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What is a Procurement Director, and why does your business need one?

Procurement Director


Procurement is the process of obtaining goods or services at the best possible price. It involves negotiating contracts, analysing pricing trends, and managing supplier relationships. 

Procurement also includes activities such as quality control, transportation, and storage. The goal of procurement is to obtain supplies and services that meet the organisation's needs while maximising value for the company. 

To achieve this, procurement professionals must understand the market and the factors influencing prices. They must also be skilled in negotiation and contract management. Procurement professionals can save their companies significant amounts of money by carefully assessing their options and leveraging their knowledge.

What's the difference between Purchasing and Procurement?

Procurement and purchasing may seem like similar terms, but they refer to different supply chain stages. 

Procurement is the broader term that encompasses all activities involved in sourcing and selecting suppliers, negotiating contracts, and making purchase orders. On the other hand, purchasing is the specific action of placing an order with a supplier. 

Though they are different stages in the process, procurement and purchasing often overlap and can be carried out by the same individual or department. For example, a purchasing manager may be responsible for both identifying potential suppliers and negotiating contract terms. 

Ultimately, the goal of both procurement and purchasing is to obtain the best possible price for goods or services while ensuring that they meet the quality standards required by the organisation.

What is a Procurement Director?

The role of a procurement director is to ensure that a business obtains the best possible prices for the goods and services it needs. 

They must develop and oversee procurement strategies, negotiate contracts with suppliers, and manage supplier relationships. They must also be able to find new sources of supply when necessary and have a deep knowledge of the market. 

In addition to their procurement responsibilities, they may also be responsible for managing inventory levels and ensuring that stock is sufficient to meet demand. As a result, procurement directors play an essential role in ensuring that businesses obtain the supplies they need at the best possible prices.

What are the Benefits of Employing a Procurement Director?

One of the main benefits of having a procurement director is that it can lead to cost savings for the company. A talented procurement director will negotiate favourable terms with suppliers and secure better prices for goods and services. They will also be able to streamline the procurement process, reducing waste and saving time.

Another benefit of having a procurement director is improved supplier relationships. A skilled procurement director can develop strong relationships with key suppliers, improving quality and service levels. They will also be able to identify new suppliers who can offer better value for money.

Finally, a procurement director can increase efficiencies within the procurement process. They will be able to identify and implement best practices and introduce new technologies to make the process more efficient. This can free up time for other parts of the business, making it more productive overall.

Typical Skillsets of a Procurement Director


The ability to successfully negotiate with suppliers can mean the difference between getting the best possible price for the company and overpaying for goods or services. Good negotiation skills can also help secure favourable terms and conditions, saving the company money in the long run.

Relationship building

Good relationship-building skills are essential for a procurement director because they enable them to get the best possible terms from suppliers and avoid disruptions to their supply chain. Furthermore, strong relationships with suppliers can help a procurement director anticipate problems and identify opportunities for cost savings.


As the procurement director for a company, it is crucial to have strong analytical skills. This is because a large part of the job involves reviewing data and making decisions based on that data. For example, the procurement director must review cost estimates, delivery times, and quality control procedures when evaluating potential suppliers. Therefore, strong analytical skills are essential for ensuring that the company gets the best possible value for its products and services. In addition, analytical skills are also important for negotiating contracts and managing relationships with suppliers. By understanding the market data and trends, the procurement director can ensure that the company always gets the best possible deals.

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Problem-solving is a key skill for a procurement director. After all, not every purchase will go smoothly. For example, there may be issues with supplier availability, quality control, or delivery times. A procurement director who can quickly identify and solve problems will be able to keep the business running smoothly, avoiding costly delays and disruptions. In addition, strong problem-solving skills can also help a procurement director to negotiate better terms with suppliers. Finally, by quickly finding solutions to problems, a procurement director can save the company time and money.


A successful procurement director needs to be able to inspire and motivate their team to achieve the best possible results. They also need to build strong relationships with other departments and stakeholders to ensure that the procurement function runs smoothly. A procurement director who is a strong leader will be able to make decisions quickly and efficiently and will be able to handle any problems that may arise. 

Staff Development

One of the primary responsibilities of a procurement director is to manage and develop a team of buyers. To do this effectively, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of human resources and be able to identify and nurture talent. Additionally, a procurement director must be able to manage conflicting stakeholders, negotiate complex contracts, and deal with difficult suppliers. All of these activities require strong staff development skills to be successful.

Common Performance Metrics of a Procurement Director

The usual performance metrics of a procurement director typically include: 

  • Ensuring compliance with company procedures
  • Developing and maintaining supplier relationships
  • Managing the procurement budget
  • Negotiating contracts
  • Reducing the cost of goods and services
  • Supplier on-time delivery performance

In addition, the procurement Director is responsible for managing the risks associated with procurement, such as supplier financial stability and quality of goods and services. The procurement director must also ensure that the company's procurement policies are aligned with its business strategy.

Common Challenges of Being a Procurement Director

A few common challenges tend to come with being a procurement director. These include: 

Managing the procurement budget

One of the biggest challenges of being a procurement director is managing the procurement budget, which is often one of the most significant expenses for a company. As such, it is essential to ensure the procurement budget is being used in the most efficient way possible. Getting that right can be challenging as it requires a delicate balance between getting the best possible deals from suppliers and ensuring that the company does not overspend.

Keeping up with market trends

Another common challenge for procurement directors is keeping up with market trends. All marketplaces are constantly changing, and new products and services are always becoming available. As such, it is crucial for procurement directors to stay up-to-date on the latest market trends to make sure that the company is always getting the best possible deals.

Negotiating contracts

Contracts can be complex and often require a lot of back-and-forth between the company and the supplier. A procurement director skilled at negotiating contracts will be able to save the company time and money by getting the best possible terms for the company. However, the contracts mustn't be one-sided as they also need to be beneficial for suppliers.


A procurement director is responsible for managing the company's purchasing activities. This includes overseeing the procurement budget, negotiating contracts, and keeping up with market trends. A procurement director must have strong analytical and problem-solving skills to be successful. Additionally, they need to be able to manage risk and ensure that the company's procurement policies are aligned with its business strategy.

Despite the challenges, being a procurement director can be rewarding as it offers the opportunity to save the company time and money. Those who are successful in this role tend to have strong analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to manage risk and align procurement policies with business strategy.

We hope this article has helped you learn more about a procurement director and why your business needs one. If you have any questions, please contact us on 01905 381320 or email


Intrigued? Let’s talk

To find out how our tried, tested and trusted insight and innovation can deliver you the brightest sales and marketingtalent call
01905 381320 or email

I am highly recommending any candidates to work with Martin Veasey Talent Solutions, as they understand the candidate career objectives and match the skills required with the desired employer.