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Sourcing Manager

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree preferred
Average Salary: $88,000
Job Outlook: Good

Sourcing managers, also known as purchasing managers, are experts in finding great deals. They are responsible for sourcing the raw materials – food or nonfood items – necessary for their business to function. Sourcing managers work in many different areas, including food service, manufacturing, and construction. Sourcing managers may also work for government organizations or other institutions.

A sourcing manager is responsible for working with supplying companies to ensure that the proper resources are delivered at the proper time. Because companies prefer to not pay for storage of raw good and materials for their manufacturing processes, sourcing managers often have to ensure that good are delivered right when they’re needed or risk having the entire production line shut down while the company waits for materials.

Another responsibility for a sourcing manager is to keep track of prices for raw materials from different supplier companies. Though manufacturing companies will often have long-term relationships with particular suppliers, with some raw materials, it’s best to get them from the cheapest possible source. When quality is an issue, the sourcing manager is responsible for surveying the quality of the raw materials ordered to ensure that they live up to necessary manufacturing standards.

Often times, the sourcing manager is responsible for the entire sourcing process, including finding the raw materials, contracting the supplying company, and ensuring that the supplier follows through on the contract by delivering high quality goods at the right time. Depending on the setup of the company, though, the sourcing manager may work with a contract specialist who will do most of the contract work with a supplier.

Education and Training Requirements

Most companies require that a sourcing manager have both a bachelor’s degree in logistic or a related field as well as some experience with the manufacturing process. Typically, companies offer training periods of between one and five years, depending on how complex their manufacturing and sourcing process is. Newer sourcing employees work alongside older managers to learn about the field and suppliers in the field.

Getting the Job

Sourcing managers are often hired from college programs, though they may also be hired from within house from other administrative type positions.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Job growth in this field is expected to be about average, though sourcing manager positions in particular fields will grow more or less slowly, depending on the overall growth of that field.

Experienced sourcing managers may go on to run the sourcing departments of their businesses or to move into higher management level positions.

Working Conditions and Environment

Sourcing managers typically work more than a forty hour workweek due to production deadlines, conferences, and other situations. They do usually work during the day, though, and weekend work is rare for raw materials sourcing managers. Typically, they work within an office environment and do most of their work on the phone or online. However, travel is sometimes required, especially if a company is national or worldwide.

Salary and Benefits

The average sourcing manager salary is $88,000 per year, though salaries range from $64,000 per year to $113,000 per year. Salaries depend on the industry in which a sourcing manager works, as well as his or her level of experience.

These full time positions often come with health benefits and paid time off, though vacation time may be restricted depending on a manufacturing company’s busy season or manufacturing deadlines. Some sourcing manager positions come with profit sharing and bonus benefits, too.

Where to Go for More Information

American Purchasing Society
PO Box 256
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 859-0250

Institute for Supply Management
PO Box 22160
Tempe, AZ 85285
(480) 752-6276

National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc.
151 Spring St., Ste. 300
Herndon, VA 20170
(703) 736-8900

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness