VP Procurement, Americas

SolarWorld - Hillsboro, OR

Posted 886 days ago
  • Experience
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    Renewables & Environment
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This is a preview of the VP Procurement, Americas job at SolarWorld. To view the full job listing, join LinkedIn - its free!Join LinkedIn - its free!

About this job

Job description

Come Grow With Us!!

At SolarWorld, each and every one of our green-collar employees is helping to save the world by delivering clean energy from sand and sun.  Our vision is simple; to make solar energy competitive and affordable for the average consumer.  The SolarWorld group is dedicated to the core business of solar photovoltaic products and technology, operating production facilities in Germany and the USA.  With the recent 500 MW expansion of our factory in Oregon, SolarWorld operates the largest solar cell and panel manufacturing site in North America.


Growth and innovation not only define our company, but also describe our employees – the foundation of our success.  SolarWorld is dedicated to providing a work climate that promotes career growth, open communication and new ideas.  To ensure employees’ success, we provide best-in-class benefits that focus on delivering quality of life and personal development. SolarWorld employees enjoy a minimum of 4 weeks of vacation (5 weeks for exempt) and continuing education reimbursements that pay up to 100% of education expenses for qualified collegiate level programs!    Our culture not only encourages, but also demands personal responsibility, diversity, and an entrepreneurial way of thinking.  Come grow with us and build a successful career for yourself and feel good knowing that the work you do every day will build a better tomorrow!



About the Position

Reporting to the President of SolarWorld Industries America, Inc., the VP of Procurement is responsible for overseeing the operation and success of the Supplier-related functions in the Americas’ markets.  This position will manage Director-level reports as well as some high-level individual contributors and  ensure effective business strategy and operational execution for supply chain operations of a high-volume manufacturer.  The position will work as part of a global team, integrating global and regional strategies for manufacturing cost reduction programs, quality improvements, and factory material. 


Primary responsibilities for this position include:

  • As a key member of the USA executive team, actively participate in evaluation/analysis and decision-making with peers to set objectives, monitor performance, and lead teams in meeting key business objectives. 
  • Engage, lead and develop teams in Purchasing, building competencies for industry-leading functions in these areas.  Build and manage effective teams for high-volume manufacturing in the Americas’ markets.
  • Drive key business processes and build a team to ensure low cost and on-time delivery of bill of materials and spare parts for highly-efficient manufacturing operations.
  • Manage business processes and teams to continuously improve Supplier Quality.  Ensure material quality is improved to maintain world class product quality, and support manufacturing yield and cost objectives.
  • Work directly with the Regional Head of Purchasing to manage and negotiate high-level contracts for strategic commodities in the Americas regions. 
  • Evaluate business processes in Purchasing, recommend changes to meet business demands and execute changes to effectively support the organization’s objectives.
  • Integrate with the Global Purchasing function to ensure lowest cost supply of high-quality components used in SolarWorld’s wafers, cells and modules worldwide.
  • Work with the Global Procurement team to develop strategic global supplier plans, and support the execution of those plans with the appropriate local team members.
  • Coordinate with Sales Operations and Project functions to ensure the effective scoping, build-out and implementation of an enhanced order-fulfillment process for our customers. This includes enhanced procurement processes and functions for our system components.
  • Support improvements of the warehousing and logistics functions for multi-site, high-volume manufacturing and product distribution.
  • Work directly with suppliers to continuously improve and build capability for improved performance, quality and to lower their cost structure. 
  • Develop clear strategic planning tools and results for building a strong high quality, low cost local supplier base.
  • Lead efforts to analyze, recommend and implement enhanced business systems and processes, including IT systems for Purchasing and Logistics functions as needed.
  • Champion mission-critical business projects and drive cross-functional and cross-site project teams to accomplish goals.
  • Work effectively as part of an international management team; leveraging international talent, systems and processes as needed to meet business objectives.
  • Lead hiring teams for the addition of effective team members in various roles across assigned functions.
  • Manage team and individual performance through the alignment of departmental goals to the company’s strategic objectives, annual performance management processes, ongoing coaching and personnel development.  As a key member of SolarWorld’s executive team in the USA, the VP of Procurement will be expected to model and lead effective performance management and career development practices.
  • Attendance is a required function of this position.
  • Other duties as assigned, maintaining flexibility to support company objectives.

