What Is a Head of Procurement?


You Will Learn.

  • What a Head of Procurement is. 
  • What the responsibilities of a Head of Procurement are.  
  • What qualifications a Head of Procurement needs.
  • What skills a Head of Procurement Head of Procurement needs.  
  • Who employs a Head of Procurement.
  • The average salary of a Head of Procurement Head of Procurement Head of Procurement.
  • Where the latest Head of Procurement jobs are and how to apply for them.
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What Is a Head of Procurement?

The Head of Procurement is a senior management role responsible for overseeing and optimising the procurement process within an organisation. 

They lead procurement teams, develop strategic sourcing plans, negotiate contracts, and manage supplier relationships to ensure the acquisition of goods and services align with quality, cost, and efficiency objectives. 

The role requires strong analytical skills, market knowledge, and the ability to collaborate with various departments. The Head of Procurement plays a crucial role in driving cost savings, mitigating risks, and maintaining compliance.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Head of Procurement?

While working as a Head of Procurement, you will be required to: 

  • Develop and implement procurement strategies aligned with the organisation's overall objectives and goals.
  • Analyse market trends, supply chain risks and opportunities to optimise procurement processes.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to understand their needs and align procurement activities accordingly.
  • Oversee the end-to-end procurement process, including requisition, sourcing, evaluation, negotiation and contract management.
  • Ensure compliance with relevant regulations, policies and ethical standards in all procurement activities.
  • Identify potential cost-saving opportunities and implement cost-effective purchasing practices.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with suppliers, conducting supplier evaluations and performance reviews.
  • Conduct supplier audits and monitor supplier performance to ensure quality and delivery standards are met.
  • Negotiate favourable terms, conditions and prices with suppliers to secure advantageous agreements.
  • Lead and manage the procurement team, providing guidance, training and performance feedback.
  • Foster a collaborative and efficient working environment, encouraging innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Allocate resources effectively to meet procurement objectives and deadlines.
  • Identify and mitigate potential risks in the supply chain, ensuring continuity of supply and minimising disruptions.
  • Implement risk management strategies to address supplier dependencies and geopolitical uncertainties.
  • Develop contingency plans for critical supplies and maintain robust disaster recovery measures.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Head of Procurement typically requires a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as business, supply chain management, or procurement.

Additionally, many organisations prefer candidates with a postgraduate degree or professional certifications like CIPS (Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply). 

Relevant work experience in procurement or supply chain roles, including leadership positions, is essential. A demonstrated knowledge of procurement regulations, market trends, and supplier management is also highly valued by employers.

On average, a Head of Procurement's salary in the UK might range from approximately £60,000 to £100,000 or more per year.

However, this can vary depending on factors such as the size and industry of the company, location, level of experience, and responsibilities of the role.

Heads of Procurement are employed across various sectors by large organisations, including private companies, multinational corporations, government agencies, local authorities, healthcare institutions, educational establishments and nonprofit organisations. 

They are essential in sectors such as manufacturing, retail, construction, energy, technology, and defence. Public sector bodies, such as government departments and public healthcare providers, also hire Heads of Procurement to manage their procurement activities. 

The role's significance in driving cost savings, optimising supply chains, and ensuring compliance with regulations makes it essential for organisations of all sizes and industries to have a dedicated professional overseeing their procurement function.

What Skills Does a Head of Procurement Need?

Key skills of a Head of Procurement include: 

  • Strong leadership abilities to inspire and guide the procurement team.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to collaborate with stakeholders and suppliers.
  • Strategic thinking and decision-making to develop procurement strategies aligned with organisational goals.
  • Effective delegation and time management to prioritise tasks and meet deadlines.
  • In-depth knowledge of procurement principles, practices, and regulations.
  • Proficiency in strategic sourcing, vendor management, and contract negotiations.
  • Market intelligence to identify trends, opportunities, and risks in the supply chain.
  • Understanding of financial analysis and budget management in procurement.
  • Relationship-building skills to maintain positive and productive interactions with suppliers.
  • Ability to evaluate supplier performance, conduct audits, and ensure compliance.
  • Negotiation skills to secure favourable terms and pricing in contracts.
  • Ability to assess and mitigate supply chain risks effectively.
  • Problem-solving skills to address potential disruptions and develop contingency plans.
  • Knowledge of geopolitical and environmental factors affecting procurement decisions.
  • Thorough understanding of procurement regulations, laws and industry standards.

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