One of the components in the purchasing agent job description is the ability to work in a fast-pace environment characterized by high energy. A purchasing agent buys things for companies, such as raw material, products, and any other services that the company needs to maintain operations. A purchasing agent favorite tools are a shopping list, a pencil, and calculator to do math.
In a school for instance, they may have to buy paper towels, books and school supplies ordered by teachers, food, desks, and so forth...
Whatever they order, their job is to ensure that the organization runs smoothly by ordering stuff in a timely fashion.
Although being good at math is important in this profession, it is not the only skill a purchasing agent needs to possess.
The job of purchasing agents is far more complex than simple buying. Because the marketplace is always seeking and competing for buyers, decisions are often made quickly; this may create financial risk.
An organization expects the purchasing agent not only to know how to buy, but they have to make important decisions on the quality of the items that they buy.
Buy it cheap, and it may not be of good quality. Buy it too high, and the company may lose money.
Yes, these people are a crucial part of the management team and their contribution is crucial as they make decision that can affect the financial well being of the organization.
Your math skills will become handy when you have to compute the cost of an item and how much it will cost to transport that item.
Once again, the company will need more than your math skills because it is your responsibility to ensure that the vendors will meet their promises about quantity and delivery date. It can help your organization a lot to get what they need in a timely fashion.
Having said that, the purchasing agent must anticipate problems, such as bad weather, transportation related problems, and any of the like that can postpone or delay delivery.