Purchasing Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Purchasing Assistant, or Corporate Buying Assistant, helps with the purchasing of materials necessary for a company or organisation. Their duties include conducting market research, maintaining relationships with vendors and finding the best quality materials at the lowest prices. 


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Purchasing Assistant duties and responsibilities

A Purchasing Assistant helps decide what goods, services and equipment are needed for the company. Their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Following up with suppliers 
  • Updating the team about any delays or problems with suppliers
  • Researching new products and suppliers
  • Negotiating contracts with suppliers
  • Presenting cost analyses to the department 
  • Maintaining records of supplier contracts 
  • Staying up-to-date with industry trends
  • Maintaining strong relationships with vendors 
  • Keeping up to date with market trends


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Purchasing Assistant Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Visual Comfort Europe are recruiting a Purchasing Assistant to join our offices in Worthing on a permanent basis. You will be working in a small team reporting directly to the Purchasing Manager. The Role & Liaising closely with suppliers Managing lead times with suppliers and the expectations of the customer service team Assisting in managing product data and inventory on ERP system Issuing purchase orders to suppliers Creating purchasing related reports Liaising with the wider team on stock control and dealing with any queries Uploading container packing lists from our suppliers Scheduling and booking containers from our supplier’s factory Although the role will primarily be focused on purchasing related tasks, there may also be day to day office administration involved as part of this role. Requirements: Task focused, diligent and organised Ability to work independently and prioritise workload Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment Ability to learn on the job and adapt with changing processes Ability to problem solve High level of attention to detail Strong analytical skills Strong communication skills Team player, regularly liaising with other departments Experience in a similar role would be desirable but not essential for the right candidate. Experience in Microsoft Office package, especially Excel (formatting, sorting, formulas, editing, v look ups), familiarity with ERP systems and excellent written skills are *essential* and will be tested as part of the interview process. *Benefits: * Great opportunity for progression Bonus scheme (once probation period completed) Onsite parking Employee discount (once probation period completed) *Remote Working: * No *Working Hours: * Monday – Friday 09:00 - 17:30 Due to the anticipated number of applicants for this role, we will only be able to respond to those selected for interview. Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Additional pay: * Performance bonus Benefits: * Employee discount * On-site parking Schedule: * Monday to Friday Application question(s): * Do you have experience using an ERP system? * Do you have a strong understanding of how to perform V Lookups, sort, use formulas and pivot tables in Excel? Education: * GCSE or equivalent (preferred) Experience: * Purchasing: 2 years (preferred) Work remotely: * No

Example 2

This is a chance to join a fast growing commercial vehicle purchasing group. The successful candidates daily roles will include * assisting senior buyers with administration of purchases * making quick and prompt first contact with potential clients * asking a series of pre questions to potential clients before purchase * completing relevant vehicle paperwork once vehicle purchased There will be a commission paid on every successful purchase which will rise the more successful purchases completed. You will be working from a newly constructed call centre with excellent facilities. Successful applicant must be: * able to work as a part of a team * confident but polite on the phone * punctuality is a must * be able to work to deadlines * follow processes set out we look forward to receiving your applications The van buyers team Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: £16,000.00-£25,000.00 per year Additional pay: * Bonus scheme * Commission pay * Performance bonus * Yearly bonus Benefits: * On-site parking Schedule: * 8 hour shift * Driving Licence (required) Work remotely: * No

Example 3

TJ Books is a well established quality book manufacturer based on the edge of beautiful Padstow on the North Cornwall coast. We are looking to recruit a Purchasing Assistant to join the team. Whilst previous experience is useful, attitude and enthusiasm and a willingness to get involved are much more important. You will be part of a small team that look after our procurement. Opportunities for ongoing training and development are available for the right candidate. *Reports to: *Warehouse & Stock Control Manager *Job Purpose: *Ensuring the timely, effective procurement of materials/goods to enable production/daily operation of the company. *Main Duties: * * Compile and prepare information/reports required to deliver intelligent purchasing decisions * Assist preparation of stock control reporting * Manage purchasing and control of agreed stocks * Use information acquired to make recommendations reducing costs/inventory without impacting on service * Provide accurate and timely management information when required to support the purchasing function * Build effective relationships with both internal and external customers * Ensure relevant information is shared in a timely and professional manner with Customer Services/Scheduling/Warehouse/Production and Accounting teams to deliver an enhanced experience for our customers * Work closely with the warehouse team to ensure ‘Goods In’ are managed effectively * Work as part of a team on cross functional projects to increase efficiency in the business * Maintain accurate and effective records/paperwork * Provide sufficient cover for the Purchasing Manager in their absence *Competencies: * * Strong mathematical ability * Very competent in the use of Excel * Strong organisational skills * Analytical and methodical in approach * Positive and proactive mindset * Explore and evaluate all options in an effort to resolve challenges * Confident interacting with all areas of the business * Good professional communicator across all mediums This role is based on a 40 hour week operated across Monday- Friday. This does not include a 30 minute unpaid lunch break. Application deadline: 25/06/2021 Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: per year Benefits: * Bike to work scheme * Life insurance * On-site parking * Profit sharing * Sick pay * Store discounts * Wellness programmes Schedule: * 8 hour shift * Day shift * Monday to Friday COVID-19 considerations: All visitors to site to wear masks and be temperature checked. Sanitising stations provided throughout the site. Screens available where close work cannot be avoided. Work remotely: * No

