Purchasing coordinator job description

Written by ann frederick
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Purchasing coordinator job description
Purchasing coordinators make sure manufacturing plants have the supplies they need. (on manufacture image by YURY MARYUNIN from Fotolia.com)

Purchasing coordinators often work in manufacturing companies, where a constant flow of parts and other supplies is needed for the company to meet its manufacturing targets. Purchasing coordinators work with vendors to obtain the materials the company needs. While many of these coordinators work full time, some may be in a part-time position.


Employers expect purchasing coordinators to investigate potential vendors and keep supplier lists updated. Coordinators work with the company's staff to determine the requirements for a purchase, and then they get quotes based on those specifications. Coordinators create purchase orders and place the orders with the vendor. When placing orders, they are expected to keep company policies and budget constraints in mind.

Purchasing staff may be expected to negotiate prices and look for ways to save the company money.

Coordinators may arrange for overnight shipping if an item is needed immediately, and they monitor all orders to make sure supplies are received. After items arrive, purchasing coordinators may need to do some troubleshooting. In a job posting for a purchasing coordinator, Mitsubishi Electric notes that the employee will need to "resolve the problems with vendors for any material defects, delivery shortage [and] invoice discrepancy."

Some employers may expect the purchasing coordinator to supervise other members of the purchasing staff.


Employers often want the purchasing coordinator to have a high school diploma or associate's degree. In some cases, a bachelor's degree may be required. Some companies may allow you to combine education and work experience to meet their requirements.


Companies may look for employees who have three or more years of experience in manufacturing. Experience in accounting, purchasing and data entry can also be beneficial to a job candidate.

Employers often want new employees to have experience with Microsoft Office products as well.


Mathematical skills are important for a purchasing coordinator. A job posting by the Jelly Belly Candy Company calls for a purchasing coordinator who has the "ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference and volume."

Personal Traits

Purchasing coordinators are often expected to work independently, so they need to be self-starters who are organised and detail-oriented. Because they will interact with vendors and various departments within their own company, coordinators need to have strong interpersonal and written/oral communication skills.

Some employers look for purchasing coordinators who have a willingness to travel.

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