Job function: Technical Purchaser
Started at Battery Supplies in 2015 and works 6,5 years in the company
What is your job all about ?
“I work in our purchasing department and am responsible for the purchasing of all our block batteries. These include starter batteries, cyclic batteries (open lead acid, gel, agm, lead carbon and LiFePO4 block batteries) and stationary block batteries. I have contact with suppliers in both Europe, the US and Asia. My job is to make sure we are at a good stock level in our warehouses at all times. I discuss pricing and technical specifications with our suppliers and I am always on the lookout for new supplier opportunities.”
What do you like about your job ?
“I love the variety of things I have to do as a purchaser at Battery Supplies. I am involved in the price negotiation with our suppliers and the follow up of the whole purchasing process and the logistics, as well as the administrative part of the job. Very often we have to find flexible and creative solutions in order to cope with ever changing circumstances, as has been the case throughout the whole Covid 19 pandemic situation with product shortages everywhere and a lot of challenges to get the goods to our depots in Europe. Internally, at Battery Supplies, as a purchaser I am in constant communication with all the other departments in our company. Warehouse department requires instructions from our side and instructs us back in order to have a smooth running warehouse. Many technical aspects have to be discussed with our engineering teams. Our marketing colleagues require product information and technical specifications from our department. Transportation of goods has to be arranged and monitored together with our logistics department. We advise our pricing department on our costs and if our sales teams see some opportunity in a particular market, it is our job to source the right product.”
What is the most challenging part of your job ?
“At times I have to be very creative in finding the right solution. It is not always easy to find good solutions on a short notice as the purchasing process involves and depends on many external factors on which you have only very limited control, like product availability, transport delays, currency variations, the cost of raw materials like lead. Also challenging are the language barrier we have with some suppliers, especially when it comes down to technical discussions. I really have to think about the fact that suppliers might take my English mail and translate it using f.e. Google Translate. This is not always the recipe to successful and fruitful discussions, if you know what I mean.”
What will the future bring for you at Battery Supplies ?
“We are welcoming a new colleague in our team. With an extra team member we will be able to invest more time in more analysis of the products we source and the companies we work with, as well as the battery market in general. Our company is also continuously investing in our IT systems. We aim on automating several of our purchasing processes in the near future. This will also create time to take on aspects of the job that are now sometimes forgotten but nevertheless are very important for our sales colleagues and customers.”
What do you like about working for Battery Supplies NV/SA ?
“We have a great team at Battery Supplies and it is nice to get along with the people you work with and your managers. We hope to re-establish very soon our after-work parties on Fridays with several colleagues in a bar close by here in Deerlijk. It’s important to be able to relax and have a drink/laugh with your colleagues outside of the working environment. In our purchasing department we joke that it is “never a dull day at Battery Supplies”. Our jobs are versatile and challenging and that is what I like so much about it.”
And what do you do when you are not price-negotiating or sourcing new products ?
“I love to spend time with my 1y old daughter Lot, have fun in our family, enjoy and work in our garden and house. I like exercising so you can find me out running or core training. I like to keep a good shape and it is healthy. I also used to play the piano and plan to invest more time in it as it is a great hobby. During weekends I am always in for a party or to hang out with friends or family. And like so many of us, I am longing to go on a care-free holiday and enjoy the beautiful things our world has to offer.”