Desired Skills and Experience

The ideal candidate for this position brings an enthusiasm for saving the environment through our philosophy of sustainability by using “clean energy from sand and sun”.  All employees of SolarWorld must be able to operate in a fast-paced, high-growth work environment and are able to tolerate ambiguity to meet our goals. 


The successful candidate will possess the following combination of experience, knowledge, and skills:

  • Minimum 12-15+ years related work experience in regional and global supply chain management with p preference to working in high-volume manufacturing environments.
  • 5+ years management experience at the director level or higher.
  • Proven ability to build and manage high-performing teams in high-growth environments.
  • Preferred skills in Purchasing include:
  • BOM reduction programs
  • Strategic purchasing / Global commodity management
  • Negotiations & contracts management
  • Inventory management
  • High-Volume manufacturing materials and spare parts support following principles of: Kanban; JIT; Lean; Six Sigma
  • Supplier development
  • Strategic planning
  • Demonstrated expertise in negotiations, including specific training in negotiation with a successful track record of driving critical BOM reductions through vendor negotiations, supply chain realignment or related projects.
  • Must possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills, particularly in an international, distributed work environment.
  • Ability to build and articulate clear business cases for executive-level decision making is required, including examples that demonstrate how your work has positively impacted the company.
  •  Excellent computer skills including expert-level proficiency in the MS Office productivity suite (e.g., Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint). 
  • Preference for knowledge and hands-on experience with ERP and Manufacturing Shop Floor (MES) systems for materials planning, inventory management, spares ordering, shipping/receiving, warehousing and order fulfillment functions. 
  • Preference for candidates that have either directed or participated in IT systems enhancements and implementations for Supply Chain and Sales Order Fulfillment functions. 
  • A bachelor’s degree in business or a related technical field is required, with preference for advanced degree such as an MBA. 
  • Project management expertise, with preference for verifiable regional or international project management ownership that has solved critical business issues.  PM certification preferred. Prior experience working with cross-functional and cross-cultural project teams to accomplish business objectives is desired.


Additional Requirements – Must be able to:

  • Obtain a valid passport and travel domestically and internationally as needed.
  • Work a flexible schedule as needed to accommodate global integration of assigned functions and effectively coordinate regional and global project work.


SolarWorld is an Equal Opportunity Employer – M/F/D/V/G

All offers of employment are contingent upon a candidate’s successful completion of SolarWorld’s pre-employment drug testing, and background investigation, which includes employment, education and criminal histories.

About this company


The SolarWorld group is one of the world’s largest solar energy businesses. SolarWorld’s family of companies dedicates itself exclusively to the business of solar energy, combining all stages of the photovoltaic value chain, from the raw material silicon to turn-key solar power plants. SolarWorld operates production facilities in the USA and Germany as well as sales offices around the world. In 2006, SolarWorld acquired the manufacturing base of Shell Solar, the largest manufacturer of solar electrical products in America since 1977. This operation, which included sites in Camarillo, CA, and Vancouver, WA, previously operated as Arco Solar and Siemens Solar. In 2007, SolarWorld acquired the Komatsu silicon wafer production facility in Hillsboro, OR and has invested about $500 million to renovate the 480,000-square-foot facility into a world-class manufacturing plant that will convert raw silicon into up to 500 megawatts worth of photovoltaic wafers and cells a year. The Hillsboro facility went on line in fall 2008. A module assembly factory in a second building, constructed in 2009, will begin production in the second half of 2010. The Hillsboro campus will employ about 1,000 people by 2011, producing enough photovoltaic cells to serve the North and South American markets, including expanded module production in Camarillo, as well as fulfill exports. By then, employment will total more than 1,200 in the U.S. and 3,000 worldwide. The SolarWorld group offers products ranging from wafers and cells to PV modules for grid-coupled and grid-independent power generation to complete solar power kits and systems. SolarWorld’s Sunmodules® repeatedly have proven to produce more energy per rated kilowatt than other major brands.

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