The merchant role evolution
Filed Under: Business, Media & Tech | Posted: 03/08/2013 at 5:55AM
Comments | Region: United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Along with the development of purchase processes in companies a role of merchants has changed. They are no longer required to be responsible for a wide range of expertise as they used to be. Once both purchase departments and merchants were not only not appreciated but also undermined and their competences and experience were not a value.
Nowadays, when procurement has a strategic function in the company expertise, experience and predispositions become more important. Merchants are demanded to be certified strategists with a wide knowledge about specificity of assortment, market and technological development trends. They have to be leaders able to convince decision-makers to implement their ideas. The other desired feature is the ability to work in group especially when the candidate is supposed to work in a big team, where particular tasks are divided between individual persons. Also the modern merchant must be a great negotiator doing well in every social relation, with a knowledge of global markets and a technical expertise about the selected group he is responsible for. He is supposed to be communicative and open-minded while working inside as well as outside the company. Experience is also important, particularly the one earned in the international corporations. Companies most willingly employ specialists, because it is essential to build the competent team which work will bring profits in a short time. For the lat 25 years the merchant ale sourcing roles have changed radically. The main reason for such changes was not only a market but also a pure competition that verified the sources of competitive companies supremacy. In consequence purchase departments gained popularity and importance and the bigger emphasis on optimization the purchase processes was put. This brought also the optimization of production costs.
In the traditional purchase process tasks and merchant’s responsibilities were mostly about gaining informations about sourcing needs, preparing the specification and the inquiry. Merchant was also responsible for the choice recommendations, negotiations with suppliers and also supervising the agreement preparation.
Nowadays, the scope of merchants tasks was extended with the analytical works connected with creating the assortment category, researching the suppliers market and choosing the procurement strategy. Merchants are responsible for the suppliers choice, price negotiations, offer recommendations and supervision of agreements preparing. They coordinate the entire procurement process which serves not only choosing the best solution but also helps to choose the best tool enhancing their work. Several of them are already available at the market. They allow managing the purchasing process, view the documentations and offers and divide tasks between workers which improves the process. One of such tools is SourcingSolutions.Pl that combines the advanced technique of creating the procurement systems, simplicity of use and low price which make it available also for small and medium companies. SourcingSolutions.Pl was created as a project “Creating the website to serve the inquiries” co-financed from the European Fund of Regional Development under the Operational Programme Innovative Economy. Subsides to innovations. We are investing in your future.
The scope of nowadays’ merchants expertise is very wide. However it cannot be any different as initiating and providing the purchase processes and data analyzing with finding solutions demand it. In present economic conditions logistics of the supply is one of the key elements comprising the success and the effectiveness of companies. Nothing surprisimg than that employers want to have in their best teams.