Working with purchasing at Scania is all about ensuring the high quality of all aspects of end-products and profitability for the company. It’s a dynamic and international workplace with an emphasis on quality, sustainability and good business skills.
Purchasing accounts for three-quarters of Scania’s truck manufacturing costs. That’s a huge amount, but it also offers significant opportunities to make lots of good deals internationally. The company’s suppliers are based all over the world, including Brazil and China, and of course in Sweden.
At Scania South in Södertälje, a group of students from Linköping University has been invited to a VIP day at Scania Purchasing. One of the many things the students learn about during the day is the scale and importance of purchasing at Scania. The event was hosted by HR Business Partner Annette Persson, and during the day the students also had a taste of what it’s really like to work in purchasing using a real-life case study. Their task was to negotiate a three-year supplier agreement.
“Purchasing is about concluding good agreements that benefit both Scania and our suppliers in terms of sustainability, quality and price. The students did well and everyone succeeded in negotiating a new agreement, but in different ways. There’s no right or wrong here,” says Annette Persson.
Combining technology and business
For Scania, it’s important to attract talented and motivated students from universities. A VIP day for students allows them to focus on purchasing as a dynamic and stimulating workplace.
“It provides an outlet for people’s business acumen. The combination of technology and business isn’t something that all students have thought about, but it interests a lot of them,” says Annette Persson.
Daan Kabel is 22 and studying Industrial Management at Linköping University. He has found the day really interesting and gained a good understanding of Scania and purchasing. He also thinks it would be interesting to work at a company that is at the forefront of areas such as sustainability.
“Purchasing’s interesting as it combines the technical side with the human aspect in negotiations and cooperating with suppliers,” says Daan Kabel.
Daan is most interested in quality management within purchasing. It’s an important role in the material groups in which work is undertaken, known as ‘3 ring’. It involves a team of three people with two purchasers and one quality engineer who ensures the quality side of things.
Elin Wiksten is 23 and studying Industrial Management at Linköping University. In contrast to Daan, Elin is more interested in the role of purchaser. Elin was particularly taken with the presentation given by experienced purchaser Emelie Ernstsson.
“It was great to hear that the role of purchaser is so diverse and that the work is usually very varied and requires you to find creative solutions,” she says.
Elin is also interested in the business side and likes the negotiation aspect, where you sometimes need to be a bit bold.
“But the most interesting thing seems to be working together with partners to create sustainable, long-term business relationships,” says Elin Wiksten.
Stepping stone to a dream job
Annette Persson is pleased the students have gained a good understanding of Scania and Purchasing. She says there are real opportunities for them to get their first job which could lead to an interesting international career in purchasing or other areas of Scania.
“It’s a really dynamic workplace with an interest in developments to meet future needs,” says Annette Persson.