Procurement analysts work to ensure an organization purchases the right amount of goods and services it needs to operate. They evaluate the procurement needs of each department, plan procurement processes, identify cost-effective and efficient acquisition methods, and provide contract administration support. Although many procurement analysts find jobs as in-house employees in businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, others work in procurement consulting firms.
Using the Skills
Procurement analysts must possess strong analytical and decision-making skills, as well as a keen attention to detail to thrive on the job. When a business invites vendors to submit supply bids and proposal, for example, the analyst must evaluate the bids -- taking note of slight price variations among bidders -- and help to select a vendor that meets the firm’s interests. Clear communication skills are also important, because procurement analysts prepare procurement reports and train new workers on the company’s procurement processes and policies. To work effectively with several pieces of procurement information and ensure procurement activities stay on schedule, these analysts must also be organized professionals with strong planning skills.
Assessing Procurement Activities
Procurement analysts ensure organizations don't run out of essential goods and services. They analyze the entity’s consumption and forecast its future needs. In a college, for example, the analysts can study the printing needs of each department to establish the number of copier papers that can take the institution through an entire semester. Procurement analysts can also evaluate an organization’s procurement processes and identify how to eliminate wastefulness of resources. If the school doesn’t have a policy that controls the maximum number of copier papers each department can use in a semester, for example, the analyst can advise the procurement manager to develop the policy.
Administering Contracts and Other Duties
It is also the job of procurement analysts to ensure supply contractors perform in compliance with contractual obligations. To do this, they can observe whether suppliers make deliveries on time. If a contractor regularly breaches contract clauses and the company wants to terminate the contract, these analysts assess how the termination may disrupt the organization’s operation and advise senior managers accordingly.
Other duties include negotiating prices with vendors and preparing contract documents. Analysts working in government agencies must stay abreast of changes in federal and state acquisition policies.
The best way to prepare for this job is to pursue a bachelor’s in supply chain and logistics management. Some colleges also offer undergraduate certificates in procurement and contracts management that can help you land a job as a procurement clerk and move to an analyst position with experience. If you aspire to work for a government agency, you may need to complete the Federal Acquisition Certification-Contracting program that is administered by the Federal Acquisition Institute.
The American Purchasing Society offers the Certified Purchasing Professional credential, which you can combine with a master’s degree in procurement management to become a purchasing manager.
According to the job site Indeed, the annual average salary for procurement analysts was $69,000 as of March 2015.