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Strategic Sourcing Specialist

Date posted: June 30, 2022
Department: Commercial
Location: Sycamore, IL


Core Hours

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


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 and fostering strong relationships with our supplier partners. 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. Learn more details below about this role or apply now!


  • 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.
  • See ingredients/packaging in operation and how they are used at both facilities.
  • Maximize inventory turns without running out of materials.
  • Understand the features/benefits of our current ingredients and materials and how they relate to company Food Safety and Product Quality goals.
  • Identify and lead process for approving potential alternative sources of supply for key ingredients and packaging.
  • Own and manage new and discontinued material process.
  • Cost sheet management.
  • Invoice review and approval.

Vendor Management

  • Develop working knowledge of suppliers and build strong business relationships.
  • Tour vendor operations of key ingredients/materials.
  • 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.
  • Request extended payment terms from each supplier.
  • Recruit samples of comparable products from prospective vendors when appropriate.
  • Identify new ways to reduce costs, i.e. reduce minimum order quantities, implement consignment inventory agreements, freight reduction strategies, new materials, etc.
  • Respond diligently to each price increase we receive in an effort to thwart it or delay it.
  • Track specific raw material/commodity prices that affect costs, i.e. poultry, tuna, steel, oil, etc.
  • Communicate key cost information to Commercial Team on a timely basis.

Physical Inventory Lead

  • Lead and coordinate monthly physical inventory process.
  • Develop and support procedures to improve inventory tracking.

Commercial Team Participation

  • Attend weekly commercialization meetings.
  • Complete weekly sensory evaluations.
  • Learn the business, i.e. key customers, key products, challenges & opportunities.
  • Look for ways to add value to the selling process and to improve/support Customer Success goal.
  • Provide pricing, samples, information to Commercial Team as requested.
  • Act as a key resource to developing and launching new product concepts.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participate in projects as assigned.
  • 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.
  • Evaluate existing purchasing procedures with a lean manufacturing mindset and continuously search for new ways to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
  • 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  3-5 years of purchasing experience.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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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