Work hard and play hard at a place that feels like home,
with people that feel like family.

Strategic Sourcing Specialist

Date posted: August 2, 2023
Department: Supply Chain
Location: Sycamore, IL


Core Hours

Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Execute supply chain strategy that focuses on customer success and profitable growth of The Suter Company.

What’s a day like as a Strategic Sourcing Specialist at The Suter Company? You’re a key member of our Commercial Team, supporting company initiatives, fostering strong relationships with our supplier partners, with a desire and a drive to be a leader. You will work each day problem-solving with our current and prospective suppliers to source and buy key ingredients and packaging for the products we manufacture. You’re going to help us manage our inventory, negotiate pricing, and develop strong working relationships both internally and externally in a fast-paced environment. Plus, you’re going to be a part of our 4th Generation of ownership through our Employee Stock Ownership Plan. This position reports to the Strategic Sourcing Manager.


  • Support the Mission of the Company by identifying and accomplishing team and individual performance goals that directly support the goals of the Company.
  • Treat all co-workers, customers and suppliers with respect and in accordance with the Company’s Core Values.
  • Follow all company GMPs and SOPs.


Strategic Sourcing Management

  • Purchase assigned ingredients and packaging materials to optimize value and quality.
  • Enter and maintain data in Canopy..
  • Working knowledge of all current ingredients and materials.
  • Negotiate optimal pricing, terms, minimum order quantities, lead times, product quality.
  • Own and manage new and discontinued material process.

Vendor Management

  • Develop working knowledge of suppliers and build strong business relationships.
  • Communicate product requirements, information requirements to do business (coordinate with QA).
  • Communicate expectation of high performance by vendors, including “value added” relationship desired.
  • Assure all required information from Vendors stay current.
  • Coordinate handling of vendor complaint issues with QA.

Cost Management

  • Understand and support cost management plan and engage current vendors in plan (partner relationship). Continually look for ways to reduce costs.
  • Conduct price comparisons on a regular basis.
  • Identify new ways to reduce costs, i.e., reduce minimum order quantities, implement consignment inventory agreements, freight reduction strategies, new materials, etc.
  • Track specific raw material/commodity prices that affect costs, i.e., poultry, tuna, steel, oil, etc.

Physical Inventory Lead

  • Lead and coordinate monthly physical inventory process including but not limited to:
    • Set up and maintain paperwork flow
    • Schedule meetings
    • Monthly write-off entry
    • Variance report creation and analysis
    • Accept inventory
  • Develop and support procedures to improve inventory tracking.

Commercial Team Participation

  • Attend weekly commercialization meetings.
  • Complete weekly sensory evaluations.
  • Look for ways to add value to the selling process and to improve/support Customer Success goals.
  • Provide pricing, samples, and information to Commercial Team as requested.
  • Act as a key resource for developing and launching new product concepts.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Pursue opportunities to add value to the Suter team (i.e., volunteer to assist with company events; volunteer to lead a project; become involved in a Lean team; submit a safety suggestion; write and/or audit an SOP; write an article for the company newsletter; find ways to reduce waste; mentor/coach others; cross-train or learn a new task or skill.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with all internal customers, suppliers, and freight service providers.
  • General file management.
  • Participate in cross-functional teams as needed.
  • Annual audit of recipes and freight cost.
  • Understanding of supplier documentation software.


  • Bachelor’s degree (preferably in a related field); and five years’ related experience in purchasing; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams.
  • Knowledge of the internet and research experience is also essential.


  • Strong leadership and project management skills to manage multiple priorities/meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Previous management experience a plus (i.e. leading a project, managing a team). 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with people at all levels of the organization and external contacts.
  • Demonstrate strong attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Ability to participate in and facilitate group meetings.
  • Ability to shift from various projects and manage frequent interruptions.
  • Negotiating and solid decision-making skills.
  • Reasoning – Comprehend several abstract and concrete variables; use logic or reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions or approaches to problems; consider the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Mathematical – Add, subtract, multiply, and divide whole numbers and perform arithmetic calculations involving fractions, decimals, and percentages quickly and correctly.
  • Communication– Ability to communicate information and ideas in a professional manner by speaking or writing so others will understand; ability to gather and organize information to write reports; evaluate technical data; effectively relay information to small groups of people both internally and externally.
  • Technical – Ability to operate and control office equipment; ability to monitor equipment to make sure it is running properly.  Perform day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining files, spreadsheets, records, and processing paperwork.
  • Professional – Communicating with people inside and outside the organization; representing the company to vendors, suppliers, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, by telephone, or by e-mail.
  • Physical Effort – Sedentary work; exert a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly and up to 10 pounds of force occasionally to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.
  • Vision – Far, near, and mid-range vision, depth perception, color identification, and field of vision.
  • Activity – Regularly required to talk, hear, perform repetitive motions, use finger dexterity; occasionally stand, walk, and reach with arms and hands.
  • Work requires a willingness to work a flexible schedule.


The work environment characteristics described herein are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee could be exposed to wet and/or humid conditions, moving mechanical parts, significant pace/pressure and moderate noise level.

This role description does not state that the above are the only duties and responsibilities assigned to this position. Employees holding this position will be required to perform any other job-related duties as required.

Equal Opportunity Employer

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The Suter Company is proud to be a member of C12, an organization where results-focused, faith-driven Christian business leaders come together to encourage and challenge each other to build a great business, for a greater purpose.

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