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Category Sourcing Leader

Date: Aug 6, 2019

Location: US - MN - Eden Prairie, US

Company: MTS Systems

smart people.

smart ideas.

smart choice.


A thriving environment for learning, innovation and growth.


Why do so many people join MTS Systems Corporation and stay for a career? Because this is a place where you get to apply your creativity, work with smart people on fascinating projects, and make a positive impact on people’s lives. It is a place where you can learn, innovate and grow professionally.


Transforming what’s possible with cars, aircraft, bridges, wind turbines and space-age materials — this is work we dream about as kids. At MTS, it’s a rewarding career path for talented individuals who are willing to work hard, think hard, and commit to solving complex and critical challenges for our customers around the world, many of whom are leaders in their respective industries.


By joining MTS, you’ll have access to the latest tools and technologies, along with the support of colleagues who are passionate about their work. You’ll discover a dynamic culture of continuous improvement that extends to our people, one that offers numerous ways to expand your knowledge and advance your career. And because we are a global company, your work may also include world travel.


Our business is thriving. Our future is exciting. Your potential is unlimited.



Primary Objective:


Responsible for developing and implementing sourcing strategies that optimize business partnerships with strategic suppliers that drives required performance objectives in quality, delivery, and cost for assigned commodities. Direct responsibility for supplier selection, contract and price negotiations, supplier performance management, and problem resolution.


Major Areas of Accountability:

Develop, communicate, and execute commodity strategy throughout the organization by planning, organizing, and controlling strategic activities to provide a competitive advantage in best value, lead-time, service, quality, and technology


Locate, analyze and develop a consolidated best in class supplier base to meet current and future commodity needs. Focus on best value country, spend under contract, total landed cost or total cost ownership


Define an annual plan that consists of key project to support commodity strategy and gain support from stakeholders.  Responsible to track, communicate, and execute projects to plan


Provide commodity knowledge and market expertise for assigned commodity and continuously learn new technologies, processes, regions, and industry best practices


Understand and track the key input cost drivers and market factors for assigned commodities, provides countermeasure concepts, forecast, and maintain costing and “should be cost model”


Direct and lead the negotiation and management of contracts/agreements for assigned commodities with medium to high risk/complexity.  Assign, lead, provide direction, guidance, and coaching to the team on low to medium complexity negotiations


Provide escalation support to the procurement team for all major part(s) shortage(s) and continuity issues within your commodity base.  Develop, monitor and perform countermeasure plans and escalates to the Director of Global Sourcing prior to any major impacts on revenue


Define, train, and lead an RFX (RFI, RFP, RFQ) process for assigned products that delivers best value on high dollar items, critical parts, and large-scale quoting projects


Ensure relationship, development and management  with Key Supplier Leaderships including integrated strategic plans and on-going cross organization continuous improvement efforts through QBRs


Lead new Supplier Selection -to incorporate new technologies, strategic advantages, cost down, lead-time down, and prevent dispersion of spend to non-strategic and non-core value add needs. 


Strong communication skills and ensures alignment with product management, engineering, and operations teams as you are implement your commodity strategies.  Ensure you are delivering competitive enablers for our business by providing the highest performing and lowest total cost solutions in support of our commercial teams.


Manages assigned category portfolio and aggressively seeks opportunities for cost containment and/or improvement.  Develops performance metrics for the materials category. Benchmarks and utilizes best practices sourcing within the category portfolio. 


  1. Negotiates complex agreements with global suppliers that may include protection of IP, co-development, technology partnerships etc. Develop contingency plans to mitigate risk of non-performance of sole-sourced vendors. Additionally, negotiates blanket contracts to maximize savings over multiple years of spend, including performance clauses and all other terms and conditions.
  2. Develops category sourcing plans and leads resources in the identification of potential suppliers, requirements documentation, RFI and RFQs, bid and price analysis, negotiation and contract award and supplier performance management.
  3. Communicates category specific metrics, leading indicator data and external market factors that could impact cost and supply risk.
  4. Conducts periodic reviews of vendor performance and establishes goals for on-time delivery, quality, qualitative elements and cost reduction.   Establishes ensures completion of resulting action items.


Basic Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree in business, economics, supply chain or engineering and minimum 10+ years of increasing responsibilities in a custom or engineered-system manufacturing environment

Demonstrated experience in leadership and leading cross functional teams.

Strong business acumen and analytical capabilities.

Experience in at least 1-2 of the following commodities: fabrication, electronics, hydro/mechanical

Knowledge of quality management systems (ISO2000, AS9000, QS9000).

10-15% travel required.


Preferred Qualifications:

Experience with strategic sourcing processes and supplier performance management programs preferred.

Strong demonstrated experience with negotiations, influencing, project management and communications is preferred.

Advanced Excel and additional analytical software preferred.

Knowledge of SAP preferred.

Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt or Green Belt preferred

CPM, APICS or other supply chain management certifications preferred.


MTS Systems Corporation is An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, creed, gender, gender identification, sexual orientation, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, marital status or veteran status.



Nearest Major Market: Minneapolis

Job Segment: Engineer, ERP, Quality Manager, Lean Six Sigma, Supply, Engineering, Technology, Quality, Management, Operations