Never allow the Purchasing Department to control the flow of things. Insist on remaining in control and having them work to your timeline, unless there are real concessions you can achieve.
A purchasing agent will many times create artificial timelines to test your resilience and your level of flexibility. Keep the focus on your timeline by using such things as production schedules, shipping lead times, etc. as a way of keeping you in control. If you do have to adjust the timeline, do so, but only hesitantly. This way you will be in a position to secure something in exchange from the purchasing agent.
Want to hear more? Check out our free podcasts on iTunes. Just search “The Sales Hunter.” Scroll down the list to the podcasts titled “Purchasing Department, Part 1” and “Purchasing Department, Part 2.”