I worked as a manufacturing professional for 30 years, and there are some observations I've realized throughout my career. Actually it drove me out of manufacturing. In manufacturing companies, especially nowadays, a purchasing professional is looked upon, in almost every company at which I used to work, as a person that will stop production and lose money for the company. A lot of the job depends on the cooperation of other departments, especially Engineering. It also depends on whether a vendor is doing their job correctly and on a timely basis. A lot of times that doesn't hold true, but the buyer is the one that is blamed, a lot of times to the point of losing his or her job. The animosity toward buyers is uncalled for and unreasonable. It is just about a lose-lose situation. As this country goes through the 21st century, there has to be a change in attitude toward people that try their best, everyday, to get materials in the shop in order to continue production lines to flow smoothly. This, unfortunately does not happen all the time. there are always obstacles to overcome, for instance, a buyer may have a purchase order at a vendor's company, and all of a sudden the Engineering department will change a blueprint, or drawing, and the vendor is 3/4 of the way through with the job, but the change has to be given to the vendor, and now he has to start all over, delaying the product from getting to the company for production.
Is this Purchasing's fault? Well, of course it is. This is the mentality of the manufacturing community, and it's not really fair. Whatever company a buyer works for, there will be, at one time or another, a situation that blames the buyer for not having the materials in house to make the final product. Some people understand, but most people do not. I would warn anyone that goes into the Purchasing profession, in a manufacturing environment to be very wary of this syndrome that companies maintain.