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Career Story: Program Manager For An Electrical Products Supplier

Program Manager For An Electrical Products Supplier

Job Title: Industrial Sales

Type of Company: We sell industrial supplies and value-added services.

Education: BS, Clark son University

Previous Experience: I worked at a Caterpillar tractor dealership during my first year out of college, then moved to an electrical products supplier, where I've been now for twenty-two years.

Job Tasks: As a program manager, I'm in charge of fulfillment and profitability for a subset of our company's customers. My job combines inside and outside sales, and I have three direct subordinates and six support staffers who work under them. We provide quotes to customers on specific parts and program needs.

We are constantly working to accommodate the customer's production schedule and to provide kits to the factory floor on a just-in-time basis. We use warehouses and outside assemblers along with a national supply chain to meet these requirements. We also ship to customer project sites and sub-tier suppliers in the power generation market.

There are a number of daily, weekly and monthly reports that get rolled up into the total performance of our branch that I work on and manage. Sales and profit are the key metrics of our business. I address customer service and quality issues along with technical and supplier sourcing questions daily.

We try to keep our customers up-to-date on regulatory and compliance issues as well as current model equipment and parts, addressing obsolete parts and practices as they arise. We try to utilize best practices and high quality processes to make us as efficient as possible.

We handle in excess of 5000 purchase orders annually which equates to over 20,000 piece part lines and transactions on the fulfillment side. There are lots of areas where something could go wrong in the supply chain: late parts from suppliers, quality defects, drawing revision changes to the parts we have manufactured for the customer, cost inflation, deflation pressures, packaging or transportation issues with third-party carriers, internal process breakdowns and so on

All these issues make every day a bit different and action-packed.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of my job is uncovering failures in the supply chain that create problems for us downstream. These can include customer-created problems.

The best part of the job is successfully supporting the customer requirements and having this show up in sales and profit numbers for the branch.

Job Tips:
1. Be willing to learn about many aspects of the job and how they relate to one another.

2. Pay attention to every class/training you take. You will almost certainly need to draw on it.

3. Be willing to immerse yourself in the work. Understand you have much to learn and be willing to make mistakes and learn how not to repeat them.

Additional Thoughts: Take technical blueprint and manufacturing process classes. Take math and science along with business classes. Be able to manage multiple tasks and meet all deadlines.

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