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Author's profile photo Narasimha Prasad Bhat

Day in the life of a Material Buyer – 1 -Overview of buyer activities

Purpose: The purpose of this blog post is to bring the real-life day-to-day scenarios of a material buyer based on my own domain experience as a material buyer.


This is the first blog post of the series – Day in the  Life of a material buyer. Here I would explain only the activities carried out by the buyer. In the next blogs, I will explain each activity w.r.t SAP.


  • Review Vendor acknowledgment and communication.
    • Review incoming vendor communication and response.
  • Purchase Material process
    • Convert Requisitions to Purchase orders.
    • Follow vendor assignment process for unassigned vendor POs.
    • Release Kanban Triggers.
    • Manage Schedule agreements and transmit them to vendors.
  • Review Material shortages.
    • Review current material shortage situations and resolve them.
    • Review potential material shortages and resolve them.
    • Reschedule in and expedite.
    • Send and follow-up open orders.
    • Review Cycle counts, QA issues, additional consumption, scrap transactions,  receiving issues, etc.
  • Future demand /forecast to vendor
    • Review vendor/Supplier’s response to the company’s forecast.
    • Review future potential material shortages due to vendor constraints.
    • Supplier inventory impact in case of the reduced forecast.
  • Excess/Obsolete Inventory.
    • Review and take action on excess inventory.
    • Review and take action on obsolete inventory.
    • Validate excess and obsolete reports.
  • Engineering change management.
    • Setup planning parameters for new material.
    • Determine ECM implementation date for the new material.
    • Determine material disposition if ECM is to be implemented immediately.
    • Review workflows for purchased materials / new material etc.
  • Supplier delivery performance.
    • Review vendor delivery performance.
    • Follow-up with underperforming vendors.
    • Analyze and work issues related to receipt of material.
    • Create and review new /old Discrepant Material Reports (DMR)
    • Follow Vendor 8D process.
  • Supplier Invoice issues.
    • Ensuring invoices are cleared quickly.
    • Hold /Quality-related invoices are monitored regularly.
    • Adjust PO wherever needed.
  • Planning parameters and health check reports.

Review and update planning parameters to ensure quality outputs, including:

    • Vendor lead times
    • Safety stock levels (Consumption history)
    • Purchasing Group
    • MRP Controller
    • Missing purchasing info records


Above are the material buyer’s activities on day to day basis. When we implement SAP (especially the MM module), we should be aware of the above activities and suggest /implement appropriate SAP tools to make his/her’s life easy. In the next blog posts, I will explain SAP tools for the relevant activities mentioned above.

Do let me know your views and suggestion to make this blog post better. Thanks for taking your timeout to read this blog post.



#Buyer #SAP Purchasing #SAP Buyer #Purchase






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      Author's profile photo Deepa K
      Deepa K

      Now I know SAP MM is not simple. I thought buyer’s role is cool job. Great post.

      Author's profile photo Narasimha Prasad Bhat
      Narasimha Prasad Bhat
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks, Deepa. SAP job is easy 🙂

      Author's profile photo Harsh Banda
      Harsh Banda

      Very nicely articulated. Ariba activities should also get included as part of daily activities.

      Author's profile photo Narasimha Prasad Bhat
      Narasimha Prasad Bhat
      Blog Post Author

      I am not too familiar with Indirect procurement.

      Author's profile photo Vrinda B
      Vrinda B

      Curious on how you map sap solutions especially on 8D.

      Author's profile photo Jelena Perfiljeva
      Jelena Perfiljeva

      Thank you for sharing this! It's simple but educational. There are many aspiring SAP professionals / users who are looking exactly for this type of information. And even for the SAP developers, this is an interesting insight into the daily life of a person who is using the system we work on.

      Well done!

      Author's profile photo Narasimha Prasad Bhat
      Narasimha Prasad Bhat
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks a lot Jelena for the encouragement. I wrote about 4 blogposts after this. Still many more to come. If it is useful to even one person, my effort is worth it. Thanks once again.

      Author's profile photo Chavi K
      Chavi K

      Fully agree. It is useful to both. End users need these kinds of educational materials.

      Author's profile photo Poorvi Kulkarni
      Poorvi Kulkarni

      Nicely compiled for procurement roles.

      Author's profile photo Rajendra K
      Rajendra K

      Buyer's training manual