3 Fundamental skills of the Purchasing Manager in the Digital Era
Industry 4.0 has brought continuous and fast transformations, requiring the professional new knowledge to keep up with the pace of innovations.
In addition to being up to date with the latest technology and demonstrating to the team that he has knowledge of new processes, the purchasing manager needs to develop some specific skills to obtain more expressive results – for the company and for his career in the digital era.
Read on and learn more.
3 key skills found in an effective purchasing manager in the digital era
In the past, the list of core competencies could be summarized in organization, planning, good interpersonal relationships, knowledge of company strategies and profile, negotiation skills and ethics.
All these skills remain essential, but the arrival of Industry 4.0 demands new capabilities.
The list below helps give good direction in allowing the identification of which of these skills are already part of your profile and which need to be developed.
1. Analytical Capacity
Nowadays, every company deals with a huge amount of data – in the case of the purchasing department it is information about suppliers, quotations already made, stock data, average delivery time and purchase order emission, etc. -, which requires the professional to have an analytical capacity to extract relevant information and have more assertiveness for the decision-making process (such as choosing the best supplier, for example) and increase the productivity of the department as a whole.
Essential in past times, when organizations did not have so many tangible elements for their management, the feeling was replaced by the collection, organization and analysis of data, turning them into indicators and decisive arguments for intelligent and strategic decision-making.
For this reason, the analytical capacity becomes essential to deal in an organized and intelligent way with an increasingly intense and complex volume of data from various sources.
To deepen your knowledge on the subject, read this article on Big Data and this one on Data Science.
2. Critical thinking
The ability to use logic and reasoning to analyze a problem, considering the possible solutions – with their pros and cons – and finally choose the one that offers the most benefits, now more than ever, is essential.
It allows the resolution of complex issues in an agile way, which is very important in a time when everything happens with a vertiginous speed.
And the good news is that this ability can be developed and improved over time, the more we are tested, and we practice in this sense.
According to the World Economic Forum, creativity will be one of the main skills for modern managers, along with the ability to critically analyze information in search of complex solutions – learn more by reading the institution’s article on the subject.
New products, technologies and new ways of working require a more creative behavior in order to benefit from so many changes. And, contrary to what one may think, creativity is not the exclusive domain of artists.
Every person who can use varied information, transforming it into a new and positive idea, is making use of creativity. Allow yourself to think in an unusual way, letting your mind wander in search of different solutions – that is being creative.
How to acquire the skills of the 4.0 Purchasing Manager
As much as some people are more predisposed to have the skills considered important to the 4.0 purchasing manager, fortunately they can all be developed. Check out some tips to improve them.
Study various themes
Analyzing data and making decisions means integrating different information from various sources into positive insights, so the broader the knowledge, the deeper the conclusions will be. Diversified knowledge allows us to perceive more variables when evaluating situations and seeking solutions.
We live in a time when novelties appear almost daily and it is necessary to have the will to experiment them and learn how to use them. But be prepared: what has been learned today may soon become obsolete and you will need to restart the process!
To better understand this fast, volatile and uncertain world in which we are inserted, we suggest reading about the VUCA world.
Extend your observation and questioning skills
Analyzing what happens around you, paying attention to detail and seeking interesting and relevant conclusions, is a way to develop the capacity for analysis and to make more assertive decisions. But it is necessary to go further, elaborating the right questions and looking for answers in the available data.
Practice with logic games
More than just fun, this type of game allows you to find effective and quick solutions to a given problem, helping to develop analytical skills.
Sleep well and write down your ideas
Sleeping enough is essential to mature the knowledge that has been absorbed during the day – it is worth noting that the sleep time necessary for the well-being of each individual changes from person to person, but according to experts the ideal revolves around 6 to 8 hours.
Research conducted by the University of California, USA, pointed out that the stage of sleep called REM (when dreams occur), stimulates creativity, besides consolidating the memories of the previous day and organizing thinking – broadening the possibility of insights on the problems for which we are seeking solutions. Last but not least, a good night’s sleep prepares our brain for the activities of the next day, increasing mood, well-being and productivity.
If you are interested in going deeper into the subject, you can access the Sleep and Cognition Lab, which has the participation of Sara Mednick, one of the responsible for the aforementioned research.
And one last tip: don’t forget to have a notebook always at hand. The best ideas can come up at any time and, if not noted, may be forgotten in the face of the amount of daily tasks
The Purchasing Manager and Industry 4.0
Digital transformation has changed the way companies do business and execute their processes, but no matter how easy it has been, it still depends on the human being to direct and use resources, generating value for the organization.
In a largely digital age, the purchasing manager needs to know how to deal with the day-to-day of Industry 4.0, in which the emergence of new technologies, resources, regulations and ways of doing things requires specific skills – like the ones we cover in this blog post.
Relying on good suppliers and business partners at this time can be decisive. And Soluparts, a global company with offices in Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Hong Kong and the USA, will help your company to make a difference. With Soluparts, your organization can count on:
- Reduced prices – because we have a team of specialists that researches and negotiates parts aiming the best cost-benefit relation for your company;
- Reduced number of indirect material suppliers;
- Significant reduction in the number of quotations, with a consequent increase in the efficiency of the Purchasing Department
- Guaranteed supply of any item – we have access to the world’s most strategic markets.
Purchase manager, make your work more efficient and gain time to invest in yourself. Try our services: click and order your quote today!