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Career Story: Senior Buyer For A Frozen Seafood Manufacturer

Senior Buyer For A Frozen Seafood Manufacturer

Job Title: Senior Buyer

Type of Company: I work for a frozen seafood manufacturer.

Education: BS, Marketing, Bentley College (Waltham, MA)

Previous Experience: I worked as a buyer and senior buyer at a frozen seafood company for 6 years.

Job Tasks: I am responsible for purchasing packaging materials for a frozen seafood manufacturer. I work closely with marketing brand managers responsible for many different channels: Club Stores (BJ's, Costco), Retail (supermarkets), Private Label customers (i.e., Market Basket, Shaws brands), Food Service (for restaurants and food service customers like Sysco), and National Accounts (Friendly's, for example). We work together to create new packaging, and I work with our packaging supplier to insure the artwork is created and packaging is printed and delivered in time for production.

I begin the day by running my Materials Requirement Planning (MRP) messages. These messages tell me which materials need to be purchased for specific products that are scheduled for production, and when they need to be delivered. For example, if Market Basket Fish Sticks are scheduled, this report tells me that the Market Basket printed folding carton is needed, along with any ingredients (batter, breader), and the corrugated container the cartons get packed in for shipping to the customer.

Then I enter purchase orders into the MRP system for the needed materials, and email the PO to the supplier.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: One of the best parts of the job is a feeling of accomplishment it gives me. Sometimes it is a challenge to get the materials delivered on time, especially if there is a last minute production requirement. Establishing solid relationships with suppliers is important. They are the best resource for potential cost saving ideas. For example, I worked with my folding carton supplier to downgrade the carton board stock being used on some of the Club store items, and wound up saving my company over $600,000 annually.

One of the worst parts of the job is the pressure (at times). The Lenten season is a very busy time for seafood producers, and can necessitate many schedule changes.

Job Tips: It's important to be able to build solid relationships with suppliers.

It's a good career for someone who likes trying to find a better way to do something or improve a process. It's very fulfilling to be able to contribute to the company's bottom line. In purchasing, every dollar saved is a dollar earned... and contributed to the bottom line.

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