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Buyer Senior

Salary: $22.51-$27.48 hourly / $3,914-$4,779 monthly / Range: 5576

DEFINITION: Under general direction, procures specialized commodities of a complex nature requiring substantial experience in purchasing, contracting and purchasing policy and procedure. Negotiates for the purchase of supplies, equipment and services for County departments and other public agencies; performs administrative activities in support of the purchasing function; and completes related work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This is the advanced journey/ lead worker level in the Buyer series; it is distinguished from Buyer II by the complexity of the work assigned and by the level of independence exercised. Incumbents in the Buyer, Sr. class also provide training and technical assistance to others in the Buyer I/II classification. The class of Buyer, Sr. is further distinguished from the class of Purchasing Manager by the latter's role as direct supervisor for the all levels in the Buyer series and by the Purchasing Manager's greater public visibility, e.g., his or her contact with the Board of Supervisors and the media.


1. Receives and reviews requisitions for accuracy; confers with departmental representatives to determine specific needs, taking into account budget allocations, market conditions and availability.
2. Prepares and reviews departmental workload statistics; advises the Purchasing Manager regarding the proper allocation of commodity assignments to buyers, and monitors the work of buyers and support staff.
3. Researches sources of supply by reading current periodicals and product literature, interviewing marketing representatives and evaluating sample products.
4. Prepares complex requests for bid and contacts vendors for bid quotations; analyzes bids received; issues purchase orders; prepares and monitors contracts, outlining performance standards, tolerances, warranties, and maintenance requirements.
5. Provides technical support and conducts training for staff.
6. Visits departments to become acquainted with their specific needs; notifies departments of new products and arranges for samples and demonstrations.
7. Investigates sensitive or unusual issues or complaints regarding vendors/products; provides guidance and assistance to vendors and County departments; reviews, analyzes, and interprets legislative data pertinent to procurement.
8. Interprets County and departmental policies, County codes, state statutes, and regulations governing purchasing activities and the awarding of contracts.
9. Reviews procedure manuals and training materials to ensure that changes in law, policy, and procedure are properly reflected on the Purchasing Department's Web page and in all published materials. Assists the Purchasing Manager in the development of the Local Vendor Outreach program. Assists in the production of training materials and presentations.
10. Acts as Purchasing Manager in his/her absence and performs other administrative tasks as required.

Employment Standards:

1. Five years of responsible experience in quantity buying for a large organization; or,
2. three years of experience performing duties equivalent to Buyer II for Santa Barbara County; or,
3. equivalent combination of training, education, and experience which would provide the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Requirement: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver's License may be required.

Knowledge of: theory and practices of purchasing, including ethics, standards, bid preparation and evaluation, competitive bidding procedures, quality control; data collection techniques for establishing sources of supply, product, and vendor information; market research techniques; general law of contracts; statistical analysis; accounting and budgetary controls; office procedures; use of office automation to assist in the purchasing function; general computer applications used in business, such as spreadsheet, data base, word processing software.

Ability to: conduct studies, evaluate data, and make recommendations and decisions; prepare and present written or oral reports; act as Purchasing Agent as assigned; perform arithmetic calculations; use common units of measure; calculate interest, discounts, and shipping charges; provide staff training in the use of computer applications for purchasing; recognize responsibility and limits of assigned authority; maintain an effective liaison with vendors, management personnel, and co-workers.

Desirable Qualifications: Journey-level experience as a buyer in a public agency is highly desirable.

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