North Mankato, MN 56003
Job status: 
Posting Date: 
Thursday, June 23, 2022
The Buyer drives all necessary actions related to the purchasing and negotiation of materials and supplies from vendors.

Will include, but not limited to the following areas:
  • Ensure purchasing strategies are in accordance with products design and meet manufacturing needs. 
  • Work with various departments to compile product needs.
  • Maintain supplier relations, negotiate contracts, prepare purchase records, and communicate and resolve issues. 
  • Responsible to ensure that the assigned suppliers are meeting the expectations of ZF in so far as quality, delivery, service, and price; and taking corrective actions to remedy the shortfall as necessary.
  • Research, develop, and maintain contacts with suppliers and stay aware of ongoing benchmarking, product development, and price changes. 
  • Manage purchasing activities for new project parts, launch new ideas with VAVE projects as cost-reduction activities as well as support Commodity Purchasing for technical and industrial supplier activities.
  • Perform price, term, and conditions negotiations with suppliers and coordinate/lead procurement activities from the suppliers for the nominated projects.
  • Place tool and first delivery orders to suppliers and support to improve supplier performances for logistic and quality departments.
  • Search new potential suppliers and inform Purchasing Manager.
  • Perform supplier management by negotiating contracts, verifying ISO certificates, and re-evaluating existing suppliers.
  • Complete benchmark and cost analysis.
  • Set up and maintain supplier/part in MRP system.
  • Review purchase order acknowledgments for accuracy. 
  • Maintain a high level of professional knowledge in resource management through different educational vehicles and/or as agreed upon with the Purchasing Manager.
  • Support local productivity projects to achieve the yearly productivity targets.
  • Perform benchmark by sending RFQs (Request for Quotation).
  • Support Purchasing Manager in implementing global and regional productivity projects.
  • Manage blocked invoices in Vendor Invoice Management (VIM) tool.

  • Procurement of ZF needs - Within the assigned product or part numbers order materials, reschedule existing commitments, provide communications to the suppliers, and resolve minor problems.
  • Responsible for negotiating relationships with suppliers, arriving at the terms and conditions that include: Price, lead-time, quality, and order quantity.  
  • Supplier Liaison - Involves supplier in product design/redesign as applicable.
  • Requests price and delivery quotations for projects.
  • Supplier follow-up, as necessary, to resolve delivery problems, quality problems, or cost changes.
  • Manages assigned suppliers in the supplier base.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Associates degree (A.A.) or equivalent from two-year college or technical school; two-year related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  •  Technical or business management background and/or minimum 5 years of purchasing experience in a manufacturing area preferred.
  • MRP experience is required. 
  • Excellent knowledge of production and manufacturing environment

  • Demonstrated competency working with PC's, and various software packages, including, but not limited to, Microsoft programs, particularly Excel. Knowledge of specialized equipment and systems used within the demand management discipline.
  • Effective communication skills, both internally and externally. 
  • Ability to work well in a team.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as supplier documentation, safety rules, instructions, procedure manuals, and basic blueprints.
  • Ability to effectively negotiate externally in order to meet or exceed organizational objectives.
  • Ability to solve complex problems in situations standard to the area of specialty.
  • Works under minimal supervision and demonstrates strong skills in reasoning and analysis.
  • SAP experience preferred.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to sit. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

This job has no supervisory responsibilities.

The employee must complete general safety training such as Right to Know annually as well as specific training such as Lockout/Tag-out, respirator, degreaser, Hazardous Waste Management and any others that may be deemed pertinent to job duties.  All policies must be understood and followed.

Full benefits package:
  • Medical, dental, vision, and employer-contribution HSA.
  • Employer-paid short-term and long-term disability.
  • Life insurance policy paid by the employer.
  • 401(k) program with company match and profit-sharing.
  • Paid vacation, sick days, and 13 holidays for full-time employees.
  • Tuition reimbursement.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP).