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18 April 2012 | Adam Leach
Eriez Magnetics Europe has hired Mike Thomas as its first procurement and materials manager.
Thomas, who has held senior procurement roles at builder Balfour Beatty, diversified business NG Bailey and gained international project management experience in China, will work out of the company’s office in Wales. Among the products manufactured by Eriez are industrial metal detectors and superconducting magnets.
In his new role, he will manage the purchasing of materials and develop a system for effective stock control, and also work on the wider development of the business as part of the senior management team.
In an interview with SM, he explained during his first three weeks he has already seen the high importance the company’s clients give to procurement and cost control. “I’ve been brought into client meetings and conversations. We’re getting asked regularly about our product mix and what can be leveraged from a global level in order to cater to demand and maximise our leverage power,” he said.
Thomas added he was looking forward to the challenges presented by working for a smaller business, which has a turnover of around £20 million, having previously worked on large-scale projects worth more than £1 billion.
He believes the size enables the procurement team to be more agile, dependent on the demands of the client. “When the client changes their needs, it’s being able to be flexible to that and a smaller company is far more adaptable and agile in terms of meeting those changes,” he added.
And the cost saving aspect is just as important, if not more so in his new position. “A pound for Eriez Magnetics Europe in Wales is sometimes more important than for a large scale blue-chip organisation.”