This allows the company to keep the costs down for higher company profits. 

A procurement assistant’s main duty is to schedule the purchases and estimate the arrival of the materials. It is crucial for businesses that rely heavily on supplies to make their own products. 

The procurement assistant is usually the one who approves the payment of the purchased goods. If there are any inaccuracies that it figured out, then it will not be paid unless it is resolved. 

    Editor's note:

    Hi there! My name is Marijn Overvest, I'm the founder of Procurement Tactics.
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    Importance of Procurement Assistants

    Technically, the procurement department can do its job properly. However, a procurement assistant will greatly help the procurement department to streamline the procurement process in a company. 

    The procurement assistant supports the procurement department by making sure that the steps in the procurement process are met. 

    Without them, there will be less control in the company that helps monitor the overall procurement process. This can lead to a decrease in productivity as supplies are not checked regularly if it is sufficient for the production. 

    The Place of a Purchasing Assistant in the Purchasing Department

    A purchasing assistant works under the supervision of the purchasing manager. It conducts administrative activities to support the purchasing department in running smoothly.

    Many purchasing managers delegate the task of maintaining the inventory and records to their purchasing assistants. Aside from working under the supervision of the purchasing manager, it also maintains a good relationship with its supplier. 

    In some cases, purchasing managers give the tasks of vendor research and selection to purchasing assistants to cut costs. This allows the company to enhance profitability as well as let the purchasing manager focus on other tasks. 

    Duties and Responsibilities of A Procurement Assistant

    A procurement assistant is responsible for maintaining contact with the company’s supplier. It does this to keep an update on the orders, merchandise, new products, trends, and market conditions. 

    This allows them to compare prices and assess the status of their product in the market. Thus, knowing what to improve in terms of costs and products will give them a competitive advantage

    The procurement assistant inspects and distributes the materials to appropriate individuals. Additionally, it creates monthly or periodic reports that are related to the purchases, inventory control, and deliveries of materials. 

    As we have said earlier, the procurement assistant’s main duty is in the inventory. The procurement assistant conducts an on-site inventory inspection and prepares inventory listings. It also checks the supplies of the inventory to maintain productivity in the company. 

    The procurement assistant inspects the quality and accuracy of suppliers and equipment. It also conducts cost and quality comparisons before it sends the request to the procurement department. 

    The procurement assistant coordinates and communicates with the specific key employees of each department in the company. This will allow the assistant to determine the needs of each department that will increase their productivity. 

    Skills and Knowledge Needed to be an Effective Procurement Assistant

    1. Knowledge in purchasing

    A procurement assistant must already know the basics when it comes to purchasing. It must know where to get the best price that matches the requirements of the company while reducing the costs. 

    2. Detail-oriented skills

    A procurement assistant needs to have great attention to detail. It can help by checking if the materials that are delivered are accurate. It can also help to manage the inventory well as supplies are monitored effectively. 

    3. Supplier management

    A procurement assistant must be able to maintain the relationship of the company with its suppliers. Building relationships can guarantee that the suppliers will do their job thoroughly. It can also give discounts and other incentives that will be beneficial for the company’s development. 

    Do you want to negotiate well and build a strong relationship with your suppliers? Then try our negotiation game changer course to enhance your negotiation skills. Click here to know more about our course. 

    4. Invoicing

    As a procurement assistant, you will work together with the procurement team. You will check the accuracy of each order and give the payments to suppliers. You must ensure that all the billings of the company are monitored correctly to promote financial growth. 

    5. Customer service skills

    A procurement assistant does not just talk with suppliers but you must also know how to talk with your customers. Knowing how to handle situations where customers ask for refunds or assistance will surely help keep the company’s reputation. 

    Salary of a Purchasing Assistant

    We know that some of you wanted to pursue this career. But you are still weighing the circumstances as not all of you know how much a purchasing assistant earns per year.

    A purchasing assistant’s average salary is $39,000 per year in the USA. If we are going to calculate it, the salary of a purchasing assistant per hour is $18.69. Thus, you will earn $3,239 per month if we calculate it based on the average salary per hour.

    The average salary that we have talked about is based in the USA. Thus, the salary you will receive is dependent on the country that you live in. Additionally, it varies from different companies and your experiences and skills as a purchasing assistant. 

    Frequently asked questions

    1. What is a purchasing assistant?

    A purchasing assistant helps the procurement department through administrative support. 

    2. Do I need to hire one for my business?

    Hiring a purchasing assistant will surely help to streamline the procurement process. 

    3. How much is the salary of a procurement assistant?

    The salary of a procurement assistant is $39,000 annually in the United States.

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