Recruiting Junior Buyer: Preparing a Job Interview

Companies should hire competent individuals to complete various supply management duties. The targeted professionals should possess adequate skills and be conversant with the legal, ethical, and economic aspects associated with this field. This paper gives a detailed analysis of the major issues that the interviewers at the targeted manufacturing company can consider throughout the recruitment process for a new junior buyer.

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Job Titles

Supply management is an important function of every organization. Those involved in this field identify and acquire the right resources that to support the targeted activities and operations (Campos, Straube, Wutke, & Cardoso, 2017). The titles presented below are crucial in every company’s supply management process.

Supply Chain Manager

Individuals occupying this position will use their competencies to ensure that stakeholders consider all procedures to deliver the required materials. This title is important for the manufacturing of the intended specialized guidance system for the latest fighter jet. The professional will coordinate various activities, communicate with suppliers, manage operations, and meet the demands of different engineers (Bujak, 2014). A competent person should occupy this office if the company is to achieve the targeted goals.

Logistics Manager

This position is critical for the targeted company since it monitors the transportation practices and procedures intended to support the production process. This manager will provide incentives and ideas to streamline logistical activities (Campos et al., 2017). Such a leader will also ensure that final products are delivered to buyers promptly.

Buyer Planner

This job title refers to people who determine the kind of goods or resources needed to develop specific products. They propose or identify what should be sold and how. They can complete the purchasing procedures for the required materials. Within an organization, these individuals will evaluate suppliers’ capabilities to meet the targeted goals (Bujak, 2014). These functions will ensure that the required resources are delivered promptly, thereby supporting performance and productivity.

Quality Assurance Department

Internal partners include departments within an organization that works synergistically to support performance and ensure that the changing demands of the targeted customers are met. The selected partner for this discussion is that of quality assurance. This department is relevant since it monitors a wide range of functions to improve performance. There is a need for companies to ensure that their quality assurance and supply chain management departments are merged (Campos et al., 2017). This kind of integration will create a scenario whereby quality assurers are involved during the identification, ordering, purchasing, and delivery of the targeted resources.

The department will also monitor the effectiveness of the supplier to meet the outlined guidelines, including adherence to sustainable production methods. This means that the existing supply chain management process will support the outlined organization’s mission or corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. The intended resources and supplies will also meet the minimum requirements stipulated by different engineers or production managers (Bujak, 2014). The final result is that the completed products or services will fulfill the needs of all potential customers.

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Supply Management and Sustainability

Many companies are currently focusing on the idea of sustainability. This is a goal that has been informed by the changes experienced in different parts of the world, such as global warming and rising ocean levels. These problems are affecting the lives of many people in every country (Crandall, Crandall, & Chen, 2015). Supply management departments can implement powerful mechanisms and procedures to support the sustainable objectives of different companies. For example, supply chain managers can identify suppliers whose products and resources are associated with environmentally-friendly production processes (Yang, Han, Zhou, & Yuan, 2015).

They will go further to introduce sustainable logistical strategies that do not pollute the natural environment. The department will go further to introduce new practices for supporting the needs of the manufacturing unit. After the targeted goods are produced successfully, this department can consider the most appropriate supply chain procedures to deliver them to different consumers in a sustainable manner.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Procurement officers or managers should consider various items when determining the total cost of ownership (TCO) for a piece of capital equipment. Such elements guide these professionals to make the most appropriate decisions and ensure that the targeted equipment supports the objectives of the company. The first item is that of the purchase cost. This refers to the total amount of money required to own the targeted equipment. This will be a negative value.

The second one is economic life. This focuses on the benefits accrued from using the equipment and will present a positive value. Procurement cost is the third one and will represent the amount of money incurred to order and secure the targeted equipment (Yang et al., 2015). This will give a positive value. The fourth one is the training cost and includes the expenses incurred to ensure that users can deliver positive results. This amounts to a positive value. Depreciation expense is the fifth item and refers to the equipment’s reduction in value. This item gives a negative value.

Negotiation Characteristics

Professionals in the field of supply chain management should possess adequate competencies and skills to achieve their potential. They will focus on the best practices and approaches to deliver positive results and make their companies successful (Crandall et al., 2015). I believe that I share the three characteristics presented below with professional negotiators.

Listening Skills

I believe that this characteristic is essential in supply management because it empowers managers to listen attentively and make appropriate decisions. The possession of effective listening competencies will make it easier for them to acquire adequate information from diverse sources. This attribute can ensure that the major actions or procedures involved throughout the supply chain management process are pursued diligently (Bujak, 2014). This characteristic will empower professionals in this field to liaise with suppliers, organizational leaders, and logistical operators.

Ability to Solve Problems

As a professional in supply management, I understand that the possession of good problem-solving skills is something that can result in positive results or gains. Numerous obstacles and challenges will emerge whenever identifying specific sources for the targeted items or equipment. Supply chain managers will also have to grapple with numerous issues, including sustainability concerns, emerging technologies, and employees’ demands (Malviya, Kant, & Gupta, 2018). When a leader understands how to solve problems amicably, it becomes possible for him or her to manage various procedures and activities.

