Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Purchasing Department

Our purchasing department weighs in on their typical day...


Working in the purchasing department at KEH can be a lot of fun due to all of the customers we communicate with all over the world. Purchasing is the lifeline for KEH since we are a purchase driven company. Currently we have four buyers who work in house at KEH. These buyers are the ones who answer the phones, handle emails and follow up on quotes generated from our web site. KEH also has buyers who travel the U.S. buying equipment from other dealers and at camera shows.

Our in-house buyers have cubicles just like many other companies. Our main views are the computer screen, telephone and a lot of paperwork. With no windows, we try to add some scenery to our areas to break up our space. All of the buyers have a photography background so it is not unusual to see images that they have shot up on the walls. Others have their children’s artwork or items that they collect. In-house buyers handle “walk-in” customers and the displayed items are often brought up in conversation during the customers visit.

above and below, items decorating some of the cubicles


The typical day for an in-house buyer starts with checking email and voice mail messages. Mondays are normally the busiest email days since we will get a lot of new quote requests over the weekend. Emails can be new quotes or simply replies from customers who have equipment currently in house. There are many transactions when we never talk to the customer and all communication is handled via our website and emails. Next, we will move on to looking at paperwork that may have been processed after we left for the day or before coming in that morning. Then the contacting of customers begins. One important thing to keep in mind for all buyers is where are we calling and what time is it there? Everyone has had a time when we call California a little to early, Oops! This is where email comes in extra handy.

Now this might not sound like a lot of work but the average buyer processes 125+ deals per month. This number represents equipment that comes in house. In addition to these transactions, we also have all of the new quotes to generate. During this process the buyers are always available to take calls and we never know who will show up with out an appointment, to sell equipment. Buyers also need to check received equipment and verify grades to be able to communicate the evaluation properly back to the customer.

And that is a glimpse of our day, with out boring you with too many details. The biggest benefit to working here is that we work with some great people and we actually like each other!

view of received equipment, in bins and waiting to be evaluated