Supply Chain Manager

  • 41 Waukegan Rd, Lake Bluff, IL 60044, USA
  • Full-time
  • FLSA Status: Exempt

Company Description

Buehler, a division of Illinois Tool Works, is a leading manufacturer of scientific equipment and supplies for use in material analysis.  Over the past 80+ years, Buehler has established sales, manufacturing and laboratory services located throughout North America, Europe and Asia.  Comprised of world-class products and brands, such as Wilson Hardness, Buehler continues a long history of providing market-leading technology to support our customers in their sample preparation and material analysis applications. 

Buehler’s parent company,  ITW, is a Fortune 200 global diversified industrial manufacturer of value-added consumables and specialty equipment with related service businesses. The Company focuses on profitable growth with strong returns across worldwide platforms and businesses. The businesses serve local customers and markets around the globe, with a significant presence in developed as well as emerging markets.

Job Description

This key position is responsible for the procurement, inventory management and sourcing strategies for the Consumable, Equipment and Hardness business units.  This individual will work with all functional areas to meet the goals and objectives of the business regarding cost, inventory planning and replenishment to meet customer demand, as well as supplier quality.

  • Lead and manage with a customer-first and supply chain excellence mentality
  • Ensure on-time delivery of high-quality products to our customers globally
  • Strategically manage inventory within ITW principles of operational excellence
  • Provides leadership and strategic guidance for successful execution and performance of the purchasing team
  • Provides coaching and training to promote professional development of the team
  • Develops a solid partnership with all business functions to manage supply chain and risk mitigation
  • Applies Project Management and Planning techniques to drive continuous improvement projects
  • Plan, recommend, justify, and manage annual operating budgets and financial targets in accordance with known operational needs, strategies, and objectives
  • Enhance efficiencies between functions and design personnel


  • Develops, manages, and executes Buehler's strategic sourcing initiatives in collaboration with the ITW’s Corporate Sourcing Team, and Buehler’s Purchasing, Quality and Engineering departments.
    • Sourcing strategies include but are not limited to: identification and approval of new suppliers, re-sourcing, yearly cost reduction, lead times reduction, consolidation of suppliers and localization and regional alignment with manufacturing and end markets.
  • Maintains knowledge and awareness of market changes in commodities to be purchased to ensure the availability of products/materials for manufacturing functions at competitive prices and within alternate sources of supply to meet production requirements of the plant.
  • Oversees the location, selection and development of new and necessary delivery time frames both domestically and internationally. Alternate sources of supply to meet production requirements of the plant.

Purchasing and Inventory Management

  • Leads the establishment and execution of Buehler’s Market Rate of Demand (MRD) program in collaboration with the Production Manager, Production Supervisors, Warehouse Managers and Buyers. This is a pull system based on kanban and two bin systems.
  • Defines and deploys a Supplier Management process incorporating inputs and feedback from the different functional areas involved, to generate a Supplier Performance scorecard to be revised with our most important Suppliers on a yearly basis and worst performing suppliers at least twice a year. Based on results, identifies high-risk vendors to consider re-sourcing and/or to define improvement action plans. Share results with ITW Corporate Sourcing Team.
  • Establishes and supervises a standardized supplier quality and on-time delivery performance monitoring program to support ongoing business unit performance goals.
  • Defines deploys and supervises process controls including cost savings/inflation, target inventory (MRD driven), inventory grading reduction, inventory accuracy, materials phase in/out, and financial impact analysis processes.
  • Define, deploy and supervise process controls to proactively communicate to Buehler’s Leadership Team the financial impact due to business decisions: risk buys, Engineering Changes, last time buys, end of life purchases, risk mitigation purchases, expedite costs, premiums, etc.
  • Oversees Buyers daily execution by implementing process controls to monitor: issuing, pulling in and pushing out POs in a timely manner. Monitor past due POs and POs due within the following two weeks to drive Supplier’s On Time Delivery (OTD), PO approvals, Slow and Obsolete (SLOB) controls, approval of Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) invoices, etc.
  • Supports escalations to resolve critical parts supply or quality issues, and proactively communicates related risks to Customer Service Team, Production and Buehler’s Leadership.
  • Leads continuous improvement projects based on ITW’s toolbox.
  • Promotes a high efficiency work environment and collaboration among all functional areas and regions within Buehler.

New Product Development

  • Identifies and assign Purchasing resources for all New Product Development projects and continuously monitor execution in order to keep all projects within budget and to achieve related milestones and timeliness expectations.



  • Minimum 5 years of Purchasing Management and/or Sourcing experience in a manufacturing setting, OR 7+ years of progressive experience within supply chain management, manufacturing of industrial products, and strategic sourcing
  • Bachelor’s degree in business or related area; Advanced degree or prior experience in a purchasing or operations role within an ITW division a plus
  • Excellent leadership & interpersonal communication skills
  • Results-focused, with a proven ability to drive continuous improvement and be an agent for change
  • Proven capabilities in project management and complex negotiations
  • Highly skilled in quantitative analysis and proficient in the use of Microsoft Excel
  • This position requires up to 15% domestic and international travel to supplier’s facilities, ITW divisions, customers, & Buehler international facilities
  • Proven ability to develop strong business relationships with key suppliers and experience in developing and executing long-term agreements.
  • Hands-on work experience with complex negotiations, problem-solving, strategic planning, and financial analysis

Additional Information

We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, protected Veteran status, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact us by email at [email protected] and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that only inquiries concerning a request for reasonable accommodation will be responded to from this e-mail address.

For more information about our commitment to equal employment opportunity, please click here.

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