Category Buyer

Newcastle upon Tyne Permanent £25,728 - £29,856 per year
  • A fantastic opportunity to join Northumbria University
  • Excellent benefits including 35 days annual leave

About Our Client

Northumbria is a research-intensive, modern university with a global reputation for academic excellence. It was named UK University of the Year 2022 in the Times Higher Education Awards.The University has its origins in the Rutherford College, founded in 1880. Today, by putting students at the heart of an outstanding experience, and with world leading research and award-winning partnerships, Northumbria is a challenger institution, transforming to take on tomorrow.

Northumbria is ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research power, according to the results of the latest Research Excellence Framework. The University is also ranked top 25 in the UK for the number of graduates entering professional employment, with nine out of ten graduates working or studying six months after graduation.

Northumbria works with major employers, including Nike, IBM, Nissan, Proctor & Gamble, the BBC, and the NHS, while more than 560 employers and 60 professional bodies sponsor or accredit the University's programmes. Innovative and entrepreneurial, we are also ranked top 5 in the UK, and first in the region, for graduate business start-ups.

One of the largest universities in the UK, Northumbria works in partnership with higher education institutions across the world and attracts students from 137 countries.

Job Description

Responsible for providing a professional, customer-focused and effective buying service for the assigned categories and category specialist support to the Category Manager, ensuring that relevant Financial Regulations are adhered to.

To support a fast-paced and busy working environment as part of the wider Procurement team you will have the ability to work well with others, and to plan and prioritise your own work. You will also be able to effectively work in finance systems, interact with IT, Legal and other Services who have a role in the procurement process, analyse data and maintain appropriate digital records which relate to activities undertaken.

This role requires high attention to detail and working with colleagues across the University to support their requirements while remaining complaint with all relevant policies.

The main duties and responsibilities will be as follows:

  • Provide operational support to the Category Manager with category specialist purchases and requests
  • Facilitate the purchasing process from receipt of requirements to placement of the purchase order ensuring that all relevant approvals are in place for the assigned categories while continuing to keep the customer from Faculty or Service up to date on the status of their request. This may include:
    • Requesting a quotation from a preferred supplier or undertaking a 3-quote process for specialist purchases not currently covered by a contract, catalogue or punchout
    • Assisting the Category Manager with more complex, higher risk or strategic purchasing requests
    • Identifying where additional approvals (for example from Legal, IT, HR, Marketing or Finance) are needed before proceeding with the purchase request and coordinating these until approved
    • Ensuring proof of relevant approvals is evidenced in all purchasing requests
  • Run regular and ad hoc contract renewals reports, coordinate the renewal of assigned category contracts with the relevant service owners in Faculty / Service and assist the Category Manager with more complex and larger renewals.
  • Support the Category Managers in running the Supplier Relationship Management processes for their selected contracts by running reports, providing data and populating performance dashboards, setting up and attending meetings and preparing meeting notes and actions.
  • Support Department Administrators and colleagues in Shared Service to ensure their activity is compliant with the relevant regulations
  • Support the creation and maintenance of purchasing records with the wider Finance Team.

The Successful Applicant

  • Understanding of procurement processes and experience in coordinating complex approval processes as required by policies and regulations, preferably in the assigned category
  • Experience of delivery operational purchasing support, including taking ownership of obtaining approval from all relevant approval groups (IT, Legal, HR, Marketing and Finance) as appropriate, preferably in the assigned category
  • Experience in dealing with suppliers on a transactional level, requesting quotations and negotiating pricing on these
  • Understanding of Supplier Relationship Management processes and have contributed to these
  • Experience in collating and analysing purchasing and supplier data and populating dashboards based on these
  • Experience of supporting non-finance colleagues to achieve desired outcomes in relation to procurement
  • Experience of working with defined procurement specialist processes, systems and procedures

What's on Offer

  • Basic salary £25,728 - £29,856
  • 35 days annual leave plus bank holidays and the period off between Christmas & New Year
  • Excellent Pension
  • Hybrid working model with 3 days on site at Northumbria University campus, Newcastle
Joe Bloor
Quote job ref
Phone number
+44 114 270 3761

Job summary

Job function
Procurement & Supply Chain
Indirect Procurement
Public Sector
Newcastle upon Tyne
Contract type
Consultant name
Joe Bloor
Consultant phone
+44 114 270 3761
Job reference