It is difficult to describe a typical day as Global Category Manager at Prodrive because every day is different with different challenges and opportunities. What I can say is that my day starts with a cup of coffee 😉.
When I started my career at Prodrive I was still a student finishing my master and at the same time working for a young and dynamic company. How many students can say that they have been doing negotiations of millions of euro’s while still finishing their master thesis. I think that exactly defines the mentality and work ethics of Prodrive. You get a change to take a dive in the deep and take responsibility over your own portfolio of suppliers.
After finishing my workday, it is so nice that Prodrive provides the facilities to do fitness. After and sometimes during work, I go to the gym for one hour to clear my head and be ready for the next opportunities that lie ahead.
Category manager profile
Pros and cons
As the current process representative for the US supply chain, my story is a unique one. I began my Prodrive Technologies career as our first ever marketing employee, and I quickly helped to establish outbound marketing activities. However, as the 2nd US employee in such a new venture, the need arose for someone to establish our local supply chain. With a strong background of business acumen and a vision for the tremendous opportunity that is Prodrive Technologies’ US headquarters, I happily took the opportunity. Now, I primarily spend each day taking another step to building and fortifying our supply chain.
My workdays typically start with alignment calls between myself and the various global category managers in the Netherlands. This allows us to align the global supply chain strategy as I work to develop our supply base in the US. Once we have defined the respective strategies, I then work with our US suppliers to source the product components for our production orders and source the ancillary materials we need to establish and run our US facility. This involves evaluating potential suppliers, negotiating pricing, managing lead times, and developing existing supplier relationships. I also work with our planning team to receive customer orders and create and adjust corresponding production orders. This all cumulates into my continuous support of the newly established US headquarters. The strong culture and workplace environment here is something that truly motivates me and creates a very rewarding and ultimately fun place to work.
Being responsible for managing the US supply chain at just 23 years old is an incredibly rewarding experience
Pros and cons
In my role as Global Category Manager I am responsible for the partnerships with Digital and Analog silicon manufacturers. These are large companies, so the challenge is to find the right ingredients to build a strong collaboration, which is needed to beat the strong competition we face in the different markets we are in. “Purchasing starts with Selling”: To get the right level of support and conditions for Prodrive, silicon manufacturers need to understand who we are as Prodrive and what our potential is. I can use 20 years of experience at Prodrive to finetune the message on our potential on Technology and Innovation, Competitiveness, Production Automation, and more.
A significant amount of my time is working together with our internal Product Programs and Development Teams. We will define the requirements and needs, and take this to the silicon-manufacturers to choose and negotiate the right components for our developments. I will use these choices to gradually grow the business with the right partners. Prodrive is giving me a responsibility and freedom to operate, which creates a challenging and motivating environment for me to work in. Due to the growing and dynamic nature of our company, my work remains interesting and rewarding.
Purchasing starts with Selling
Pros and cons
I like to start my days early with a hot cup of tea. In the morning, I go through my mailbox, release the orders from the day before and prioritize my work for the day. My schedule is very dynamic. Some days it is filled with conference calls and meetings and other days I mostly work at my desk.
When I have meetings. I prepare them before-hand and align with my colleagues when needed. Manufacturers often visit to promote their portfolio, discuss ongoing projects, discuss contracting agreements, negotiate on component packages, etc.
Prodrive Technologies aims to make their own power modules, where I am responsible for sourcing the bare dies. Together with the design team, I often have technical meetings with different manufacturers who can provide these dies to us, as well as manufacturers who can provide more knowledge about the processes of sintering, wire bonding, qualification, etc.
On other days, I am in my office following up on emails, placing orders, going through the missing parts lists or preparing RFQs for project proposals. Meanwhile, I try to improve my Dutch by practicing with my colleagues.
Before closing my laptop, I go through my to-do list and check what I have done during the day. I like to close off with an hour at the gym or a yoga class and then drive home.
Everyday challenges that lead to personal and professional growth
Category manager profile
Pros and cons
You don’t just go to work, you feel responsible for your project
You decide when, where and how much you want to work
You like to think about manufacturability when designing
You don’t sit and wait, you have a hands-on mentality
- Perfect environment for people willing to take full responsibility in a project
- Unlimited growth opportunities and freedom in taking different roles in different projects
- Young and dynamic culture
- Unlimited personal budget for training courses, classes or studies
- We keep management positions to a minimum, so there is virtually no hierarchy
- We are open 24/7 and provide lunch, dinner and a company gym
- Create your future with your own personal development plan
- Tools and equipment such as an iPhone, iPad and laptop
- The flexibility to work wherever and how much you want
- Salary that grows with your performance
- Opportunity to become a shareholder and entrepreneur in the company
- Travel allowance based on the days you are actually at Prodrive
- Distribution of profits
- We’ll take a look at your application
- Aptitude test
- Employment conditions