Many people who are starting their procurement careers generally are unsure where and what they want to do. Some people fall into their roles and some study to achieve their positions with plans to expand.
Reddit user u/journey_er had a question for people over at r/Procurement asking the pros and cons of different procurement and purchasing positions. He had his eyes set on two different roles he believed would take him in slightly different directions in his career.
A couple of people offered their own reasoning as to why he should choose the buyer role over an indirect or direct procurement specialty. One Reddit user suggested to take a job with procurement labeled in the title as they get more exposure and a chance at more progression.
Is he right or is he just plain wrong? Would a “buyer” position really stunt your career progression? Perhaps it is all dependent on the bottom line, instead of the title; and that is exactly what user ryandir expressed with his opinion.
Another user who is a procurement service provider pointed out that it was better to choose a buyer role instead of procurement manager as you will gain far more experience, especially when you work externally.
Others even warned about taking an outsourced buyers' role and offer consulting services for good reasons.
Another person said why not both.
Now for most people reading this that know what the difference between a buyer and a procurement specialist, and in fact may have been in this exact same position choosing between procurement and purchasing and had this exact same discussion before (and if you are one of these people thank you for reading and please let me know if what I'm going to say Is wrong or needs to be improved).
For the other people who stumble across this blog and are still unsure what the difference between a buying and procuring, let me try to explain it in a simple manner as it is the only way I understand it.
The procurement team is responsible for sourcing providers of goods and services for said company to use in their own operations. Procurement is involved with the strategy of the department which involves the planning, sourcing, and evaluating of said goods and services. They may be involved with contracts, quality standards and may work on framework agreements. A buyer does the buying, quality insurance and accesses the speed of delivery and availability of goods and services.
Mollen explains it way better than I could, and is who I got my information from, check out what she says here: what is the difference between procurement officer and a buyer?
Hopefully, this will give you some insight into what some up-and-coming procurement professionals are thinking about where their career may take them.