What is a Procurement Engineer? He is an intermediary between the worlds and sits at the interface between technology and economy. And what kind of training do you need?
What does a Procurement Engineer do?
As a Procurement Engineer, I occupy a highly specialized function at the interface between purchasing, production, suppliers and the various development areas.
As a team, we support the development by taking care of all issues relevant to the purchase within a project. This includes, for example, the search for alternative manufacturers, the initiation of calls for tenders, the tracking of the target costs of a project or the delivery of the series prices negotiated by the purchasing department.
scope of duties
The Procurement Engineer takes the engineers at Rohde & Schwarz exactly the research and organization activities, which would keep a developer from the daily development performance. Thanks to our interface position, development processes as well as development costs are optimized.
I have to take both the developer perspective as well as the buyer's and at the same time provide the optimal device component at the best price. The important thing is that I am neutral in my position.
This is a major challenge, especially when one changes directly from the development to this function. Even though I am primarily responsible for the Measurement Technology division, I still need to keep in mind the entire Rohde & Schwarz product portfolio.
My employer Rohde & Schwarz is a leading specialist in wireless communications - in the areas of measurement technology, radio and media technology, secure communication, cyber security and radio monitoring and positioning technology. Around 2.700 employees are based in Munich, of which nine are working in Procurement Engineering.
The Procurement Engineering Team supervises the projects in the portfolio of the various business areas. My projects are currently in the field of measurement technology and include, among other things, the procurement of components for signal generators, spectrum analyzers, network analyzers, test devices for mobile radio and oscilloscopes.
To clarify the exact specifications, a procurement engineer must discuss all the requirements and possibilities with the respective developers - and therefore also dive deep into the respective matter to find out which component is needed. In a technology leader Company Like Rohde & Schwarz, the challenge lies in the fact that developers often work on the edge of the technologically feasible, ie in most cases there are no standard solutions.
Accordingly, we need to consult with the development departments and with highly specialized suppliers about the components, so that they can meet the given requirements of the developers. It is also necessary to request samples from suppliers, which we then make available to the engineers.
All employees at Procurement Engineering at Rohde & Schwarz meet at least once a day to discuss current projects, to discuss workloads and to bundle orders strategically.
Requirements for the profession
Procurement engineering is not a classical training program. The professional concept presupposes that the experts were involved in development beforehand - only that makes it possible to talk to the engineers about the technical details on equal terms. During his work, a Procurement Engineer has to develop a so-called "portfolioweitblick" ("portfolioweitblick") and have a holistic knowledge of all aspects.
I am a qualified electronic engineer, but I have also completed a distance learning course in economics. In Procurement Engineering at Rohde & Schwarz, the most diverse fields of study are represented: electrical engineers, physicists, computer scientists and operators.
Common to all of them is that they already have several years of experience in technical development, as well as additional economic knowledge. What is crucial in this position, however, is that one is open to new and communicative, has a quick perception, and is generally ready to continue to develop.
What are the possibilities for further training?
Those who are interested in the area should, in addition to the technical affinity, have a feel for the commercial part. For both, Rohde & Schwarz offers a comprehensive training catalog.
The regular training courses by our in-house experts also help keep us informed about the latest developments in the respective business and material areas. At the same time, the suppliers inform us about their latest product developments which are of interest to us.
More information? Take advantage of our e-courses & personal advice