The Guy With 6 Hats

Just like that. Yet it wasn’t easy, negotiation skills are a big dowry, and even the ones naturally gifted need to constantly practice and update their techniques. But being an excellent buyer nowadays takes a lot more, and the talents required flow into a whole new set of functions. Let’s dive into details:

Data Analyst Sure, some tools really help, still you need the ability to group and read the data in the right way to get from them trends and forecast.

Cultural Mediator This is a more recent one, but cross functional team are now widespread. And if you ever lead one, you know what it takes to do strategic and innovative purchasing putting together ten heads. Without mentioning the analysis of internal demand, and the clash that comes with it when you tell your colleagues that you’re going to cut specs that they consider vital.

Private Investigator Like a modern Magnum P.I., buyers need great sensitivity and acumen not only in collecting information on the suppliers, but also when testing the resilience of the whole supply chain.

Auditor And once chosen and signed the supplier, you are the one in charge to identify the correct KPIs to monitor the contract execution.

Psychologist Mostly for self-therapy. Let’s be honest, no one likes the buyer. Not Property or Board, they see him just like a leech eroding their marginality. Not the colleagues, they call it a bad day when they see you coming. And surely not the suppliers, maybe they are good at pretending but deep inside, if they are well-behaved, they at least consider him a necessary evil.

Maybe it’s time for you to let someone else, someone outside the organisation, share this weight with you. After some weeks, once the job is done, he will leave, but the accomplishments will be yours, and even after years it’s always possible to blame him for anything that should go south. Attractive!