Becoming an Effective Purchasing Manager

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Mr. Ben has been the Assistant Purchasing Manager in- charge for three months now. He is organized and neat in doing his work because his major responsibilities among others are to deal with entities, money and people. He gives an extreme regard for details and prefers to attend to a task one at a time. He is practical and uses his past experiences as basis for his decisions. He regards work as something important to fulfill the needs of his family and himself.

Mr. Ben does not have much opportunity to develop and exercise his leadership skills for he rarely interacts with subordinates directly. He is, however, responsible for managing and coordinating them. He uses his social skills to communicate orders to his staff and rarely uses a strict and autocratic form of leadership.

His main responsibilities as the Assistant Purchasing Manager in- charge include searching and controlling suppliers for the hotel and finding strategies that would effectively manage the finances of the hotel, while at the same time purchasing equipment that are needed by the other departments. It is because of his job responsibilities that his ability to make quick decisions has been well developed. In addition, his prioritizing skills have also been improved since he has to decide which equipment to purchase first given the limited budget and tight finances. When he encounters a major problem involving the hotel’s financial state, he always consults with the General Manager or the Finance Controller.


Mr. Ben’s clients are mostly the other hotel departments rather than the hotel guests. He narrates that during Department Head meetings most of the complaints made are directed to the Purchasing department for they would fail to answer the request of some offices in the hotel. It has been a recurring situation when Purchasing is always the department to be blamed when supplies are not on time. When this happens, he explains to them the financial state of the hotel and other responsibilities that he has to attend to first. He is unable to neither give alternative solutions nor suggest new methods that would improve the operations in his department primarily because this is beyond his authority.

D. PERSONALITY

Mr. Ben comes across as a very patient and timid person. He would rather be in a safe and neutral position whenever there is conflict and would try to avoid confrontations all together. This may be because he cannot find a right answer to the complaints when his department is being attacked. Thus rather than creating enemies or facing angry co-workers, he prefers to be quiet. Actually, his openness to new ideas and flexibility may be mistaken as a form of weak leadership or that he is easily swayed by others and lacks the assertiveness to stand by his own judgment. When probed, he does not seem to mind that because he enjoys being in the background, yet still manages to establish healthy social relations with others.

E. STRENGTHS AND AREAS FOR DEVELOPMENT

STRENGTHS
• Organized and systematic in work.
• Sociable and is open to others’ opinions; adaptable to change.
• Calm and understanding.
• Works strictly according to procedures and regulation.

AREAS FOR DEVELOPMENT
• Desires to acquire more knowledge and skills in accounting.
• Lacks confidence in asserting his thoughts and opinion.

F. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION

In 1979, Mr. Ben joined Hotel Benton Jaya as a staff in the Laundry department. After two years, he became a Storeroom Staff member handling food and beverage materials in the Food and Beverage department. He was moved to the Accounting department in 1986 as a Cost Control Staff. As the current Assistant Purchasing Manager in- charge, he is tasked to manage and control the finances, supplies and other materials that are in the hotel, determine which equipment or materials to purchase first and answer the request of other departments in the hotel.

Mr. Ben makes underlines the importance of orderly and systematic manner of doing work. He likes to do his job carefully, attending to only one task at a time. He is inclined on using a personal approach in finishing tasks. He is a team player and tries to foster togetherness and cooperation within his department. He is able to communicate with his subordinates openly and truthfully. He does not want to be in the spotlight and prefers to be just in the background of things. He prefers to gather as much information as he could and analyze them before he makes a final discretion, but since the nature of his work does not allow him to enjoy the luxury of time, he is forced to make quick and snappy decisions almost all the time.

From the data presented above, it appears that Mr. Ben finds it difficult to come up with ideas for the improvement of purchasing section and simply follow as what is instructed so that the hotel will maintain its’ existing suppliers. He works for income’s sake and does not display any motivation to strive harder. Furthermore, being considerably new in the department he has no idea how to deal with the lack of finances and at the same time answer to the needs of other departments. It is for the aforementioned reasons that, Mr. Ben is advised to learn more about his job and the responsibilities that go along with it. However, in so far as giving him the opportunity for career advancement is concerned, it is recommended that he remains in his position and allow him to grow on the job. In the future, for critical departments like purchasing, we recommend to appoint an individual with the right work experience, good negotiation skills, an as assertive trait and a sense of creativity. For this reason, we also suggest to review Mr. Ben’s technical qualifications.

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