Procurement Specialist (Central) – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

Procurement Specialist Job Announcement

Job Summary:

The University of Southern California (USC) Finance Division – Business Services is seeking a strategic-minded and experienced Procurement Specialist to join its team.

The department of Business Services is comprised of Procurement Services, Strategic Sourcing, Supplier Diversity Services, Disbursement Control and Accounts Payable, Business Operations, and Mailing, and Material Management Services. These departments are responsible for the purchase and payment of goods and services on behalf of the University in accordance with the policies set forth by the University, Sponsored Projects, Internal Revenue Service, and State Board of Equalization.

This position is a key member of the Procurement Services team and is responsible for executing day-to-day operational procurement activities which may include collaboration with university departments and suppliers, contract review, negotiations, issue resolution, risk mitigation, purchase order review and issuance, supplier performance management, and assisting with strategic sourcing initiatives.  The Procurement Specialist serves as the key link between USC departments and suppliers to ensure a seamless flow of goods and services to support university demands and expectations.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Procurement responsibilities could cover a broad range of categories and responsibilities as assigned.  Including but not limited to goods, services, professional services, and independent contractors. Must have a basic understanding of the general procurement process, including complex bid solicitations, project or contract deliverables, and e-procurement ordering and payment systems.

  • Reviews, manages, and approves various procurement related requests, transactions, and activities (e.g., requisitions, purchase orders, supplier agreements). Works directly with suppliers on behalf of USC’s schools and departments. Reviews proposals, quotes, and agreements to ensure completeness, accuracy, compliance, and to identify opportunities to add value.  

  • Manages contract review and redlining processes. Drafts agreements using approved internal templates. Constructs statements of work and/or ensures adequate completion. Signs agreements on behalf of the university within designated authority thresholds.

  • Regularly challenges suppliers to negotiate pricing and business terms while utilizing market intelligence, category expertise, and benchmarks. Solicits competitive quotes or proposals when possible.

  • Facilitates and manages various RFx events and processes. Ensures overall process integrity, fair and equitable competition, timeliness, and accountability for all participants. Prepares necessary documentation, scoring/ranking, analysis, and comparisons. Seeks new ways to improve/assist with processes and negotiations. Provides information and training/guidance on any of the above to others as necessary.

  • Maintains industry currency (e.g., key suppliers, pricing, trends) and understanding of all relevant policies and procedures.

  • Maintains understanding of all agreement types, their uses, and with all relevant systems and tools.

  • Ensures assigned purchase orders are processed with proper terms & conditions and within university policy & procedures.  Ensures appropriate documentation and audit trail. Builds relationships and effectively communicates and coordinates with all relevant stakeholders on procurements. Ensures compliance with and advises faculty/staff on all applicable requirements, regulations, policies, procedures and best practices. Balances policy enforcement, education, and advising on processes with meeting timelines and organizational demands.

  • Problem solves for non-standard requests as well as internal/external policy deviations. Performs due diligence and conducts research on previous purchase orders, agreements, and other available resources (e.g., for history, comparison, benchmarking) to determine best course of action.

  • Works collaboratively to maximize opportunities, implement strategic initiatives, develop category strategies, problem solve, and manage supplier relationships and performance when applicable. Provides backup support to peers when necessary. Promotes an environment that fosters inclusive relationships and creates unbiased opportunities for contributions through ideas, words, and actions that uphold principles of the USC Code of Ethics.

  • Maintain positive collaboration with Strategic Sourcing team as needed on day-to-day efforts required for implementing sourcing initiatives and supplier performance.

  • Performs other related duties as assigned or requested. The University reserves the right to add or change duties at any time.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

  • 3 years’ experience in procurement or related fields

  • Knowledge of procurement regulations, and practices

  • Excellent communication (written & verbal) skills, ability to present/translate complex data to varied audiences.

  • Excellent problem solving, analytical & research skills

  • Proficiency for analyzing supplier proposals and conducting basic cost analyses

  • ERP system knowledge (e.g., Workday, Oracle/SAP, Jaggaer)

  • Excellent collaboration, organizational/time-management skills and attention to detail

  • Superior customer service and adaptability to changing requirements

  • Foundational understanding of procurement agreements and their applicability.

  • Ability to effectively manage a high volume of transactions, projects and events simultaneously

  • Demonstrated track record of successful negotiations, delivered value, and production of desired results

  • Excellent networking, interpersonal, and conflict-resolution skills

Proficiency with key software, systems, and tools.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (Business or related field)

  • 5 or more years of procurement experience in higher education

  • Proven track record of conducting RFx events, successful negotiations, delivering procurement value, and producing desired results

  • Leadership skills

  • Advanced proficiency in relevant software systems, and tools (Workday, Jaggaer, Microsoft Office)

  • High level of experience in procurement of Research/Scientific/Healthcare related goods and services

  • Procurement certifications (i.e. CPM)

The annual base salary range for this position is $73,079.76 – $81,000. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

The USC Finance Division – Business Services values accountability, teamwork, open communication, integrity, and opportunities for growth and professional development. Join us – apply today!


Minimum Education:
Bachelor’s Degree
Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education

Minimum Experience:
3 years

Minimum Field of Expertise:
Three years’ experience in procurement or related fields. Excellent written and oral communication skills, able to present and translate complex data to varied audiences. Sound judgement, critical thinking and reading ability. Excellent problem solving, analytical, and research skills. Proficiency for analyzing supplier proposals and conducting basic cost analyses. Excellent collaboration, organizational/time-management skills and attention to detail. Ability to effectively manage a high volume of transactions, projects and events simultaneously. Foundational understanding of procurement agreements and their applicability. Excellent networking, interpersonal and conflict- resolution skills. Demonstrated track record of successful negotiations, delivered value, and production of desired results. Proficiency with key software, systems and tools.

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