Assistant Manager, Purchasing


Job Reference: PUR 2
Shift Pattern: Days
Location: Millbrook, Bedfordshire, MK45 2JQ


UTAC is a market-leading group in vehicle testing, type approval and emerging technologies for autonomous, connected and electric vehicles. We provide services and systems to customers in the automotive, transport, tyre, petrochemical and defence industries.

We deliver regulation and homologation support, specialist vehicle conversions and test systems as well as training, consulting, audit and certification, technical inspection, standardisation and events.

We operate 8 test centres across France, the UK, the USA and Northern Finland, with a 9th due to open in Morocco in early 2022. We have subsidiaries in Russia, China, Japan and Germany and employ 1280 people globally.

Reporting to: Purchasing and Supply Chain Manager

The Assistant Purchasing Manager will have a high level of responsibility, with emphasis on supporting key business units on a day-to-day basis.  There will also be broader responsibilities across the organisation to lead sourcing activities, which will typically be time sensitive, complex and high-value.  Purchasing KPIs are used to drive operational performance, priorities and behaviors of the team.  These generally focus on supplier savings, supplier development and our ability to support the organisation in a timely manner. 

The Purchasing team are currently going through a degree of transformation following the merger in 2021.  This will generate a greater Group global emphasis through aligned processes, suppliers, local Purchasing resources (in a number of countries) and improved collaboration.

The candidate will gain a detailed understanding of purchasing best practices, with particular focus on competitive tendering, negotiation practices and the development of the supply chain.  The experience should also give valuable insights into behaviours and practices of a Medium to Large sized Enterprise as well as a detailed and interesting understanding of the Automotive Industry.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Sourcing of goods/services through sometimes extensive and complex negotiations with UK and overseas suppliers, whilst meeting the needs of the business
  • Developing existing and new supply chain opportunities
  • Supporting with the implementation of the recently developed Global Purchasing process
  • Strong expertise and guidance to stakeholders, with particular focus on the UK
  • Conversing well with the Purchasing team located in France and the UK
  • Analysing quotes to identify the optimum position for UTAC and making sourcing recommendations as appropriate. Implementing new agreements ensuring all financial, quality and delivery considerations have been achieved
  • Conducting stakeholder reviews across the business to drive the delivery of purchasing projects, with the supply chain
  • Becoming competent with the procurement systems (internal procedures and ERP are both going through a period of change)
  • Managing Requests for Quotations (RFQ)
  • Continued development of new processes to industry best practices
  • Assist with the development and support of key Purchasing strategies
  • Analytical support, preparing and working to key metrics to drive operational performance
  • Supplier audits with focus on Business Continuity, IT Security etc.
  • Developing and working to saving targets/strategies (across all purchasing categories)
  • Understanding and awareness of contractual terminology to mitigate risk, and implementing new supplier agreements
  • Support and coaching of junior team
  • Act in accordance with the behaviours for UTAC colleagues at all times

Person Specification

  • CIPS or Degree level qualification in a business related field are desirable
Core competencies:
  • Experience within a similar senior buying or assistant manager role, with a minimum of 3 years’ experience
  • Knowledge of the automotive industry, although not essential
  • Knowledge of logistics industry, although not essential
Advantageous Qualities:
  • Confident communicator at all levels
  • Fluent in English language, with skills in French an advantage, although not essential
  • Team player
  • Analysing cost data and commercial advantages
  • Analytical skills
  • Negotiating skills
  • Managing difficult conversations
  • Financially literate
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office applications
  • Strong verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Strong organisational, analytical and problem solving skills
Personal Behaviours:
  • Dynamic individual, keen to excel in the role and organisation
  • Works well as part of a small team
  • Uses own initiative and works well without supervision
  • Willingness to learn
  • Methodical
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • Problem solver
  • Highly motivated team player
  • Customer focussed
  • High level of confidentiality and integrity
  • Flexibility to travel as and when required
  • Full UK driving licence and own transport (UTAC is not easily assessable via public transport)
  • SC clearance or ability to achieve this (UK national with residency in the UK for the last 5 years)
  • Willing to undergo a Criminal Disclosure check
  • NOTE: This position be will based on site (at Bedford), with the potential opportunity for some remote working

To apply please email your cover letter and CV to