Procurement Specialist

Date: Feb 13, 2019

Location: Ames, IA, US

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Requisition ID: PRO018751

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck Manufacturing Division, MMD, is a team of dedicated, energetic individuals who are committed to being the most trusted supplier of pharmaceuticals and health products worldwide. Our facilities, along with our external contractors, suppliers, and partners, comprise an interdependent global manufacturing network that’s committed to delivering a compliant, reliable supply to customers and patients on time, every time, across the globe. 

The Procurement Specialist position is available at the Merck Animal Health facility in Ames, Iowa.  The Ames facility is expanding operations to manufacture vaccines for large and companion animals. The site leverages its dynamic, innovative team and a novel technology platform for the production of RNA-based vaccines.

  1. Site Stakeholder Engagement & Project Management – understand stakeholder requirements in relation to establishing supply strategy and proactive mitigation of supply risk/issues. Participation in site Tier meetings. Lead Stakeholder engagement meetings. Schedule routine reviews. Be able to translate Stakeholder requirements into tangible business results and manage these projects. 
  2. Relationship Management - Work with Business representatives, Legal and other stakeholders, to develop requirements. Conduct Relationship Management meetings with Key and Active suppliers. Manage Supplier Performance levels. 
  3. Sourcing – to create and execute Requests For Information and Requests For Proposals together with subsequent structured information analysis, ensuring all Business Requirements are captured. Lead the assessment of all proposals using predefined criteria derived from the Business Requirements.  Ensure Stakeholders are aligned with Assessments and Outcome.
  4. Negotiation Planning and Execution – create detailed pre-negotiation plans, to lead and participate any prolonged negotiation sessions with suppliers and to conduct post negotiation debriefs and follow through plans. Drive negotiations to deliver the most value for the business. 
  5. Contract Management – to prepare and implement appropriate forms of contract and commitment with suppliers. Liaise with corporate Legal as needed for review of contract clause. Lead all term negotiations. Candidate will have a strong understanding of contract language and legal positions.
  6. Supplier Performance Management – to ensure that appropriate supplier agreements and relationships have good supplier metrics embedded within them.  Monitor, report, manage and continuously improve supplier performance using OTIF metrics and supplier assessment requirements. Drive innovation with Key Suppliers and help facilitate Quality Agreements. Conduct meetings with a routine cadence. 
  7. Sharing of Learnings – Being able to work cross functionally within the Site Team, Regional Team and across Categories and Regions to share best practices where applicable. 
  8. Policy Adherence – Ensure that all procurement is carried out in an ethical and controlled manner in line with procurement policy and procedures. Assist with the ongoing review of Procurement practices and procedures in conjunction with the Regional Team. Be able to interpret and enforce policy adherence for stakeholders and supply base.
  9. Drive Cost Savings – Identify, Track and Deliver cost reduction opportunities; focusing on the accuracy of delivery. Have an understanding of standard costs and cost setting process. Be able to manage Purchase Price Variance for the site and track as a component of cost reduction. Manage approvals for cost reduction initiatives with Stakeholder Management and Finance.  
  10. Improve Working Capital - Identify Track and Deliver working capital improvement opportunities, including payment terms monitoring and assistance in inventory reduction programs.
  11. Replenishment & Escalation– Work with planning to replenish raw materials for site production needs.  Communicate any raw material shortages or problems to stakeholders as well as mitigation plans.  Serve as first escalation contact at the site for any procurement problems or issues.  Routinely work with master data in SAP to ensure accuracy.
  12. Strategy Development/Implementation: Utilize SMP and other tools and techniques to create strategies that deliver quick wins and generate legitimate business value for assigned sub-category(s).  
  13. Diversity: Actively supports diversity, both within Merck as well as expanding relationships and spend with Diverse Suppliers.

Category Team Membership – to be an active member of one or more category teams using the techniques and content created in 1) to 10) above as input in the creation of breakthrough strategies. Be able to lead Local/Regional Category Strategies or subsets of Global Category Strategies with assistance from the Center of Excellence (COE).

Other duties may include:

  1. Supplier and Supply Market Analysis – to conduct a detailed supplier and supply market analysis looking at facts and data analysis, reports and changes in technology and with the objective of providing deep and meaningful insight to Sourcing Management teams. Manage 3rd Party Market Intelligence Service Provider through the development of clear scopes of work and ensuring accurate and timely deliverables
  2. Cost Modeling – in some instances construct detailed cost models/purchase price analysis of goods and services that are supplied to Merck, typically this will require supplier visits to create a complete understanding of the cost structure of suppliers. 
  3. Strategic Analysis – to conduct project analysis which turns the information gathered from 1) and 2) above into insightful, well-structured breakthrough options and opportunities.  Examples include Portfolio Analysis, Supplier Preferencing and Day One Sourcing.


Education Minimum Requirement: 

  • Education:  4 year accredited degree program preferred (work experience in field evaluated in lieu of Degree)

Required Experience and Skills: 

  • Experience:  5-7 years’ experience of procurement and commerce
  • Must be capable of prioritizing and multi-tasking, while working to an agreed schedule and deadlines. 
  • Must have a flexible approach to workload 
  • Must be self-motivated and be able to work both individually or as part of a team 

Preferred Experience and Skills: 

  • Other purchasing qualification preferred, i.e. CPM, CIPS.
  • Demonstrate strong negotiation/commercial skills
  • Knowledge of SAP
  • Microsoft Office Suite, especially excel for data analysis

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 


If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to


Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully: 

Merck & Co., Inc. is not accepting unsolicited assistance from search firms for this employment opportunity.  Please, no phone calls or emails.  All resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at Merck via email, the Internet or in any form and/or method without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of Merck.  No fee will be paid in the event the candidate is hired by Merck as a result of the referral or through other means.


Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.


For more information about personal rights under Equal Employment Opportunity, visit:


            EEOC Poster

            EEOC GINA Supplement 

          OFCCP EEO Supplement

Merck is an equal opportunity employer, Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran – proudly embracing diversity in all of it’s manifestations.

Job: Procurement Generic
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 10 % of the Time
Number of Openings: 1
Shift (if applicable): 1st
Hazardous Materials: No
Company Trade Name: Merck

Nearest Major Market: Ames
Nearest Secondary Market: Des Moines

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