Purchasing Apprentice

Marden, Tonbridge
£10,000 per annum
12 Apr 2018
10 May 2018
Job Level
Contract Type
Full Time

Employer Description

Our operations have been taking place on the site in Kent since 1992, and is home to our support functions including, Purchasing & Supply Chain, Product Management, Finance, IT, HR, Marketing and our Customer Care and Contact centre.

We place a lot of importance on maintaining an enjoyable environment for our employees. We provide an onsite canteen with outdoor seating and a duck pond where there is plenty of space to get some fresh air.

Description of vacancy

To assist with the maintenance and performance improvement of bilstein group product ranges through proactive management of existing items and ensuring that our supplier portfolio allows us to introduce new items in line with the defined Purchasing strategy.

The apprentice will work with Operative Buyers and over time learn how to ensure the most suitable range and depth of products are available to our customers and that they are tailored commercially where appropriate for individual markets across the world.

The Purchasing Apprentice will be expected to gain knowledge in assigned product groups from a commercial perspective within the company.  They will also gain an understanding, over time, of other product groups within the Purchasing team.  They may also, on occasion, assist the team with the implementation of strategies for bilstein group brands.

The Purchasing Apprentice will be offered the opportunity to attend in supplier meetings.


1. Maintain and improve Supplier relationships & Strategy

The job holder will work with both existing and new bilstein group suppliers to ensure that the product ranges within their remit are sourced to meet the agreed product group Purchasing strategy.

The job holder will update and collate the ECE R90 master information ensuring clarity and accuracy within the data and workflow.

This will involve regular liaison and communication both internally within the bilstein group and externally with suppliers across the world.

2. Purchasing Commercial awareness

The job holder will work with Operative Buyers in the analysis of margin and supplier performance of the product group / supplier assigned to them.

This will include collation and analysis of data as specified by supplier or product type. This will require periodic reviews of both new and existing suppliers to ensure that business requirements laid out the Purchasing strategy are being met and where they are not met, to work with the Operative Buyer to formulate a ‘Competitive Purchasing’ solution.

3. Market & Competitor Knowledge

The Purchasing Apprentice will gain an understanding of the trading markets and direct competitors for assigned product groups within those markets.

This will include an overview of comparable competitor range content, product execution and price position.

4. Product & Range Knowledge

The Apprentice will learn to maintain a product function and gain understanding of production techniques for their assigned product groups.

They may need to keep in regular contact with counterpart(s) within the bilstein group to ensure clear communication and sharing of experience and knowledge.

The Apprentice will take part in both internal and external training, which may also include visits to production factories both in the UK and internationally.

5. Support

To support and assist colleagues from their own and other teams, where applicable, with tasks such as the following but not limited to:

  • Maintenance of existing supplier commercial relationships
  • The investigation of potential commercial improvements
  • Supplier and trade show visits including international travel.
  • Product and technical training internally and internationally.
  • Patent awareness
  • Warranty issues and concerns
  • OE sample management support

6. Health & Safety

All staff have a duty to take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions at work.  Staff must co-operate, report unsafe conditions and comply with the company Health & Safety policies and procedures, company management systems and safe systems of work


£10,000 per annum


Monday to Friday 9am – 5.30pm

37.5 Hours Per Week

2 x 15 min paid breaks daily

1 x 1Hr Lunch Break (unpaid)

Skills Required

  • Dynamic and energetic, with a positive outlook.
  • Results orientated and has a natural ambition to succeed.
  • Adaptable with a sense of urgency to tasks, reliable and accurate with the ability to forge relationships quickly.
  • Good organisational and analytical skills.
  • Intermediate level excel skills

Personal Qualities

  • An interest in automotive or car maintenance
  • Conscientious and self-motivated
  • Team player
  • Good communication both verbal and written
  • Adaptability

Qualifications Required

Minimum achieved Grade D or equivalent in English and Maths.

Training Provided

On the job training with the employer whilst working towards the Apprenticeship Framework - consisting of the Intermediate NVQ Level, Technical Certificate and Functional Skills if appropriate.

Regular work based assessments/observations carried out by Kent Training & Apprenticeships Tutor Assessor, to determine competency and meet with Awarding Body standards.

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