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The professional will address issues that can affect performance and make it easier for the company to achieve its objectives. Throughout the supply management process, negotiation becomes a mandatory practice if positive results are to be recorded. Effective skills in problem-solving will empower supply chain managers to identify every party’s needs. The leader will go further to propose trade-offs and eventually achieve the intended objectives.


Supply chain managers should understand that negotiation is a complex field whereby those involved should be open to a wide range of options. These experts do not have to focus on counteroffers and opening offers only. Instead, they should be charismatic and examine all available options before making a deal. Effective or competent negotiators will propose creative approaches for satisfying the changing needs of all parties (Malviya et al., 2018).

At the same time, they should be adaptable in an attempt to tolerate any form of stress. The ultimate objective is to acquire the right resources and products that resonate with the goals of the company. This means that professionals in this field should identify new strategies to develop this skill or characteristic to become successful and make their departments profitable.

Using Data to Choose a New Supplier

The best method of using data to select a new supplier is that of measuring supply performance. Managers can collect data from different partners and complete an audit or assessment process. Such analyses should examine the supplier’s relationships with different companies. This data-based analysis should be completed before a contract is signed. Several attributes explain why this is an appropriate, fair, and consistent method of conducting business.

The first one is that the approach empowers supply chain managers to identify every supplier’s weaknesses and strengths. Secondly, the professional will understand whether the partner engages in supply malpractices (Crandall et al., 2015). The approach is fair since it ensures that all involved stakeholders achieve their potential. The data technique is also a consistent and good method for conducting business since it will make it possible for the corporation to produce superior goods that meet the needs of the targeted customers.

International Sources of Materials

Many corporations acquire materials from different regions across the world. Supply chain managers should identify the right resources depending on the targeted aims. However, it is always necessary to consider various attributes before deciding on the best source of the targeted items (Crandall et al., 2015). The three leading ones are presented below.

Transportation Costs

One of the most important issues to consider is that of transportation cost. This is a critical aspect since materials outsourced from different regions will require complex logistical operations. The cost of transportation will, therefore, be dictated by distance (Bujak, 2014). A proper analysis of this characteristic will ensure that the right decisions are made. Purchase various raw materials from the United States will reduce logistical costs significantly.

Ethical Procedures and Practices

The second issue is how the targeted resources or materials are produced. For instance, there has been a need for international companies to monitor the ethical procedures implemented to deliver certain raw materials. Challenges such as sweatshops and child labor have informed such measures (Crandall et al., 2015). A supply chain manager should consider this attribute to support the production of goods that are acceptable to the final users. Deciding to acquire different materials from the US will address this challenge since existing regulations ensure that all producers follow strict ethical guidelines.

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International Business Agreements

International business law dictates different operations and processes. Companies would prefer to purchase raw materials or supplies from countries with friendly policies and tariffs. This issue is relevant since it can become an opportunity for managers to save money while at the same time acquiring high-quality materials (Malviya et al., 2018). Purchasing such resources from the US will minimize the costs associated with international tariffs or taxes. However, some of the targeted materials might be very expensive in this country.

Fixed-Price Contracts

Fixed Price with Economic Price Adjustment (FP/EPA)

This type occurs when the government is responsible for fluctuations in the market. This form of contract is known to meet the needs of both the supplier and purchaser (Crandall et al., 2015). However, the buyer might be at risk since such contracts tend to be unstable.

Fixed Price Incentive (FPI)

This is a contract whereby the government will share a small percentage of the cost risk. This is an advantage for the purchaser since positive results are recorded (Crandall et al., 2015). However, the supplier will have to assume all other risks.

Firm Fixed Price/Level of Effort (FFP/LOE)

This type requires that the contractor remains committed for a specified period. This means that the stakeholder will receive compensation for the offered services (Malviya et al., 2018). The supplier will be sure that the deal will succeed and receive payments for the same. The purchaser will also be assured of the timely delivery of the targeted materials. However, he or she will incur more expenses for the contract.


The above discussion has outlined various issues and characteristics that professionals in supply chain management should take seriously. The implementation of such ideas, insights, and contracts can deliver positive results and make more companies successful. This information can also guide interviewers to make informed decisions and eventually recruit skilled individuals.


Bujak, A. (2014). The development of the concept of supply chain management is an example of the evolution of logistics. The Wroclaw School Banking Research Journal, 15(1), 133-151.

Campos, J. K., Straube, F., Wutke, S., & Cardoso, P. A. (2017). Creating value by sustainable manufacturing and supply chain management practices – A cross-country comparison. Procedia Manufacturing, 8, 686-690. Web.

Crandall, R. E., Crandall, W. R., & Chen, C. C. (2015). Principles of supply chain management (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Malviya, R. K., Kant, R., & Gupta, A. D. (2018). Evaluation and selection of sustainable strategy for green supply chain management implementation. Business Strategy and the Environment, 27(4), 475-502. Web.

Yang, J., Han, Q., Zhou, J., & Yuan, C. (2015). The influence of environmental management practices and supply chain integration on technological innovation performance—Evidence from China’s manufacturing industry. Sustainability, 7(11), 15342-15361. Web.

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