5 Key Skills That Every Procurement Manager Must Have

Anyone who is making it in the procurement universe will tell you that the job is extremely hard but also highly rewarding. Procurement specialists are always working with suppliers on a daily basis and therefore the job would require them to have a high level of confidence and also a high level of intelligence to be able to work their way through the industry.

To become a successful procurement manager, you need to be able to handle a lot of things at the same time while still keeping the vision of getting the best supplies for your company as the top priority. You are handling a very precarious end of the company that needs to be executed flawlessly for everything else to fall into place.

So what are the 5 key skills that every procurement manager should have? Find out below!

The first skill is definitely the most obvious skill of all which is excellent negotiation skills. This is because, when you are working with suppliers all the time, ensuring that you find a common middle ground can be challenging. It might happen because you’re trying to get the best deal for your company and the supplier is also trying to get more money so that he will benefit his company. Therefore there needs to be a balance between these two to ensure that both parties get what they came for.

This is where every procurement officer needs the skills for negotiating. The success of your deals will depend on your negotiation skills. It is a process in which you and your supplier need to reach an agreement of mutual interest. At the end of the day, it is all about creating a movement between each other that also includes trust in one another.

There objectives of these negotiations will result in one or two of these five options : the right service or product at the right price, the right time, the right location or the right quantity. According to procurement-academy.com, a procurement manager needs to be able to negotiate to ensure you get a perfect balance for these five rights, For example, you should know that the right product that has faster delivery will cost more. So it is a balance that you need to be able to negotiate and get to the procurement vision you’ve had in your head at the end of the day. 

The next skill is communication. It takes after the first skill because you need to be able to successfully communicate what you want and need from your suppliers to be the perfect procurement manager that will expand the procurement future for your company. The procurement department will always find itself in between multiple ranks of suppliers. From stakeholders, to managers and even to Chief Procurement Officers of other companies. This must not intimidate you and you need to be able to have great communication skills.
As a professional procurement manager, you must be able to express yourself clearly verbally and in writing as well. Communication is known to be the key to supply chain success and it is rightfully so! Being able to communicate properly with a supplier is what tells them exactly what you want and need from them which will smoothen the process between the both of you. Ensuring that a good deal comes out from it, benefiting both parties.

Time is money: this is a phrase that every procurement manager needs to hold near and dear to their heart. In a business, everything costs money. This means that the more time you waste, the more money you will be wasting and this is not good for your procurement vision as well as the future of your company.

Timely decisions will create real savings and allow for your company to save thousands in the process. You need to be able to handle urgent time frames and still come out on top. The world of business moves at lightning speed and if you can’t keep up you will be failing your company. Imagine if you have a tight deadline that requires immediate action but you take a week to even start seeking for suppliers? Your company will then have lost that extra week to be able to manufacture whatever it was that they needed to and therefore losing money in the process!
Being a great procurement manager means that you can handle intense pressure and work in your tight deadlines ensuring that your procurement team gets what they need to ensuring the success of the company.

Despite always being on the go and have to handle so many accounts at once, as a successful procurement manager that is going to impact the future of procurement, you need to have integrity.

Integrity is important is almost all professions. It just means that you will do what you say and that you will hold on to that promise and saying what you mean as well. It allows you to build a reputation well enough so that people respect you. No one wants someone who isn’t truthful or uses bad means to get to where they need to go. Building a reputation allows you to become respected and this means that you will be able to score deals a lot easier since your word is known to be truthful.

It also implies a sense of reliability which just makes you even more valuable to the company. This happens because they know that they can count on you to make the right decisions as well as ensuring that your projects will be delivered in the time-frame given.

A positive, can-do attitude is the last skill we feel that every procurement manager needs to be able to succeed in procurement management. A skill like this cannot be taught or paid to be obtained. It needs to come from within. It has to come from someone who truly loves what they do.

You need to be able to be proactive and love to be included in all the meetings and are willing to get your hands dirty. You need to be able to approach problems with a positive mindset because that is the only way you will be able to succeed.


These are 5 of the key skills the team here at ThunderQuote feels like every procurement manager should have. If you think we’ve missed on out some please let us now. In addition to that, for all your procuring needs, you can head on over to our website to find all the leads you are looking for!

ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.


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