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Purchasing Manager

"I am the person that determines what products get to store shelves, in catalogues, and online. My job is to the footwork, the research and create the deals to buy large quantities of products for their companies, and then sell them to customers, or use them to create new materials that they then sell to customers."

Salary Range:

$54,000 - $74,000

The Tip

Move around different sectors. I’ve worked retail, industrial and now technology. My role has changed with the industry.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Customer Relationship Management

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Apply principles of CRM

  • Manage a sales process

  • Compelling presentation & report writing

  • Develop & execute a distribution strategy

  • Leverage e-commerce

  • Develop & execute a merchandising strategy

  • Leverage co-operative marketing

  • Provide customer support

  • Develop & execute a pricing strategy


General Management

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Manage budgets

  • Manage projects

  • Negotiate contracts

  • Conduct competitive analysis

  • Conduct environmental scan

  • Leverage contextual knowledge

  • Analyze data & leverage business intelligence

  • Develop and manage forecasts

  • Manage business intelligence and analytics

  • Negotiate and manage contracts

Internal Supply Chain Management

Knowledge & ability to:

  • Collaborate with partners in product/service design

  • Manage inventory and warehousing

  • Manage order fulfillment

  • Manage transportation logistics

  • Design, establish and manage related contracts

  • Identify and develop strategic sourcing relationships

  • Establish strategic and tactical SCM plans and processes

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Commerce – Finance with a minor in SCM

  • Diploma in finance from local college

  • Freakonimics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.


"My formal education in finance provided a depth of product, pricing, and promotional expertise. This, combined with training in finance and digital media, gave me the foundation to work in an increasingly convergent SCM communications world. I need to learn something new every day."

Employment Experiences:
  • Retail sales experience while in school

  • Did an internship as a purchasing coordinator at an industrial supplier. Was offered a full-time position at graduation.

  • Recruited as a purchasing manager for a technology company. Currently has a staff of six.


"Having junior roles (including retail sales) early on gave me the ability to understand the full SCM cycle. My project management experience allowed me to appreciate how it all worked together."

Community Experiences:
  • An executive at a school club

  • Participated in charitable organizations including the Food Bank


"This allowed me to gain exposure to a variety of perspectives and learn from others about what motivates people. It also improved my work ethic and I learned how to enjoy intrinsic motivators."

Contextual Experiences:
  • Attended SCM conferences to be exposed to how brands are solving problems


"It’s important for me to be well-rounded because this role is more generalist than specialist, plus I need to be able to influence others."

  • Learned how to “play nice in the sandbox” with managers from other disciplines

  • Developed effective working relationships with executives

  • Sought out an internal champion within the organization who could support my initiatives via back channels


"I found that earning the respect of peers who may not always value the SCM discipline was a core skill. I needed to learn how to speak their language and translate my activities into things they appreciate."

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