Performing purchasing agent duties Business is booming for Water, Inc. essay

Performingpurchasing agent duties Business is booming for Water, Inc.

Performingpurchasing agent duties Business is booming for Water, Inc.

Apurchasing agent’s work is to negotiate the terms of the vendors,prices and ensures that he or she delivers the goods that have beenordered by the clients (Mahadevan, 2010). Water Inc. has introducednew products and services in the market that clients have beenoutsourcing from India. It is, therefore, imperative that thepurchasing agent for Water Inc. to ensure that he or she trains thesales representatives on the new products in the market (Mahadevan,2010). Therefore, the company will need to carry out a needidentification and specification in the market so that it can be in aposition to understand the consumer needs in the market. Secondly,the agent will need to write a proposal based on the needs as well asthe specifications of the company (Mahadevan, 2010). Finally, thedistribution channels that will be used in rolling out the productand services offered by Water Inc. and the timeline for rolling outthe product will be determined.

Part1: Need Identification and specification

Clientneeds identification refers to a process that is used to determinewhat a client wants and how they want the product or service. Theneeds of a customer are very non-technical and always they reflectthe clients’ perception regarding a product which is notnecessarily related to those goods or service design, despite theirrelation (Mahadevan, 2010). Needs identification and specificationencompass two primary goals, which include Ensuring that the goodsand service offered clearly focuses on the needs of the clients(Mahadevan, 2010). Secondly, it is to identify not just the specificneeds but also the latent requirements of customers seeking theservices of the company.

Inneeds identification, customer needs, and requirements are more oftenthan not independent of the product solution. Since it is only afterconsumer needs identification that a company or organization can beable to meet the needs through the provision of a particular productor service (Mahadevan, 2010). Therefore, it’s through the needidentification and specification that a purchasing agent will be ableto understand what exactly the market demands. Four steps are used inthe determination of the clients’ needs.

Step1. Gathering Raw Data

Collectingdata from the customers is most important step since it provides anhonest expression of the needs that the market has. Its aim is not toconvince the consumer of his or her needs, but rather it provides aplatform to learn the customers and their needs. It encompasses threemain ways through which to gather data. First, it is through theinterview, where the respondent has a one on one meeting withcustomers and mostly takes place within the client’s setting sothat the purchase agents can see the problem and provides acomfortable arena for the clients (Mahadevan, 2010). Second it can beachieved through focus groups where the agent meets clients within anexpanded interview session and can take approximately two hours persession with eight to twelve customers in a group. Interviewer leadsthe discussion, and the session can also be watched by an unseenobserver who may be taking notes as he watches the proceedings. Thethird method of data collection is known as the observation itentails watching and recording the client as he or she takes upday-to-day activities within his or her environment and how theystruggle with a problem so that the agent can understand the issuesaffecting the clients (Mahadevan, 2010). Through watching thecustomers conduct his businesses using the existing methods availableto him or she is a perfect way to identify the needs and provide newsolutions to the problem. Observation method can either be active orpassive. The two method of observation is important in understandingthe problems of the clients.

Identificationof the best and most efficient method of data collection is necessaryso that the sales representative get to know what the customers wantin the product to be offered. Knowing the information that ought tobe collected and research has shown that conducting at leasttwenty-five interviews yields about ninety percent of the customers’needs (Mahadevan, 2010). Below are some questions that can beincluded in the questionnaire that can help understand the clients’needs and specifications


Q.1.Describe your personal demographics

Enableto know the customer in a particular manner.

Q.2.In which industry does the company fall?

Knowingthe industry is important, the equipment shall be manufactured to thespecifications of the industry so that the clients’ satisfactioncan be guaranteed.

Q.3.What is the size of the company or organization (employees andrevenue company get)?

Thequestion is important as it helps in building the necessary hardwareand software that will be viable for the company as it serves theclients and assists in ensuring that human capital cost is eitherreduced or maintained.

Q4.What skills does an employee require to perform his or her roles inthe company or organization?

Understandingthe skills needed by the staff and clients is important so that thecompany selling the equipment can incorporate these functions in thehardware and software to aid employees of the purchasing company getsthe necessary equipment to help increase the efficacy in theiroperations.

Q.5.What knowledge and tools do employees use in their jobs?

Knowingthe applications and tools customer use every day will helpunderstand the products the clients love or the ones they hate. Thecommonalities of the product that you will be offering to thecustomers and enable the company to adjust to meet the clients’specifications.

Q.6.What is the biggest challenge the client faces in the business ororganization?

Inthe day-to-day running of the businesses, organizations face variouschallenges as they try to achieve what they consider success.Understanding the challenges gives the agent a clear understanding ofwhat it is that should be included in the equipment both the hardwareand software to solve the problem at hand for the clients.

