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Senior Purchaser Planner

  • Thorlabs
  • Sterling, VA, USA
  • Sep 06, 2022
Full time Customer Service Engineering General Business Manufacturing Purchasing-Procurement

Job Description

The Senior Purchaser Planner will be responsible for, but not limited to, Managing the Supply Chain and Inventory and Production Scheduling functions for the Virginia Scientific Imaging Systems Group and Machine shop by:

  • Working with operations, manufacturing, Engineering R&D, internal sales, and overseas offices
  • Negotiating prices, establishing lead times and purchasing products,
  • Planning, scheduling of machine shop and inventory management.

The successful candidate will also work with our overseas office staff to place and follow-up on all orders and verify and communicate to our internal and external sales team any manufacturing and shipping delays. Other tasks of the planning/purchasing position will include project work to reduce costs and improve processes as well as on ongoing vendor evaluations in accordance to ISO 9001 requirements.


Essential Job Functions include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Key Purchasing and Planning tasks:
    • Use the Microsoft Axapta Dynamics MRP computer system to purchase and plan all products
    • Use Power BI reports to develop metrics to be able to ensure good on time delivery of products and reduce zero stock SKUs
    • Develop daily purchasing, expediting, date and data management
    • Produce daily planning scheduling/ re-scheduling/ date and data management
    • Release, monitor and close work orders to support the build plan and open sales orders
    • Generate purchasing requirements to ensure timely fulfillment of customer orders
    • Generate, monitor, close and control production orders for machine shop.
    • Schedule the availability of sufficient parts necessary to ensure the timely, uninterrupted flow of manufacturing processes and schedules
    • Develop a plan and schedule to ensure the efficient and continual performance of manufacturing cell production
    • Product Availability and Lead Time calculation
  • Key Document control tasks:
    • Manage the data entry, document revision and control in TECM. Assist in positioning Engineering Change Orders (ECO) with proper ECO classification and including all products affected by the changes.
    • Responsible for reviewing MRP Item Master fields and settings, electronically filing drawings, assembly instructions and miscellaneous engineering paperwork.
    • Collecting and maintaining files of the latest revision level documentation necessary to process initial releases, corrections, and revisions to accurately control manufacturing processes.
  • Initiates and participates in purchasing improvement and cost reduction programs
  • Generate special and periodic reports as required or directed
  • Inventory Control and Inventory Planning (Safety Stock, forecast, build/order size)
  • Vendor Relationship Management




  • Minimum of 3 years' experience as a Purchaser or Planner in a
  • manufacturing and product development environment
  • Mastery of ERP system (SAP, Microsoft Axapta Dynamics preferred)
  • Advanced Microsoft Excel skills (pivot tables, formulas, v-lookups, macros)
  • Experience working both independently and with a team in an efficient and effective manner
  • Sense of ownership, initiative and the determination to continually improve
  • Proven record of and demonstrable both internal and external customer centricity



  • Associates degree, Bachelor's degree preferred, in business or related field. A technical degree or equivalent experience may be substituted
  • APICS certification preferred


Specialized Knowledge and Skills:

  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Excel
  • Strong Inventory planning skills (Understanding of safety stock, forecasting, and made-to-order products)
  • Strong understanding of how a product moves through an ERP system
  • Strong knowledge of transaction processing
  • Quickly resolve critical material shortages
  • Strong ability to understand the capacity of production teams and accurately calculate lead times and production bottlenecks
  • Strong ability to distribute orders in a timely manner
  • Knowledge and understanding of BOMs and how they impact the forecast,
  • purchase, and manufacturing requirements
  • Understanding of product pricing and the ability to analyze costs against the
  • profit margin
  • Strong knowledge of supply risk analysis/contingency planning
  • BOM generation and maintenance
  • Version and Revision Control
  • Item & Order set-up
  • New product set-up
  • Aligning documentation and drawings to orders
  • Strong ability to manipulate and analyze data
  • Strong ability to build and manage all aspects of vendor relationships
  • Experience in Document and Data Control
  • Strong math, logic and analytical skills.



  • Strong sense of ownership
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Strong ability to work well in a group atmosphere, and comply with high quality standards.
  • Strong ability to shift from one task to another to address changing production priorities.
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Ability to anticipate the obstacles and contributing factors that may affect a
  • situation.
  • Ability to think about reasons and causes and to evaluate all factors that may affect a situation and to perform root cause analysis
  • Strong ability to interface with Engineering, production and marketing departments
  • Ability to interact with individuals at all levels of an organization
  • Strong conflict resolution management skills.
  • Highly flexible and able to quickly adapt to process changes.
  • Ability to negotiate and expedite contracts of orders as needed


Thorlabs values its diverse environment and is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified individuals will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. Job descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts. The organization maintains its status as an at-will employer. Employees can be terminated for any reason not prohibited by law.