A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WINDOW TREATMENT PURCHASING MANAGER

This is the 6th installment in a grouping of 8 blog posts which are written to give you our customer a bit of insight into our world. We want you to enjoy them first and foremost as hopefully the spark your curiosity. We also believe that understanding a bit of the narrative we live in may be helpful for you in the challenges that we face together in the completion of any renovation or new build.

Like most of my colleagues, the first thing to be done when I walk in is check emails, catch up on anything left from yesterday and set my to-do list for the day. Today we are trying to meet a customer’s schedule which got moved up much sooner than originally planned. First I’ll call in a favor to the vendor to get that order moved up but I’ve got to remember and balance the other orders they are fulfilling that have tight timelines as well.

I hang up the phone and now here’s receiving, calling to notify they have received a shipment without a packing list and need help determining if it is something we ordered or COM (customer owned material). I walk out to their department and review the shipment with them, to find a small code on the side mark that I recognize as a spec number. Being familiar with our customer’s naming conventions, makes me able to determine which project this COM fabric belongs to. Next, I’ve got to send out some samples requested by our Sales Team. Some we have here so I have pulled them and taken over to our Shipping Department, but others need to be requested from our vendor. Once all of that has been taken care of, it’s nearly 10 AM and I’m back at my desk about to focus on new orders which need to be placed by our department. Once you combine ten Project Managers, three Project Coordinators, three Program Managers, and any of Production’s needs these can add up quick!

In the afternoon, there’s a meeting to attend about inventory and a second with a vendor to discuss a new line of product that they are rolling out. I try to stay abreast of trends in the industry and up to date on all of our vendor’s products as best as I can. Ultimately I serve as the company’s library of information for external vendors. Once the meeting is over I return to my desk to answer questions from various Project Managers about different products. Here’s an email asking, “what is the best decorative hardware to use in a recessed window?”, which I can answer no problem. I’ll recommend using H-rail or Cylinder pole with inside mount brackets instead of finials. Lexi (project manager) is at my desk now describing a problem: “the customer is having problems with a roller shade, how can we fix it?” I’m able to offer a few recommendations to try before we turn to the vendor. Most of the time these questions are answerable on my own, but other times new ones crop up that create an opportunity to learn.

My phone is ringing again, another call from our Receiving Department. We are inspecting some fabric that has failed and I need to come look at it. I review the problems with our Inspector and take pictures so that I can show the vendor and get replacements sent ASAP, because this project has a deadline we need to meet, I inform Katie (project manager) about the concern so she can alert her customer to a possible delay.

After getting back to my desk and reviewing incoming emails, I see one of our vendors has notified us a fabric we ordered has a 14 week lead time. This will not work, because I know we are trying to start install in 2 months. I immediately ask them for air freight options and substitutes, and then, I alert Donna (PM) to the situation so she can tell her customer. I also send off some inquiries to other vendors who carry similar product to see if they can meet the timeline and price point. Some quick responses alert me to different yet similar options that may work as alternates. The vendor is sending over some samples that we will in turn submit to the customer for approval.

It’s nearly 4 PM and it’s starting to quiet down. I turn back to processing those incoming orders which have been collecting throughout the day. I know I may be staying a little late this evening. I don’t mind though, at least the days are never boring and are never the same.


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In addition to writing our blog we also create easily downloadable and shareable resource cards. We would love for you to check them out, download them, print them, share them, or do whatever else your heart desires with them.