The memento for young buyers


The buyer ‘s first task when joining a company is to adapt successfully to the new environment. Understanding and analysing the history of the company, its identity, its team, its strategy… All this information enables the buyer to better understand the expectations of his superiors and therefore to be able to fulfil his duties.

In this memento, you’ll find all the questions you need to bear in mind if you want to make a success of your induction. Make a success of your new job as a buyer or purchasing manager and surprise your senior management with your professionalism! ✅

1- Knowledge of the company and how it works

When you join a company, it’s important to know who it is and how it works. The human element, the teams, the objectives and commitments. Mastering the company’s culture is the key to successful integration. 🏆

  • What is the company’s policy in the short, medium and long term?
  • What are the company’s objectives in the short, medium and long term?
  • What is the company’s overall strategy?
  • What is theorganisational chart and what is its composition? Who are the internal customers?
  • What are the various bodies? Committees?
  • Does the company have a glossary of acronyms?
  • Is the Social Charter (Social, Societal and Environmental Responsibility) taken into account?

2- Purchasing policy and strategies

Make sure you are familiar with the current purchasing policy so that you can adopt the right strategies. This will ensure that your assignments are in line with the company’s values.

  • What is the short-, medium- and long-term purchasing policy?
  • Are all buyers and internal customers aware of it?
  • What purchasing strategies and tactics are currently used?
  • What is the level of digital coverage of purchasing?
  • What is the purchasing department’s vision?
  • What is the company’s inventory policy ?

3- Purchasing organisation

Understanding your company’s purchasing organisation means understanding your tasks as a buyer and the processes/tools you will need to use during your assignments. Make sure you master this component to aim for purchasing performance. 🎯

  • What are the general principles of purchasing organisation?
  • What is the composition of the purchasing department?
  • Does thepurchasing organisation include purchasing and procurement?
  • What are the purchasing issues for the company?
    • Is purchasing a proportion of sales?
    • What is the ratio of production and non-production purchases to total purchases?
    • Are supplies secure?
  • How does the purchasing department interact with other departments?
  • What are the obstacles and opportunities in terms of IT solutions and resources?
  • Has a progress initiative been launched?
  • What are the annual or quarterly targets?

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4- Purchasing processes and procedures

Understanding your company’s organisation, processes and procedures will help you to understand and identify the expectations associated with your job as a buyer. Regardless of the business sector, purchasing management is an intrinsic part of the company.

  • Has the purchasing process been defined ?
  • Do purchasing procedures exist? Are they known and applied?
  • What is the process for placing orders?
  • Who is involved in drawing up the specifications?
  • Has the procedure for using invitations to tender or consultations been defined?
  • Is the competitive tendering procedure detailed and followed?
  • What is the process for selecting suppliers and awarding contracts?
  • Is risk prevention taken into account when selecting suppliers?
  • What risk management procedures have been put in place?
  • Have purchases been analysed and classified intohomogeneous purchasing families?
  • Have major purchases been targeted (Pareto – 80/20 and ABC analysis)?
  • How is the purchasing portfolio allocated between the different buyers?

5- Supplier selection criteria

Supplier selection criteria are specific to each company. Before you start sourcing, you need to know what criteria you have chosen so that you can make the right decisions and negotiate successfully. 🤝

  • What are the supplier selection criteria (Quality, Costs, Lead times, Risks, Other)?
  • What are the company’s practices?
    • Exclusive use of the panel?
    • Competitive bidding outside the panel?
  • What profit levers does the company use?

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6- Supplier-prescriber relations

You need to find out about the existing relationships between your partner suppliers and your company in order to understand the approach you are going to take when you meet and negotiate. You should also be familiar with supplier contracts .

  • Do supplier/specifier relationships exist (formal/informal, political, historical)?
  • Are these relationships likely to distort competition?
  • Do you have access to all your company’s framework contracts?
  • Is there a procedure for negotiating with your suppliers?

Taking up a new post is an important step, and requires the ability to adapt. You’ll need to ask yourself the right questions to gather as much information as possible, so that you can better understand the challenges of your new company. Thanks to this memento, you’ll be sure not to forget anything, and you’ll find the key points to analyse to optimise your integration into a purchasing department. From now on, you’ll have the keys you need to get your bearings and make your new job a real success! 🏆


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