Job profile
Purchasing director (m/f/d)

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Purchasing directors: ensuring efficient purchasing for companies

Purchasing directors organise and control purchases for companies or service providers taking into account economic aspects. Their task is thus to continuously look for the best offers for their companies. Personnel management is also part of their responsibilities.

Which opportunities do purchasing directors have on the labour market?

Purchasing directors can work in numerous different industries: be it in wholesale markets, in automotive or IT companies – they are in demand in all business areas that require services, commodities or other materials. Thanks to the various fields of activity, the career prospects for purchasing directors are good. They are particularly sought-after in mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, the automotive industry and in the fields of manufacturing, electronics and trade.

What are the tasks and responsibilities of purchasing directors?

Strategic purchasing directors are in charge of their company’s entire purchasing process. They determine which goods, commodities or services the company needs, obtain the best offers, order the required goods and organise the delivery process. Operational purchasing directors, by contrast, are responsible for monitoring the deliveries and managing the stocks.

Purchasing directors must have strong negotiation skills, leadership qualities and economic competence. An essential part of their tasks is to keep the purchase costs as low as possible for the company while at the same time buying products and services of the best possible quality.

To be able to compare offers and select suitable suppliers, purchasing directors need to have good computer skills.

  • Obtaining and comparing offers
  • Specification analyses
  • Analysis and evaluation of purchasing key figures
  • Conducting negotiations on conditions and contracts

Which hard skills and soft skills should purchasing directors have?

To work in this profession, a completed commercial apprenticeship or a university degree in industrial engineering, marketing, logistics or trade is required. Besides, purchasing directors must have strong communication and fluent English language skills as well as good analytical, social and negotiation skills.

  • Foreign language skills
  • Leadership qualities and the ability to interact with numerous different departments
  • IT skills, in particular a good command of Excel
  • Willingness to travel
  • Good organisational skills
  • Industry expertise
  • Team spirit

What is the average salary of purchasing directors?

The average gross annual salary of purchasing directors amounts to between EUR 53,000 and EUR 102,000, largely depending on industry and employer. While purchasing directors working at smaller companies may only earn EUR 2,900 gross, their counterparts at large mechanical engineering companies may receive monthly gross salaries of EUR 8,000.