Example 4

We are an LED lighting company which designs and manufactures lights for Aerospace, Maritime and the contract market. We are looking for an enthusiastic motivated individual to join our team. The role is a busy role based on Purchasing, Stock Control, Production Administration and other general office duties. *Main Responsibilities* · Raising Purchase orders · Progressing Orders · Liaising with Suppliers · Maintaining Stock levels · Processing production stock control paperwork · General Admin duties, answering the phone, filing, scanning etc. *Key Skills required* · Good communication skills · Excellent IT skills · Attention to detail · Multi-tasking · Organisational skills · Good teamwork skills · Previous experience in an office environment is required. · Experience in Purchasing preferable. · Experience in ISO: 9001 or equivalent is preferable. Driving licence preferable. Hours: 8.30am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Application by email only. Immediate start available. *Strictly no recruitment companies please.* Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: per year Benefits: * On-site parking Schedule: * Monday to Friday COVID-19 considerations: Initial interviews will be via telephone and 2nd stage interviews will be held onsite face to face. Application question(s): * How many years of Purchasing experience do you have? Work remotely: * No

What does a Purchasing Assistant do?

Purchasing Assistants help procure the materials a company needs in order to succeed. They assist a Purchasing Manager or Senior Purchaser in completing many administrative tasks. They help the company by finding the best quality materials at the lowest prices, which in turn helps the company succeed in making the best quality product while saving money. 


Purchasing Assistant skills and qualifications

A successful Purchasing Assistant candidate will  have various prerequisite skills and qualifications, that include:

  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • Thorough attention to detail
  • Ability to establish and develop relationships with internal and external sources
  • Analytical thinking skills
  • Ability to be flexible and open to changes
  • Self-motivation
  • An ability to determine upcoming trends 


Purchasing Assistant experience requirements

As this is an entry-level job, rigid experience requirements may not be necessary depending on the company. An applicant who has some experience working in a purchasing office is preferable but, candidates who are highly organised, have  general experience working in a fast-paced environment and love working in the retail industry can also be considered. 


Purchasing Assistant education and training requirements

There is no set university course related to this position, but many employers prefer candidates with a diploma in business studies, purchasing and logistics, purchasing and supply, marketing, supply chain management or something similar. They can also complete a higher level apprenticeship in commercial procurement. Some companies require applicants to have specific certification from the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. 


Purchasing Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Purchasing Assistant is £20,932 per year in the UK. This figure varies depending on several factors, including the location, employee experience and company policy.


Job description samples for similar positions

Other jobs that are similar to that of a Purchasing Assistant if this job description wasn’t quite what you were looking for include: 


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Purchasing Assistant job description FAQs


Do Purchasing Assistants have different responsibilities in different industries?

The responsibilities of a Purchasing Assistant vary depending on the industry, however the main skills such as contract management and the ability to work under pressure will remain the same. Each industry has specific problems and goals and an applicant needs to be aware of these differences.  

For example, acquiring materials for a charity will be very different than acquiring materials for a local government agency. The charity must focus on finding the lowest possible price point while upholding ethical standards, while the local government agency will have to work through many constrains and laws as the money used in purchasing will be from the taxpayers. 


How can you make your Purchasing Assistant job description stand out?

Focus on added benefits that the company might offer such as pensions, quarterly incentives and life insurance.  As the role is an assistant position, emphasise how the company will help the applicant grow their skills. This will appeal to candidates looking to move up to a higher position within the company. Mention the excellent hands-on training they will receive and any additional professional development opportunities. Highlight the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects and how they will learn in-depth about the purchasing role. 


Who does a Purchasing Assistant report to?

A Purchasing Assistant works in the purchasing department of a company directly under the Purchasing Manager or Senior Purchaser. This means a Purchasing Manager is in charge of many administrative and support tasks that help keep the purchasing department running. The amount of actual purchasing responsibility a Purchasing Assistant depends on their Manager. In general, a Purchasing Assistant still works independently but may have to report to their Supervisor once a week or possibly once a day depending on the company. 


What should you look for in a Purchasing Assistant CV?

A Purchasing Assistant will be working with a Purchasing Manager to prepare reports, take orders from other departments and many other administrative tasks. While previous experience in this role is preferred, look for a CV that highlights accuracy, effective time management, ability to work on a team and excellent organisational skills in any previous positions. Education should include GCSEs or A-levels at a Higher National Certificate level or higher. 

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