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Position Overview

Buyer/planners are essential to an organization’s front-line supply chain. They are responsible for planning, material management, product life cycle and service design. This role provides significant experience in many supply chain functions and the opportunity to develop skills in both business-t0-business and business-to-consumer activities.

What does a buyer/planner do?

  • Contribute to sales and operations planning
  • Create forecasts
  • Receive and distribute products
  • Perform material requirements planning
  • Perform production planning
  • Manage customer issues
  • Align demand with sourcing activities
  • Maintain master data
  • Measure operational performance
  • Identify and mitigate risks
What does a buyer/planner do?

Technical skills:

  • Understand business systems, such as enterprise resources planning and material requirements planning
  • Operational and financial metrics
  • Diplomacy and negotiation
  • Inventory management
  • Master scheduling
  • Understand market and customer requirements
  • Supplier capabilities
Buyer/planner Technical skills

Leadership skills:

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Big-picture thinking
  • Critical thinking
Buyer/Planner Leadership skills


Top Bachelor’s degrees

  1. Supply chain
  2. Business administration
  3. Finance
  4. Economics
Buyer/planner education

Salary Ranges for a Buyer/Planner

If you’re looking for a way to advance your career and become a certified expert in your field, consider an APICS certification. Based on results from the annual ASCM Supply Chain Salary and Career report, supply chain managers with an APICS certification reported earning more than their counterparts without a certification.

Earn 27% more with an APICS certification

It pays to earn an APICS Certified in Planning and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) or Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD) certification.

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Salary Ranges for a Buyer/Planner