The Purchasing Agent’s 10 Commandment

By Charles Dominick, SPSM

  1. Thou shalt always make decisions in the best interest of thy employer. Good purchasing agents avoid any real, and even perceived, conflicts of interest.
  2. Thou shalt always involve thy internal customers throughout the purchasing process. Good purchasing agents never act alone.
  3. Thou shalt never make price the only criterion in a purchasing decision. Good purchasing agents take quality, delivery, and other criteria into consideration also.
  4. Thou shalt measure thy performance and communicate thy performance to management. Good purchasing agents know and show their value.
  5. Thou shalt treat suppliers fairly. Good purchasing agents don’t attempt to take advantage of suppliers’ mistakes nor trick them to accept unfavorable terms.
  6. Thou shalt embrace change and new technologies rather than resist them.
  7. Thou shalt negotiate with the understanding that there may some day need to be a close relationship with the supplier across the table.
  8. Thou shalt realize that it is a global economy and never make assumptions that thou knowest every supplier available.
  9. Thou shalt acknowledge that thy manager’s job is to develop and implement a strategy for the department and, therefore, thou shalt challenge thyself to solve problems independently rather than involve thy manager in tactical crises that can reasonably be resolved at the purchasing agent level.
  10. Thou shalt commit to continuous improvement of thy skills, never letting a year go by without learning new practices used by other purchasing agents.
  11. Thou shalt always exceed expectations, consistently delivering more than anticipated. Good purchasing agents also fulfill obligations sooner than expected.

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