Are you Purchasing, Procurement or Supply Chain Manager?

Purchasing, Procurement and Supply Chain Managers are Positions what are often used interchangeably. Good examples are job posts in where titles alter from roles and responsibilities. Let’s explain the contrast between these three and bring out functional differences.

Supply Chain Manager sits in a strategic role and acts as an umbrella covering both purchasing and procurement-but not only. Additionally it also covers logistics & supplier quality. Supply Chain Manager responsibilities are not limited by looking after inbound materials, but it also directs outbound flow.

From supply chain manager it is expected to drive savings plan and work side by side with R&D, sales, IT, operations & finance.

Both risk mitigation and planning short-, medium- & long-term supply chain strategy should be part of this role task list. It is important to understand that entire supply chain must be controlled by supply chain manager.

That role needs to have tools supporting supply chain visibility & overview.

Procurement Manager is on a front line when it comes to finding new suppliers, running various sourcing activities and negotiating terms & conditions.

From procurement manager it is expected to be part of new saving initiatives and drive these as project manager. Close cooperation with R&D and sales is highly praised.

Depending from company size procurement manager tasks might be limited by strategical actions only or in a smaller companies this can also include some parts of operational activities.

It is often said that everything before sending out purchase order are under procurement manager duties. Very common practice is that procurement manager also oversees purchasing and therefore purchasing is a subset of procurement.

That role needs to have tools supporting communication, maintaining information about potential and existing suppliers & having accurate spend and performance overview.

Purchasing Manager is more operational role and its main task is to make sure that purchasing requests are fulfilled — both goods or services are purchased by purchasers and delivered by suppliers.

Main KPIs to follow are on-time, on-quality and on-cost deliveries. Close cooperation with operations & R&D supports performance.

Purchasing Manager needs to have tools supporting communication & teamwork, maintaining information about existing suppliers, giving operational visibility and keeping track on daily tasks and automating routine processes.

Purchasing vs Procurement vs Supply Chain Roles and Responsibilities is empowering operational purchasing process and enhance this with key procurement steps —  such as keeping supplier related information in one single SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) system and maintain RFI/RFP process. Collaboration between different functions is embraced and what is most important everyone from the team is always on a same page.

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