What’s it all about then?
As an Assistant Buyer you’ll be a key part of your company’s purchasing department and you’ll help with all of the buying activities.
You’ll help the buyer to source and purchase all of the raw materials needed for successful production at the best price available and within agreed quality specifications and you’ll likely deal with the payment of invoices.
You’ll research the markets for newer and better quality materials for your company and make recommendations to the buyer.
You’ll also have to collaborate with production and planning colleagues to ensure that materials are available in the right quantity at the right time.
What might I be doing?
Your job as assistant buyer will likely include most of the following responsibilities:
- Ensuring all materials are purchased on time, to specification, and at the best price available
- Negotiating with suppliers and building long term relationships
- Liaising with planning and production staff for forecasting purposes
- Coordinating deliveries and maintaining suitable stock levels
- Making sure stock is rotated effectively and waste minimised
- Identifying new and alternative sources of supply for products and making recommendations to the buyer
- Working as part of a team of buyers
- Budgeting and forecasting accurately
What will be expected of me?
You’ll be expected to work hard and assist the buyer to meet targets as defined in the company strategy.
You’ll be someone who is always looking out for new products and ingredients at the best price so you can help the profitability of the business.
You’ll be well organised with a confident and outgoing personality as you will be expected to deputise for the buyer from time to time.
You’ll need to be completely familiar with all aspects of your company’s products and methods of production and able to understand the needs of other departments.
What can I expect?
You’ll be office based mainly although you may travel as a representative of the company from time to time.
You’ll likely work 40 hour week with extra hours likely to be needed at times of peak production.
You can expect to be working in a pressurised environment as you will be the first person contacted when there is a shortage of any product needed at a particular time.
What about the pay?
An assistant buyer can expect to start on £15,000 to £20,000 and this will then rise in accordance with experience and extended responsibility.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
It is likely that you will have entered the company as a graduate and started life in the buying department as a trainee. For a food company, business and food related degrees are much sought after by employers but previous buying experience in food might also be helpful for the role of Assistant Buyer.
What about further training?
When you start working as an assistant buyer you could apply to join the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply who have a range of qualifications aimed at proving and enhancing your professionalism in your job.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes, you’ll need to have a resilient personality to work in the purchasing department because the work is dynamic in nature and involves working to deadlines.
You need to be a people person because you’ll spend almost the entire job dealing with a variety of suppliers and internal customers.