Many times, we have seen offers and applicants for the position of Senior and Jr Buyer without really having an official meaning that allows us to differentiate one from the other.
Starting from the need to understand which are the main differentiators I present the critical elements that will help you identify if you really have a Jr buyer or Senior buyer.
Let’s start with the Jr buyer who is always focused on obtaining savings and competitive prices with his suppliers, the Jr buyer usually combines the emotions with the reason, they are aggressive negotiators and very little flexibles. They look for quick and forceful results.
Focus on savings.
He sets up a savings target and goes with his suppliers to “demand” prices discounts. Generally, he is not interested in how the suppliers are going to achieve what he ask for because his approach goes directly to the target price. It is good to keep Jr Buyers if you are looking for savings in the immediate term.
Performs negotiation strategies at the basic level.
Jr. Buyer looks for rebates by purchase volume, asks suppliers to improve prices in products of high rotation and high prices or he simply replace a product for another that is cheaper but with the same performance. Jr Buyers generate cost benefit analysis very quickly that impact directly to the hard costs.
Jr. Buyer sometimes confuses negotiating with bargaining, 80% of his closures are obtained by pressing the supplier to reduce their costs in exchange for giving them more business. It resists to any supplier price increase. It does everything on its side to not accept a price increase in the products, knowing that the supplier shows him statistics of increases in raw materials or price inflation. Many times, it threatens its suppliers with remove the business if they increase prices.
Buyer Jr is a valuable member if you are looking for immediate negotiations or savings. They work perfectly for companies that do not have in place a long-term purchasing strategy.
On the other hand, the Senior Buyer is considered a strategist, maintains a conservative profile, plans and projects based on the operational situation, is involved in the budgeting process as it understands the behavior of the market in its supply chain.
It is a key piece of the Plant Manager or Controller
The senior buyer opinion is considered in the decisions making when it comes to procuring goods or services.
Reports pricing research results on commodities.
His reports are focused on market projections and trends that can impact the company’s EBITA
Reports market research results
Their reports reflect the ability to react or migrate from one supplier to another in a short period of time because it maintains updated his suppliers data base according to capabilities and abilities that allows him to always maintain market options in case of a contingency. He is constantly searching for new suppliers.
Measures the value added of its suppliers
He understands that the price goes to a second term when he obtains from his supplier the best quality and the best service. Knowing this has metrics of the cost of value
In conclusion, having Jr’s and Seniors buyers is a good combination especially when you have a well-defined purchasing strategy. However it is highly recommended to pay special attention to the Junior profile as they can represent a 2-edged weapon if you are looking to maintain long-term relationships with your trading partners.
Ing. Juan Carlos Valdes Romo
Director of operations Brunnermeier Mexicoby