Q: Tell me about your job
A: I’m the Senior Buyer for Linetec. I’m responsible for the daily procurement of the materials Linetec needs to do business – from both a tactical and strategic standpoint. I spend a good portion of my day in the tactical role, which include helping solve problems with the Linetec team, responding to internal purchase requisitions by our ERP system and by our associates to order materials, analyzing data on consumption of materials, and working with our vendors to ensure that purchase orders come in on time and complete to support our operations. The rest of my day, I’m in the strategic mode – working closely with the Linetec Sales and Operations team along with our vendors to strengthen our supply chains. Some of the strategic tasks that I work on include: negotiating purchase contracts, researching different avenues of supply, preparing RFQs and RFPs, and analyzing our supply chains to identify risks and mitigate them.
Q: What did you do prior to Linetec?
A: I worked for a local company in Central Wisconsin for almost 12 years that specialized in component building systems for residential housing. We could take almost any set of blueprints and design the floor, wall and roof system in components that were built in a factory and then assembled together on the jobsite. I held a number of positions with that company including drafter, structural technician, estimator, inside sales manager, production scheduling manager, field operations and logistics, and ultimately, procurement and supply chain management.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: The feeling of accomplishment when Purchasing assists the Linetec team in getting the job done. Working alongside such a great team of employees is very fulfilling and I’m proud to be able to support them in my role.
Q: What poses the biggest challenges for you?
A: The speed at which Linetec operates is second to none. As such, a major challenge for procurement is to make sure that we align with vendor partners who can provide us with high-quality products with short lead-times. We have a great group of vendors who have a deep understanding of Linetec’s operating environment – and we’ve developed very solid partner-based relationships with them. We can count on our vendors to get us what we need when we need it for our customers.
Q: Is there anything new that purchasing has brought to Linetec lately?
A: To speed up the service to our associates and our customers, Purchasing has pursued services that promote speed of transactions. In the past, the time between submitting a purchase requisition, placing a purchase order and delivery of that order could’ve taken 24-48 hours – or more. We now have a large number of vending machine on our shop floors that put tools, PPE and other production consumables at our associates’ fingertips – at the point of use. We also have increased the type and amount of vendor-managed inventory (VMI) and consignment inventory on our floors to ensure that our team has what they need whenever they need it. QR-coded supply bins and apps on mobile devices allow people to reorder supplies whenever they need them. We are even investigating RFID-controlled inventory lots to allow our vendors to quickly identify inventory on the floor and actively manage their production level to ensure Linetec’s supply.
Q: What is something you are looking forward to?
A: This summer! My wife Andrea and I just purchased property in the country on which we are planning to build a new home this year. I grew up on a family dairy farm in the country, but moved into the city when Andrea and I were married. We’ve lived in the city now for almost 14 years. We are excited to move back out into the country!
Q: What is something people don’t know about you?
A: I enjoy running and ran four half-marathons in three months last year. I’m planning another couple half marathons this year. I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself to do something that just seems almost impossible to do. My dad and I also dig the graves for our church.
Q: If Linetec gave you a surprise three day paid break to rest and recuperate, what would you do with those three days?
A: My family and I enjoy camping and traveling immensely. We’d probably hook up the camper and take the time to go to Door County, WI. We would enjoy the area by hiking the great state parks there, some wine tasting and having some fun around the campfire.
Q: What always cheers you up when you think about it?
A: My kids! My son John is 9 years old, and my daughters Arianna and Ava are 7 and 5 respectively. They have great personalities and make me smile every time I think about them.