Qimtek’s sourcing team look after the manufacturing buyers who use our service to identify new subcontract engineering suppliers.
Caroline Ogden has been with Qimtek for over 21 years and has a wealth of sourcing experience and knowledge. I asked her to describe a typical day on the sourcing team and to give some insight into her responsibilities:
8:30am to 9am: Alongside plenty of coffee, we start each day with a team meeting. During this time, we discuss the projects we’re expecting in and strategise which companies we should be calling that day. It’s really beneficial to understand how everyone else is working and to share ideas on how to best help both our buyers and suppliers.
9am to 10:30am: Following our morning meeting, I begin going through my task list for the day. We schedule calls to buyers using our CRM system, meaning that we never miss an opportunity. We might schedule a call for a number of reasons – for instance, to discuss any upcoming outsourcing requirements. Our relationship with our buyers is paramount and these calls help us to build rapport, in keeping with the buyer’s preferences regarding the frequency of our contact.
10:30am to 10:45am: We take a fifteen minute tea break.
10:45am to 12:30pm: Once I’ve gone through my task list, I start to call the buyers who have recently sent out projects to our members. In order to track our success and safeguard all parties, we have to keep tabs on which stage a project has reached at any given time. For instance, we operate a ‘five strikes’ policy which means we will blacklist a buyer who puts out over five projects through us without awarding any to our members.
Today, I speak with one of my regular purchasers who has not received any quotes on his most recent project. I spend half an hour phoning any applicable members who might be able to assist – surely enough, three of them promise to submit their quotations by the end of the day and I’m hopeful that the work will be awarded to one of them.
12:30pm to 1:30pm: I break for lunch. Chicken and leek soup is on the menu!
1:30pm to 3:30pm: After lunch, I spend a couple of hours making calls to new companies, in order to introduce our sourcing service. As each sourcing advisor aims to bring in eight to ten projects per week, it’s important that we continue to form relationships with new purchasing manufacturers. I demonstrate our online Drag, Drop, Source! facility to a number of key decision makers, who are all pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use.
3:30pm to 3:45pm: We take a second tea break.
3:45pm to 4:15pm: Project in! One of the buyers that I demonstrated to earlier has submitted their drawings online. I call her to give my thanks and to gather the necessary information we need to assist our members. This includes batch size and frequency, materials, finishes, required approvals and the deadline for suppliers to submit their quotation. Once I have this information, I pass it over to the production department, who put the enquiry together and send it out to our members.
4:15pm to 5:00pm: I dedicate the latter part of the day to researching new manufacturing companies online, who may not be on our database. Once I’ve found a new company, I call them to establish the purchasing contact, before adding them to our system and scheduling a full introductory call for the following day.
5:00pm to 5:30pm: As it can be very difficult to reach people on the phone after 5pm, I usually spend the last half an hour sending out emails to companies that have requested more information on our services. By structuring my day this way, it means I get the most out of my time, maximising the opportunities to speak directly with my purchasing contacts and engineering suppliers. We like to offer a consultative service which focuses on the strength of our business relationships – in order to ensure that this is successful, it’s crucial we are organised and efficient.
5:30pm: Home time, or should I say gym time!