Online Courses in Purchasing
Let's discuss some of the most commonly offered online courses available through purchasing programs.
- Fundamentals of Purchasing Management Course: This class is the first component of all online purchasing manager programs--and in some cases, it is the one block class that makes up the program in its entirety. Students are introduced to purchasing and market theory, profit objectives, negotiation techniques and quality control. Business ethics may also be covered. Texts are generally provided.
- Understanding Supply Chains Course: Students take this course near the beginning of their certificate program. It focuses on analysis of international and local supply chains with topics in material management and transaction operations as well as the development of supply and demand. Some programs include advanced supply chain classes that look at finance and risk management. Prospective purchasing managers may work with real-world mock-ups to ensure understanding.
- Price and Cost Analysis Course: The focus of this class is cost effectiveness and the regulation of material pricing. Students learn about the acquisition process, cost evaluation, strategic planning and price development. This course is among the first to be offered in an online purchasing manager program because it covers skills essential to the specialty.
- Negotiation Tactics Course: Negotiation is at the heart of purchasing, and some programs devote more than one class to this topic. Coursework covers strategizing techniques, organizational tools and situation analysis. Communication skills, style and attitude are emphasized. The class is taught through self-study with reading materials, lecture format and also negotiation role-playing; online delivery methods vary. Students take this near the middle of a program.
- Legal Issues and Purchasing Regulations Course: Offered toward the end of a purchasing management certificate program, this class covers the legal and contractual obligations of the purchasing manager. Federal and international regulations are discussed in addition to customer rights, contract breach repercussions, government contracts and legal representation. Programs may break down this class into two or three courses covering in-depth legal regulations related to purchasing in order to best prepare students to become certified.
- Organization and Management: Students learn the leadership skills and the tools needed to handle running a business, including bringing personnel disputes to resolution and maintaining and organizing the financial aspects of a business. Another topic that may be discussed is the social and ethical components of managing a business.
- Procurement Course: Introduces students to the factors that must be considered when choosing between suppliers of various products and services. Students learn how to make decisions regarding supplier selection at each point in the procurement process.
- Supplier Contracting Course: Students learn about contracting procedures, purchase orders and supply sources. Through extensive studies of contracting issues, they gain the experience they need to make well informed contracting decisions in their future careers.
Online purchasing programs range from a single block class to a multi-course program. These programs result in certificates of completion; however, students do not receive certification upon graduation. In some cases, graduates may still have to pass a state test to earn certification and become eligible for employment as purchasing managers.
In addition to certificate programs, there are also review classes available online that help to prepare experienced students for their state's certification exam. Educated and certified individuals are prepared for entry-level jobs in the purchasing field and can work their way up to managerial roles.
By taking online courses in purchasing management, individuals can prepare for certification exams and future career success. These courses help students build their general management skills and gain experience with the technical aspects of purchasing and procurement.