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Someone who is involved in materials procurement is responsible for the buying of new goods or the materials needed to make those goods. This can involve many types of things, including food items, software, curriculum, and clothing items. Any business organization that uses, creates or sells products will generally have a materials procurement department.
Often a materials procurement manager will be in charge of this division, although several different people may be needed. This person will meet with potential providers of goods and factor in any number of things when making a decision to buy. The goods a company purchases and then resells to consumers can make all the difference between success or failure in the marketplace.
When considering a new product, materials procurement personnel will weigh several things in their minds. First and foremost is the use of the item and the need this function meets for consumers. If there are already similar products being sold in the marketplace, they will also compare potential goods with them to get an idea of well these items sell.
Another important factor in material procurement proceedings is the negotiation of a price. Retailers in particular often haggle to get the lowest priced merchandise so they can then raise the prices and resell goods to consumers. The manager or buyer of the procurement department may be responsible for discussing price issues with sellers.
There are also companies whose main objective is to buy new goods and services for other businesses. This is a form of materials procurement as well. These people find out a business's needs, find products that meet them, and help negotiate prices between the seller and buyer. A fee is then charged to the hiring party.
Biological or organic materials can also be a part of this process. Metals, wood, and other natural items are used as building materials for a wide variety of products on the market. Materials procurement involves the finding, gathering, and delivering of these goods to manufacturers or builders who will use them to make saleable merchandise.
In some cases, materials procurement involves no negotiation in terms of price. For example, government agencies will state a need and various businesses will place bids to gain the account. The company who offers the lowest price while still meeting all quota and time restrictions gets the job. This process often involves the buying of large quantities of items, such as medical supplies.