What is an industrial buyer?
Industrial buyer is an increasingly demanding profession. Today, professionals generally enter the labor market after several years of academic procurement training. Here again, the profiles vary from business school, conversion engineers, technical sales training, etc. Nevertheless, players in the industrial sector will prefer specialized professionals, either through university or professional channels. As Purchasing takes on an increasingly strategic role, its operators must demonstrate many qualities.
It is not easy to draw up an exhaustive list of the qualities that make a good buyer. Nevertheless, certain skills are essential to the exercise of their activities:
- Market knowledge. First, every Procurement professional must have a solid knowledge of the market and its dynamics, the supply chain, the field of activity, and the company’s portfolio.
- Ability to negotiate. Naturally, any industrial buyer must have a certain skill when negotiating contracts.
- Computer skills. Whether for order management or supplier relationship management: new technologies are nowadays an important part of their daily lives.
- Fluency in English. A growing part of Procurement activities is done internationally. Proficiency in one or more foreign languages is a real asset.
- Legal knowledge. In order to negotiate and manage supply contracts as efficiently as possible, the teams may have certain local and international trade basis/ laws.
Beyond the knowledge acquired during their training, buyers must have certain qualities:
- Relational skills. Having good human qualities facilitates exchange and collaboration with the various actors in the supply chain.
- Purchasing teams are often called upon to juggle various projects. In addition, some buyers may be responsible for managing a team or project. Rigor and organization will therefore often be the keys to success.
- The job of an industrial buyer is accompanied by a certain technical aspect. Choosing this path means taking an interest in the specificities of your sector of activity, and being on the lookout for new products on the market. In addition, depending on the company, buyers may be regularly reassigned to another product family.
With the growth of industry 4.0 and the interconnectivity of the supply chain, the buyer’s profession is constantly changing. New digital solutions are gradually emerging to support them in their efforts. Mobility Work Hub has been designed to bring together industry suppliers and maintenance experts and simplify their exchanges.
The motivation for industrial buying
- The Role Played by Industrial Buyer:
An analysis of industrial buyer behavior indicates that
- personal needs,
- interaction in the buying center,
- organizational objectives (or needs) determine the response of a buyer to the selling efforts of a sales rep.
Personal needs- For example – an industrial buyer may be motivated by a personal need for salary increment and promotion in his job, and also by a social or organizational need to satisfy the user department. A buying decision may allow the buyer to satisfy both sets of needs.
The specific personal and social needs will decide:
(i) Whether the buyer meets with a sales rep,
(ii) Which parts of the sales rep’s presentation does he listens to,
(iii) The influence of sales presentation on his decision to buy.
interaction between buyer and seller- the personal lifestyles and backgrounds will often determine the style of communication the buyer or the seller chooses to engage in and
organizational training and orientation will also mold the buyer or the seller with respect to the style of communication he is expected to engage in.
What is the role of procurement and supply chain in manufacturing companies?
1. Innovative procurement
Ultimately, the role of procurement and supply chain management will help businesses maximize profits. This is done by balancing cost reduction, supplier quality, assurance of supply, and increasingly unlocking supplier innovation. Success means building a competitive advantage. Failure means losing ground.
As the manufacturing and supply chain environment grows more complex, procurement and supply chain management functions are also growing more strategic in manufacturing companies that need to find new ways to optimize the supply chain.
It’s critical that various gatekeepers and key stakeholders find new ways to drive supplier collaboration, strategic cost savings and margins, better manage spending, and build partnerships with suppliers for competitive differentiation. Procurement also helps manage compliance and reduce overall supply chain risk.
- competitive advantage
How does procurement help manufacturing companies stay ahead of the competition and gain a competitive advantage?
Procurement helps organizations become “the customer of choice” to suppliers, which helps manufacturers drive innovation and bring products to market faster— and with higher margins. For example, a manufacturing and automotive customer that has a comprehensive procurement process in place to collaborate deeply with their suppliers will bring new innovations to market faster following NPI best practices. When this is a repeatable process, procurement makes a big impact driving business growth with an eye toward managing compliance and reducing overall supply chain risk.
3. Fulfil market demand faster
How can Procurement help Manufacturers innovate faster with evolving customer demands, and regulatory and compliance requirements?
Procurement helps manufacturers better manage their supplier engagement across product lifecycles due to fast-evolving customer demands. Manufacturing companies need a new approach to how they collaborate internally as well as externally with suppliers and partners in an ever-changing regulatory environment to innovate faster.
Technology is critical to making this type of collaboration efficient and scalable while working with an increasing number of suppliers and producing additional lines of products. This is especially critical for businesses that manufacture complex products that require regular collaboration with multiple suppliers around the world.
- Effective vendor management
How does effective Vendor Management play a critical role in fostering Supplier Collaboration and innovation?
Vendor Management is at the core of how companies drive visibility into all aspects of vendor and supplier relationships. It begins with accurate information about suppliers, and visibility of the information to internal stakeholders, which should be utilized in both strategic sourcing and operational processes.
The ease of doing business will also drive supplier innovation. For example, manufacturing companies need easy and streamlined access to working capital that can be facilitated by nimble startups. Supplier development with clear partnership goals and performance metrics will result in improved collaboration and innovation.
- Efficient procurement software and solutions
What are the benefits of procurement software and solutions in driving supply chain innovation?
At its core, procurement drives efficiency and automation to create the capacity to innovate and be more strategic. The best technology also allows you to bring your best ideas to life. For example, we worked with automotive component manufacturer Meritor to configure a unique approach to new product introductions that allowed them to scale collaboration and ultimately bring more innovative products to market faster. This helped improve margins and revenue, resulted in faster time to market, helped to mitigate risk and improve performance, and helped ensure a consistent product.