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  • Grant and Research Focused Strategic Sourcing Purchasing Agent

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

    Under the oversight of the Director of Procurement Services, with dotted line reporting to the Director, Office of Sponsored Research Administration, this position will work in partnership with the Procurement Team to be the first point of contact for grant and research related procurement at the University. This position is responsible for providing effective customer service for all internal customers by utilizing acquired knowledge of University and Procurement policies and procedures.

    This position interacts primarily with research faculty to provide information in response to questions and concerns in person, by phone and email. Expert communication and listening skills are a necessity. By listening effectively to find the root cause of issues, and communicating in a clear and approachable way, this position will resolve issues and provide a positive customer experience in a timely manner. Stellar customer service is essential and expected.

    This position will meet the daily needs of the University by processing daily purchase requisitions, purchase orders, and bids with a primary focus on grant and research related purchases. This position will also work with the Procurement team in identifying those areas of spend that would benefit from strategic sourcing. Duties include projects and issues of medium to high complexity that require demonstrated knowledge across multiple technical areas and business segments of University policies, procurement policies under the Uniform Guidance (2CFR part 200) Standards, and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs).

    The Strategic Sourcing Purchasing Agent will ensure compliance based on University policies and regulatory guidelines. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of strategic analysis, negotiation, and cost management with increasing level of responsibility. The position will require the ability to work with the other team members and the University community to ensure a spirit of college-wide collaboration and teamwork. Furthermore, the ability to work independently on complex projects and exercise sound judgment while meeting tight deadlines is essential.

    This new position provides the opportunity to improve processes and meet the changing needs of the University by focusing on the following:
    Provide consulting and guidance to research faculty members for purchasing related to grant and contract proposals
    Identify purchases which require interdepartmental coordination and ensure that grant and contract proposals include total cost of ownership and comply with University policies and practices
    Take the lead in reviewing and processing purchase requisitions on a daily basis
    Work as part of the bid team with the solicitation process for commodities and services by conducting bid openings, pre-proposal meetings and evaluating the responses for a successful outcome
    Work with the Directors of Procurement and Sponsored Research in developing and implementing strategic purchasing plans and strategic sourcing processes to further enhance the bid process and efficiently drive spend with a focus on grants and contracts
    Work in a consulting role with various departments within the University to understand their needs and provide guidance on purchasing best practices and sourcing methods
    Identify, track and measure cost containment and other sourcing metrics to support management decision making
    Perform analysis to identify opportunities to consolidate purchases and leverage University wide spending, identifying those goods and services that would benefit from a strategic bid process
    Recommend changes in processes to provide efficiency and enable IT solutions to automate manual tasks and streamline processes
    Note that while the skill sets shown below are intended to be an example, they are not intended to be all-inclusive as other duties will be assigned.
    Skill Set:

    Exhibit strong negotiation skills, analytical ability, good judgment and strong operational focus
    Knowledge of procurement standards under the Uniform Guidance and of FARs (shown in qualifications)
    Knowledge of supply chain and/or procurement functions and procedures
    Strong verbal and written communication skills to foster open communication and promote positive relationships
    Proven track record of excellent customer service to internal and external customers
    Ability to maintain work priorities in an environment with multiple concurrent tasks and projects while meeting deadlines with minimum supervision
    Proven ability to be proactive and take initiative in day-to-day activities in order to implement process improvements
    Proficient in Microsoft Office, including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
    Proficiency with procurement tracking tools systems, with ability to create complex spreadsheets
    Ability to handle confidential information with discretion
    Ability to work within a budget
    Ability to learn quickly and move on from both success and failure
    Ability to handle stressful situations - a positive attitude is essential
    Ability to provide timely feedback to management regarding challenges or concerns
    Ability to work in an organized manner and consistently follow-up on tasks
    Ability to accept responsibility and ownership for decisions, actions and outcomes
    Ability to work with the Office of Sponsored Research Administration, the Budget Office and the Controller’s Office on payment/process issues
    Ability to listen, document, and help resolve conflicts with patience and minimal guidance
    Ability to document the patterns and queries that may indicate a larger problem, and the ability to work toward resolution
    Problem-solving skills
    Ability to think under pressure


    Required Qualifications:
    Bachelor's degree required
    3 or more years of experience in procurement or strategic sourcing required
    Knowledge of procurement policies under the Uniform Guidance and Federal Acquisition Regulations
    Proficiency with e-procurement systems
    Preferred Qualifications:
    Oracle EBS experience
    Professional certifications such as Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) designation from the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), or NIGP's Certified Public Purchasing Buyer (CP PB) designation
    Higher education purchasing experience

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