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The European Patent Office (EPO) is the second largest public institution in Europe, with 7 000 staff members and a self-financed annual budget of EUR 2bn.
Central Procurement (CP) manages the acquisition of goods and services for the EPO, co-ordinating the preparation and execution of the competitive processes and supporting the subsequent administration of the purchase-to-pay process.
The CP Strategic Roadmap has already delivered significant improvements and provides the basis for a modern value-added procurement function. The next implementation phase will mainly focus on harmonising the associated financial processes and integrating them into the automated process landscape.
The CP team consists of 49 staff members, and is divided into two main categories: PT Automation, which is responsible for all IT-related procurement, and PT Corporate Area, which handles all other procurement (mainly in the areas of building maintenance, facility management and HR).
PD 4.8 also has two support teams: the recently created Invoice unit, which oversees the automated purchase-to-pay process and its exceptions, and the Procurement Project Office (PPO), a team of experts whose mission is to drive the efficiency of the CP unit by designing the next wave of improvement projects.
The Office is looking for a strategic buyer with a broad range of category expertise in indirect materials, mainly in the technical areas of buildings and facilities management, office services, consumables, MRO, utilities and ideally also in the areas of marketing, professional, HR and travel management services. A solid SAP user profile with excellent change management skills would round up the profile of the ideal candidate.
Reporting to the Head of Department PT Corporate Area, the strategic buyer is responsible for obtaining the best supplies or services at the best value for the European Patent Office in compliance with its Financial Regulations.
The ideal candidate will
• define and implement the category strategy, utilising strategic sourcing processes, tools and policies
• develop a medium-term procurement plan with the business units
• lead and execute complex/strategic procurement procedures that have a high impact on core business Office-wide • analyse and advise on complex/strategic procurement procedures and represent Central Procurement in meetings with Office bodies • negotiate the most advantageous commercial agreements with suppliers in line with strategic and compliance requirements • perform supplier market/category/supply risk analysis and develop total cost of ownership models to identify improvement opportunities • assess and evaluate suppliers, undertake performance reviews to ensure contract compliance and manage performance improvement activities • ensure that a professional and consistent approach is taken in relation to all supplier relationships • manage in a timely and proactive manner interaction with the business unit, Finance Department and Legal Services, including obtaining all related approval documents for conducting procurement procedures, actively planning and maintaining a document trail of all actions • deliver high quality reports and documents on award decisions and compliance requirements • solve complex/strategic problems, devise KPI monitoring and improvement strategies, supervise quality control, and improve the use of tools and risk management • provide coaching and support on strategic procurement procedures to senior buyers
Ideal candidate profile To be considered for this role, the candidate must have sound procurement experience in a similar public institution or the private sector. It would be an advantage to have experience in a highly regulated sector (public, pharma, food), in addition to in-depth and complex process analysis skills, the ability to influence difficult stakeholders and skills in developing strong working relationships.
The ideal candidate will also have good knowledge and understanding of relevant public procurement regulations, and a strong commercial background, supported by an appropriate technical qualification, as follows: • a master’s degree in engineering, business or related disciplines or else an MBA or an advanced degree in a related discipline, preferably facility management or building maintenance • at least eight years’ experience as a strategic buyer/lead buyer, consultant or similar • English and German at proficient business level; good knowledge of French would be a plus • procurement/consulting experience with automation using SAP tools • experience of working in a challenging regulatory and legislative environment • project management skills • skills in change adoption, change management and resource assessment • strong analytical and financial skills • strong oral and written communication skills • advanced SAP knowledge • proficiency in the Microsoft Office environment
Minimum qualifications • Diploma of completed studies at master’s level or ‒ in exceptional cases ‒ equivalent professional experience. • Excellent knowledge of one official language (English, French or German) and ability to understand the other two. • Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation.
Salary and benefits The EPO offers competitive salaries, an excellent social package, and varied work in a modern international environment. The net (basic) monthly salary* for this vacancy ranges from EUR 5 521.05 to 7 818.81, depending on experience. In addition, depending on their personal circumstances, EPO staff may be entitled to relocation benefits and various allowances (e.g. household, dependants’, childcare, education, expatriation, installation, rent and language allowance).