The Purchasing Agent is responsible for processing anddispatching purchase orders for professional and general services in accordancewith the terms and conditions of the governing contract and all applicablePurchasing and university policies. The Purchasing Agent is the primaryinterface between university customers and suppliers for procurementtransaction support. The Purchasing Agent is responsible for drafting andnegotiating contracts for professional services (see listing below). The PurchasingAgent supports the Sourcing Officer in supplier negotiations, supplierperformance and contract deployment.
As a member of the Purchasing and Payment ServicesTeam, the Purchasing Agent assists in establishing and maintaining strong,collaborative relationships with Vanderbilt's faculty, staff and students andidentifies additional ways to be of service and ensure customer satisfaction.This position supports the success of a high-performing organization by helpingto champion and drive the full procure to pay process.
About the Work Unit:
The Purchasing and Payment Services Team(P&PS) is the single point of contact for all centralized procurementand payment activities, setting the overall strategy for VanderbiltUniversity's purchases and payments. As part of the Finance organization,Purchasing and Payment Services provides an integrated approach to purchasinggoods and services by connecting the procurement function to the entire supplychain processes within Vanderbilt to the final goods and services receiptprocess, and finally to payment issued to suppliers.
Vanderbilt is a renowned private institution foundedin 1873 located a little more than a mile from downtown Nashville, TN. Theuniversity's students, faculty, staff and visitors frequently cite Nashville asone of the perks of Vanderbilt. VU is a place where your expertise will bevalued, your knowledge expanded and your abilities challenged. It is a placewhere your diversity is sought and celebrated. It is a place where employeesknow they are part of something that is bigger than themselves, take exceptionalpride in their work and never settle for what was good enough yesterday
Key Functions and ExpectedPerformance:
Coordinates and collaborates with suppliers to request price quotes and proposals for professional and general services contracts.
Uses professional judgement to draft and negotiate purchasing terms and conditions taking into account Vanderbilt policies and customer requirements.
Reviews purchase requisitions and issues purchase orders in accordance with departmental needs and university policy.
Manages day-to-day processes for resolving invoice, receiving and warranty disputes with suppliers.
Collaborates with Sourcing Officers in the development and execution of commodity strategies and supplier contracts.
Coordinates with university customers to define and communicate specifications and sourcing options.
Seeks opportunities for continuing process improvement in terms of processes and capabilities within this role and of the Finance group overall.
Assists in special projects and additional duties as assigned.
This position does not have regular supervisoryresponsibility. This position reports administratively and functionally to aSourcing Officer, and indirectly to the Director of Purchasing Services.
Education and Certifications:
Two or more years of experience in purchasing is necessary.
Bachelor's degree required, with emphasis in Business Administration is preferred.
Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) or other purchasing professional certification is preferred.
Experience and Skills:
Experience in purchasing complex professional services including consulting, recruiting, financial, business administration, marketing, graphic design, video & photo production, and engineering is preferred.
Ability draft and negotiate complex contract with solid working knowledge of procurement contract law is preferred.
Experience in supporting or leading Request for Proposal (RFP) projects and conducting competitive bidding is preferred.
Experience working with electronic purchasing systems and eProcurement platforms is preferred.
Analytical Thinking – able to simplify complex problems, processes or projects into component parts and then explore and evaluate them systematically. Is able to understand commercial imperatives and trading relationships is preferred.
Managing relationships - able to build and maintain effective working relationships with a range of people understanding their needs and goals. Shows sensitivity and tact. Works co-operatively with others as part of a team, as opposed to working separately or competitively is preferred.
Flexibility - open to change, adapts, and works effectively with a variety of situations, individuals or groups. Able to understand and appreciate different and opposing perspectives on an issue is preferred.
Collaborating across boundaries - challenges systems, processes and people that block collaboration; connects people, ideas, processes and issues, sets an example by sharing resources; knowledge, ideas and skills across the organization, builds helpful, productive relationships across the organization is preferred.
Leading creativity - fosters imagination, creativity and experimentation, takes and promotes considered risks, celebrates creative successes and learns from failure, shows openness to alternative ways of doing things is preferred.
Substantial relevant experience in a complex organization, with a strong purchasing and payables background is preferred.
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders is preferred.
Proven skill in attention to detail and a highly organized work style in collaboration with effective written and verbal communication skills is preferred.
Key Characteristics of a SuccessfulTeam Member in this Work Unit:
Analytical & Detail-Oriented – Accurately assesses information and applies applicable law, policy and procedure. Considers the long term implications of actions today and advises employees appropriately. Even small mistakes can create big issues; attention to detail work indicates care about the outcomes.
Integrity – Holds oneself accountable; takes responsibility for failures as well as successes, recognizes that trust is required to hold a team together.
Raises the Bar – Expects and delivers excellence. Is a creative problem solver. Is proactive. Welcomes input on making things better. Places a high value on learning and getting better
Hard-Working – Is industrious as well as efficient (busy isn't the same as productive). Can juggle multiple competing priorities simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed.
Teamwork – Genuinely values teamwork and co-workers; make them feel valuable and important by acknowledging what they do well. Doesn't expect from others effort that one is unwilling to do themselves. Finds ways to acknowledge other's strong suits.
In addition tooffering a lively community that encourages learning and celebrates diversity,VU offers a competitive, flexible benefits package including health, dental,vision, life, accidental death & dismemberment, disability insurance, paidtime off, and a 403(b) retirement plan with employer match. Vanderbilt offerstuition assistance to employees, spouses and dependent children. Also, afterfive years of service, Vanderbilt will pay up to 55% of the tuition for up tothree dependent children to earn a bachelor's degree. Learn more aboutVanderbilt's benefits at VUBenefits Overview
Internal Number: 1800715
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.