The 10 Commandments Of A Purchasing Department

The purchasing department is a key factor to a company, especially when your business imports from overseas.

The characteristics of a purchasing department can vary depending on the size of the business, the industry and the type of products/services they provide.

As a purchasing manager, you have more than likely adapted to the company’s market, and comply with a series of requirements but we wanted to share with you:

The 10 Commandments Of A Purchasing Department

Know the market as well as you know yourself.

Working in a certain industry always forces you to keep up to date with market changes and developments. New production materials, packaging alternatives and improvements in sustainability. Your eye is constantly keeping track of what’s going on in the market.

Pay special attention to the stock

A possible stock out can cause panic in any company, especially within the purchasing departments. For this reason, you should always have the quantities of products under control to avoid this crisis that can cause both financial and reputational damage.

Study suppliers very carefully before buying from them

The selection of the right suppliers is essential. Carrying out a thorough study of what each factory offers, its quality and production capacity, amongst other factors, will avoid possible future problems.

Being patience as a rule and shy away from urgent purchases

Working in the purchasing sector, you will know that some transactions are not quick and that patience is a requirement. When importing from overseas the purchasing process is often slow, which is why planning is essential.

The company’s organisation chart is sacrosanct

In a well-organised company, no one is indispensable.

However, working in a team is not always easy, and problems often arise when you are not clear about the organisation chart of a company and the stages that a decision has to go through.

It is important that all employees are clear about where they fit in, what their functions are and what objectives they have to fulfil, so study the organisation chart well and be very clear about the chain of command.

Strive for perfect communication

We often think that “communication” is only important in certain departments, when the reality is that most problems inside and outside a company are caused by poor communication.

It is important that you always maintain a fluid conversation with both your teammates and other departments, so it will be much easier to successfully overcome any challenge.

Languages open (many) doors, but they are not always enough

Languages are often regarded as a universal need and, for this reason, people who speak several of them fluently often fall into the trap of thinking that this is enough.

However, the reality is different, and most communication problems are caused by language.

Having a local team in the country of production is a sure bet to improve the manufacturing process, so don’t think that speaking a few languages will always be enough.

Rely on technology to improve any process

Technology is part of your day-to-day business.

You should opt for good software that allows you to keep your stock under control, makes sales forecasts or offers information on storage to optimise your work.

Price is never the only decision factor

The cost price of a product is very important, but it should never be the only factor that leads you to choose one supplier over another.

Even if a lower cost helps to boost your competitive advantage, there are factors such as quality or production times to bear in mind.

Never stop learning

In a global and changing market, it’s recommended to keep learning every day.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how much experience you have. There are always new business opportunities and technological or even linguistic developments to study.


Does your purchasing department need some extra help?

Your company may be embarking on a new line of business in which it does not yet have the right experience.

Even if you have a good purchasing department, it is possible that in the first transactions, the intervention of a purchasing agent or sourcing agent may be necessary to provide support in one (or all) stages of the import process.

At S3UK, we help all types of businesses with their importing; from pre-import advice to supplier selection or quality control, among other services.

Time has shown us that learning to buy in the best possible way is a skill that is learned with experience and with a good human team that, as in our case, is present both in the country of origin and in the country of production.