Smiths reorganises for Rolls-Royce supply deal

22 September 2004
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23 September 2004 | Sam Fortescue

Aircraft systems manufacturer Smiths Aerospace Components has reorganised its purchasing department and created three new category manager positions.

Craig Pilling has been taken on as a sealing systems engineer from a similar position at John Crane.

Drew Robertson has joined as purchasing manager for shop-floor operational support.

He was previously supply chain manager at Carlisle Life Sciences, which develops and builds isolation equipment for hazardous materials.

The position of manager for bought-out and finished goods has yet to be filled.

Dominic Lee, taken on in April as supply chain manager to head the Burnley-based team, described the shake-up as a necessary response to a deal struck with Rolls-Royce last year.

It will transform Smiths' procurement away from commodity-based buying into a first-tier integrator role, in which it is taking over the management for parts of Rolls-Royce's supply chain.

"It is a real opportunity in terms of supply chain management as we are in some ways starting from a blank sheet of paper", said Lee.

"With this contract we will grow over the next three years by 60-70 per cent."

The contract with Rolls-Royce has been agreed for an initial period of five years.

Lee said the first task would be to re-examine the supply chain, so that Smiths only deals directly with a handful of companies.

Including the Rolls-Royce deal, Lee and his team will now be responsible for buying goods and machine components worth around £20 million a year.

He is also planning to introduce new electronic resource planning systems to cut purchasing bottlenecks.


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