Written by Hadewych den RidderSupply Chain Lead

Breda, 16 May 2024
Procurement isn't just about securing discounts; it also involves building relationships, both within and outside of the organisation. Technical buyers are tasked with creating value for the business. Investing in relationships and earning manufacturers' trust foster valuable partnerships.

LAB Services focuses on adding value for customers, not only through skills and expertise but also through creativity. Partnership is the cornerstone of the most successful project implementations. And so my role goes beyond merely placing orders; it's about facilitating these collaborative projects.

Procurement is always seeking to bridge the gap between sales and the supply chain. Have we received all the necessary elements on time, what if a design consists of items with a longer delivery time than anticipated, etc.?

Procurement serves as the connecting link between sales and the supply chain, with efforts constantly being geared towards ensuring continuity. Our remit includes investigating alternatives to each item to prevent us from being dependent on just one supplier. ‘One is none’ is the philosophy here. Which is why our engineers and I are always on the lookout for alternatives based on delivery time, availability, price, fit and function.

What's more, procurement plays an essential role in project planning, with us closely monitoring the delivery schedule, looking at which items still need to be produced or designed, subsequently identifying the right party and seeing to it that LAB Services is in a position to supply the bespoke solutions for which we are renowned.

Finding the right supplier that satisfies LAB Services' stringent requirements in terms of quality can be a challenge, but that's where the art of procurement comes in. It's about achieving goals within the set time frame and budget whilst simultaneously building long-term relationships based on trust with suppliers who are willing to contribute their ideas and their expertise to improve our products.

Each and every procurement process is unique, particularly in a constantly evolving design process where the end goal is optimisation towards the maximum feasible standard. The implication here is that procurement doesn't adopt a standard approach, instead having to continuously adapt and negotiate in order to find the best solution.

Collaboration between manufacturer and customer is becoming increasingly important, particularly in an age in which technological solutions abound. Integrating all elements to form a fully fledged automated platform is a challenge being worked on collectively by procurement and the entire organisation, making procurement an indispensable link that goes beyond just placing orders.