Kappa Search | Chicago Employment Agency | Technical Buyer Position

Kappa Search Inc. is a Chicago staffing firm that specializes in the recruitment and placement of engineering, manufacturing and procurement professionals. we are currently searching for a Technical Buyer as follows:


This position is responsible for acquiring, purchasing and negotiating materials, equipment and supplies for requisitioned material. The incumbent will purchase materials as required by Kanban & ERP systems, supporting strategic sourcing objectives.  This role will also enhance strategies for quality, cost, delivery and innovation.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Direct procurement responsibilities for $5-10 million in spend, driving PPV in an 8-10% range.
  • Drive cost reduction by development and implementation of suppliers in Low Cost Regions (LCR) countries, primarily in Asia, while working with our Singapore/India teams.
  • Increase on-time delivery by eliminating material shortage for manufacturing and customer needs.
  • Manage and develop existing suppliers through performance feedback, discuss defective or unacceptable goods or services to determine source of trouble and take corrective action. Study market trends, evaluate suppliers and recommended sources of supply. Estimate values according to knowledge of market price.  Determine appropriate procurement methods, and will negotiate and implement supplier agreements consistent with quality, delivery and cost requirements.
  • Coordinate and schedule material purchase orders based on MRP output.  Insure MRP output and attributes are accurate, validated and updated with current information.
  • Address delivery issues through the SCAR process.
  • Implement and own reverse auction process.
  • Participate in the Daily Management process by taking full ownership of exceeding delivery and inventory targets.
  • This position is responsible for contributing to Policy Deployment (business unit strategic objectives) results and total business goals.
  • Use (lean manufacturing) tools to drive continuous process improvements in on-time delivery, cost savings, inventory reduction, and Low Cost Region spend.

Internal Relationships:

  • Reports to the Materials Manager or Value Stream Manager
  • Interacts with Operations/Manufacturing on materials planning and purchasing issues.
  • Interacts with materials and procurement professionals
  • Interacts with Quality and Engineering
  • Frequently participate in continuous improvement workshops (kaizens) with team members to improve productivity, quality and/or daily processes.

Key Measurements:

  • Reduction in total cost
  • Purchase Price Variance
  • Supplier quality, on-time delivery, lead time and responsiveness
  • Managing multiple suppliers in a lean environment
  • Working capital turns (inventory turns, days payable outstanding)
  • Low Cost Region spend as a percentage of total direct material spend


  • Education – Bachelor degree required.  Engineering, materials management or other business major preferred.
  • Experience –Three to five years in supply chain management, purchasing or planning role(s) in a manufacturing environment.  Previous experience in motion control (motors) a plus.
  • Functional Training – Demonstration of continuing education in materials management (to ensure knowledge and understanding of leading edge practices and technology).  CPM and/or CPIM certification preferred.
  • LCR – Demonstration of ability to drive cost reduction through transition to suppliers in Low Cost Regions.

Competencies Required:

  • Effective planning, organization, and leadership skills.
  • Superior LCR supplier management skills – demonstrated ability to drive significant reductions in cost while maintaining or improving service levels.
  • Effective procurement skills
  • Outstanding problem-solving skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong analytical background including experience with tools such as Oracle, Excel and Access
  • Ability and experience interfacing at all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to articulate clear vision and convey a sense of urgency
  • Ability and willingness to lead and work in a matrix organization with direct and indirect reporting relationships.