01 September 2008 | Paul Snell
A student working on a placement at global silicone producer Dow Corning has saved the firm around $370,000 (£201,000).
Gareth Davies, a 21-year-old student currently studying purchasing and supply chain management at the University of Glamorgan, spent a year at the company in Barry, Wales, as part of his degree.
Having been delegated a number of sourcing tasks as part of the role, he renegotiated a variety of contracts making savings worth around 20 per cent.
Emma Phillips, supply manager at the firm, said: "Procurement has a primary role in delivering the best value for raw materials, goods and services.
"Gareth has made a very positive contribution to delivering value and reducing costs to the internal customers and the company as a whole."
And Davies does not believe his youth was a barrier to making the savings: "A lot of negotiation was over the phone or via e-mail, so I don't think being so young really had any influence on it. You just have to take the right approach to get the right deal, using the right tool in the right circumstance."
Dow Corning has offered Davies a part-time role of 24 hours a week, starting in October, that he can carry out at the same time as completing his degree.