Careers in Procurement at Heidelberg Materials

Our 15-strong procurement team engages with personnel across the business to ensure Heidelberg Materials buys what it needs effectively. 

Procurement at Heidelberg Materials ranges from items as small as paper clips to the significant investment programmes implemented to secure our on-going success, such as a fleet of new cement tankers or marine dredgers. 

Buying in a cost-effective way is important, but our role is about more than just buying things at the cheapest possible price. We work closely with all Heidelberg Materials’s business lines to identify needs, source suitable suppliers and negotiate competitive terms to enable us to deliver the best possible products and service to our own customers.

We are working to continually improve our Purchase to Pay process and using our procurement activity to help us achieve Heidelberg Materials’s sustainability 2020 goals is also a key area of focus. Our supplier management tools allow us to objectively measure a supplier’s performance in key areas and we work to select those who have the best credentials to mitigate impacts and manage supply risks. 

The team is based across eight locations and has adapted in recent years to ensure success in achieving the company’s procurement performance targets. 

“The purchasing team now looks after around 80 per cent of the company’s total spend, compared to five years ago when we looked after around 40 per cent,” said department head, Jas Suman.  

“We’re building a team that can help us continue to grow the business and find ways to achieve lower prices – even when the cost of general commodities, such as energy and fuel, are rising.  Essential skills include strong initiative, good negotiation and communication ability as well as commercial awareness and being able to work well on your own or as part of a team.”

The qualifications needed to work in procurement depend on the level of the role. The minimum requirements is two to three years’ experience in a relevant field for a buyer position, increasing to five years’ experience and a degree standard education for a more senior role. A Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) accreditation is desirable for all roles. 

“Careers in procurement offer excellent opportunities for progression,” added Jas. “A good buyer with the right motivation to succeed can move up the ladder to become a category manager and even onto a group lead buyer position once they have a number of years’ experience under their belt.”

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