Q.7.What does it mean to be successful in the company?

Ithelps in identifying what the client considers while evaluating hisor her success. It provides the platform for understanding what toinclude in your product so that it helps the client in achievingsuccess.

Q.8.How do the company interact with clients and vendors in theiroperations?

Thisquestion enables the company to align themselves with its customers’expectation so that they can organize their sales experience andapproximate the time they will need to spend while making theirsales.

Q.9.Does the company use the Internet in their day-to-day operations?

Theinformation will enable the purchasing agent to comprehend whatavenues the potential client uses to get or acquire new information.

Q.10.Describe the company’s recent purchase of the equipment?

Ithelps in understanding the reason the client purchased the product orservice and why they opted for the machine, it also compares with thecompany’s products

Step2. Interpretation of data

Itrefers to the translation of the vague raw statements collected fromthe customers to useful needs list through various methods that areused in the analysis of data (Mahadevan, 2010).

Step3. Organizing needs

Itis done after interpretation of the data where the needs of theclients are grouped in order of priority.

Step4. Reflecting on the process

Itis the final step in the consumer needs and specification processwhich evaluates the process execution and what needs to be improvedin the future (Mahadevan, 2010).

Part2. Request for proposal


WaterInc. is requesting for an experienced but creative hardware andsoftware expert to partner with in an ongoing design, branding andother web initiatives that the company will need in the year 2016onwards.


Thecompany wishes to start immediately rolling its services to theclients and wishes to have partners to help implement their servicesin technology both hardware and software so that their customers canhave the services realigned according to their specifications. Thebudget for the company will be determined by the number of customersordering our services and products. The company’s top objectivesinclude:

-Modernizationof the company’s equipment to meet the new client’s demandreflecting both the technological savvy of the company as well asfulfilling the needs of the customers.

-Toimprove the customer’s image globally and bring new potentialcustomers who have been soliciting their services elsewhere while atthe same time maintain a competitive edge.

-Thecompany shall also be responsible for redesigning of the Water so that it can support the company’s expanding nature.

Scopeand requirements

Thescope of the company is to have a new corporate identity system. Thiswill include:

Developingnew hardware and software that the company will be using, Improvingthe computer hardware to meet the minimum computer specificationsthat will be important to run company’s basic Software. Thesecomprise the processor, RAM, monitor, operating systems that containa service pack and backup devices for the enterprise. On the softwaresection, the company shall be responsible for installing variousbasic software including the internet browsers such as Mozilla andChrome. Secondly, they will install the Microsoft office which isvery critical for the employees. Image burner, registry cleaners,antivirus, Adobe reader and internet download manager are othercritical software for the company.

Distributionof the request for proposal

Therequest for proposal shall be distributed through the media so thatall companies interested may take part in the process. Both printmedia and broadcasting media shall be used the internet shall alsobe used to dispatch the information contained in the request forproposal. The use of minority companies in the distribution of therequest for proposal will also be considered to ensure that theprocess is free and fair, and the awarding of the job is done basedon merit.

Part3. Timeline and Tasks of Activities for Water Inc.

Time of the activity


In charge

3rd May-13th May

Advertising for job application for sales representatives

Human resource manager

16th May-20th May

Interviews and Recruitment of the qualified personnel

Human resource department

23rd May-3rd June

Training of the representatives

Purchase agent

6th June-15th July

Collection of information and data about the needs of the customer needs and specification

Purchase representatives recruited

18th July-12th August

Interpretation of data

Purchase agent

15th August-2nd September

Organization of the needs

Purchase agent

5th September-23rd September

Preparation of the request for proposal

Purchase agent

26th September-7th October

Approval of the RFP by the management

Board of Directors

10th October-21st October

Distribution of the request for proposal

Procurement Manager

24th October-4th November

Receiving the feedback from the request for proposal interests

Procurement department headed by procurement manager

7th November-18th November

Analyzing feedback and awarding of the job to qualified companies

Procurement department

21st novemeber-9th December

Development of the necessary hardware and software needed for the equipment purchased

IT company

12th December-16th December

Inspection of the hardware and software created by the IT company to check if it is in line with the company’s equipment specification

Head of operations manager

19th December-23rd December

Dispatching the equipment to the company

Transport department within the company

27th December-27th January

Installation of equipment, setting up of the hardware and software necessary for the equipment as well as testing and ensuring they are working effectively.

The company’s engineers and IT company


Mahadevan,B. (2010).&nbspOperationsmanagement: Theory and practice.Upper Saddle River: Pearson.