The journey of a professional buyer


Procurement has emerged an important function in every business regardless of size.


It involves the activities of buying, purchasing, procurement and sourcing that result in the acquisition of raw materials, spare parts, lubricants and services.

The buyers’ role, that includes activities between buying and sourcing, imply that the role is involved at different levels in the organisation and hence certain attributes are necessary.

This gives a notion that not all buyers are professional buyers.

As the world changes, the economic environment is also changing; likewise, businesses have to change with it and not be afraid to do so; the same is necessary for procurement personnel.

The traditional role of processing purchase requisitions to purchase orders is fast becoming history.

Proactive buyers that bring ideas of effective supply chain management and not just mundane traditional buyers’ role are now required.

Many buyers have the idea of what they want to make a difference in the procurement spheres.

The problem arise on the identification of factors that make one a cut above the rest.

Tthis issue is compounded by the variety of qualifications that are held by current purchasing personnel.

Most of them have non-procurement background and ended up in their current positions by accident.

Most failed in the professions that they initially studied, as a result, many marketers, human resources, accountants and engineers, among other professions, hold positions of influence in procurement.

The dilemma of the profession is that they are failing to acclimatise and adapt to the ever-changing procurement environment.

The biggest losers are the businesses that employ such characters.

The cadres lack the necessary innovation to drive business competitiveness regardless of sector.

The encouraging thing is that there is an immediate solution for such characters, they need to professionalise and that involves acquiring the necessary background qualification of procurement.

The quickest route is through the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) qualification that provides them with up to date international qualification in procurement and supply.

The second dimension of the dilemma is related to the upcoming graduates from various purchasing and supply qualifications.

Various procurement qualifications available that include certificates, diplomas and degrees do not prepare candidates to manage the challenging procurement environment.

For lack of a better term, the qualifications produce raw grandaunds and are the major cause for the desire of other qualifications for procurement jobs by employers.

Throughout the world, the CIPS qualification has been recognised as the leading edge thinking and professionalism in procurement.

MCIPS has been recognised worldwide as the global standard for top quality procurement professions.

There is a wide window open for local qualifications to collaborate with CIPS in development of purchasing and supply qualification.

Many indigenous procurement qualifications in many countries have been accredited with CIPS giving the benefits of graduating with both a degree and a professional qualification.

Another positive development for the profession is the introduction of a chartered member grade.

Of late, it was only the institute that was chartered and qualified members shall have the opportunity to be chartered after undertaking the ethics test online and also, the introduction of the licence to practice is imminent. Do be left out, take action now.

Nyasha Chizu is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply writing in his personal capacity. Feedback:


    • The issues you high lighted are true, all what is required is to have an accreditation of purchasing and supply management in Zimbabwe of qualified personnel so that all those qualified are given certificate to operate.

    • ᴍʏ ʙᴇsᴛ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅ’s ʜᴀʟғ-sɪsᴛᴇʀ ᴍᴀᴋᴇs $66 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ . Sʜᴇ ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴏғ ᴀ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ ᴇɪɢʜᴛ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜs ʙᴜᴛ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʜᴇʀ ᴘᴀʏ ᴡᴀs $19420 ᴊᴜsᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ғᴏʀ ᴀ ғᴇᴡ ʜᴏᴜʀs. ᴡʜʏ ɴᴏᴛ ғɪɴᴅ ᴏᴜᴛ ᴍᴏʀᴇ……….


  1. well thank u for advertising CIPS -yes u singed for yr supper. Well dont misled anyone. Its dangerous to acquire yr qualification with intention to get a job – as very few org would want u or know about you….but still making big profit. How ever an org cant operate without an engineer; accountant and other essential proffesions…l am afraid if u encourage our children to acquire yr obscure qualification we will end up with many jobles gradutes. Well the logistics and purchasing covered in all modules be it accounting; eng ….is enough. We dont need cips but good engineers.

  2. Nyasha be professional. am a Qualified and experinced Buyer,such that tikapuhwa basa i will give u a good run for you money,but i did not study with CIPS. I studied ne IAC,IPSA & HEXCO,saka chakaipa chii? you are just advertising for CIPS,period,but ma Buyer akaita zve Procurement tiri tiiiiii!

    i have been in this field for 15 years now and by the way am 36. i did Purchasing & Supply,Purchasing & Stock Control,Purchasing & Materials Management,and am very much competitive mate!

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