Without the work of procurement analysts, business at many different types of organizations would grind to a halt. These analysts are responsible for acquiring products from vendors. It's a complicated job: Procurement analysts have to understand supply chain logistics, data analysis and contracts, and have to have the soft skills to work cooperatively with other departments and form relationships with vendors.
What Procurement Analysts Do
Procurement analysts, who are sometimes called purchasing analysts, specialize in acquiring inventory and services for their companies. The person in this role researches all the options available on the marketplace, analyzes which options are the best fit for the company's needs and organizes the acquisition of that inventory or services, which involves negotiating prices and contracts. There is a large financial and analytical element to this role. A procurement analyst performs risk assessment, creates cost savings reports and carefully tracks and forecasts inventory levels.
For example, a procurement or purchasing analyst who works for a construction company may do things such as visit drywall manufacturers; attend trade shows; study reports about upcoming projects, review purchase orders and finalize contracts with vendors that provide raw building materials.
The typical senior purchasing analyst job description is similar, although a person with this job title may also oversee junior analysts.
Where Procurement Analysts Work
Organizations of all kinds employ procurement analysts. Any company that does business with vendors can use the services of a procurement analyst, although small businesses might not employ a dedicated person in this role, but instead might fold purchasing tasks into a more general administrative job.
Procurement analysts work for businesses that sell products to customers, like grocery and retail stores. They work for builders, banks and car manufacturers. IT companies employ analysts to procure software, hardware and other tech services. Government agencies also employ procurement analysts. In that capacity, they may either acquire inventory and services or analyze the purchasing habits of businesses that participate in government programs to make sure that government money isn't being wasted.
Becoming a Procurement Analyst
College is the first step on the procurement career path. Having a bachelor's degree isn't an absolute requirement for all procurement analyst jobs, but it is necessary for many of these positions. Knowledge of the specific field is also important. A procurement analyst who wants to work for a bank, for example, should have some experience working in financial services.
Receiving purchasing certifications is an advancement step for analysts in this field. You may need to have experience before receiving certifications, so this isn't one of the first steps on the procurement career path. Several organizations, including the American Production and Inventory Control Society and the American Purchasing Society, offer certification programs.
What to Expect as a Procurement Analyst
Travel is often part of a procurement analyst's job. Visiting vendors and attending trade shows may be required. If the analyst works for a company that has several locations, traveling to those locations may also be required. Otherwise, these jobs typically involve standard weekday business hours.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median salary for purchasing agents and managers was $66,610 per year, as of 2017, which means that half earned more than $66,610 and half earned less. Procurement analysts self-report average salaries that are a little lower, between $55,000 and $60,000 as of 2018.