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Head of Procurement (Aerospace)




Deadline has passed


Some 250 professionals work at Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands (Airbus DS NL), in Leiden at the frontiers of technology, in one of the most challenging industries: space. The Airbus DS NL systems enable space missions that make our daily life on earth possible. Such as satellite navigation, -communication and climate research. Systems vary from solar panels, instruments and thermo-mechanical products for satellites, launcher structures, and dataproducts based on the wealth of information gathered by satellites.

In the past space programs were initiated by the European Space Agency. Nowadays increasing competition and commercialisation of space missions result in a very dynamic market where costs and delivery times are under great pressure.

Airbus DSNL is a project organisation with a matrix structure. It focuses on the development (design, engineering) of mainly satellites, instruments and solar panels for space missions, plus the assembly, integration and testing thereof. Production of components and subassemblies is outsourced to suppliers. Future success also depends on a lean organization of the production process, in close cooperation with suppliers.



Airbus DS NL outsources and procures approx. 50% of turnover, thereby striving for an agile supply chain. The majority of the suppliers are of strategic essence.

The Procurement team consists of 15-20 (incl. interim) professionals, in the positions: Product Family Managers, Supply Chain Managers, Commodity Buyers and Operational Buyers. Procurement currently undergoes a change process to create more focus on supplier base strategy development and further improvement of the way of working on projects. An improvement plan has been agreed and the implementation has started.

The company uses SAP for the financial processes and Trimergo T2 for the operational procurement processes.


The position

As Head of Procurement you report into the operations director of Airbus DSNL and dotted line into the procurement organization of Airbus Defence & Space.

Your main responsibilities are:

  • Lead the Procurement department
  • Create department objectives, implement an agile procurement organisation, develop people towards new roles, execute resource management for the short and the long term
  • Optimize the various Supply Chains in terms of innovation, total cost, risk, make/buy, supplier development, delivery times, quality, etc.
  • Harmonize Procurement activities and processes between Leiden and the Airbus Procurement organisation
  • Provide high-level support to projects and tender teams: resources, suppliers, tools & processes, knowledge. E.g. resulting in advise in the development of product and service strategies
  • Provide support to proposal and project reviews as core review team member
  • Continuous improvement of the way of working, processes and procedures
  • Develope and maintain a Procurement network (Internal NL and Airbus as well as outside).


Good stakeholder management both with external suppliers and within the Airbus organization are key to success.

A major challenge in this engineering focused environment, is to create an atmosphere where procurement gets involved in projects at the earliest possible stage, way before the customer’s tender is received. In that case, supplier search, selection and contracting can take place with more accuracy and lead times for projects can be strongly reduced. To achieve this, the position of procurement needs an upgrade, which requires leadership, plus training and development of your team.

Because of the described developments in the space industry, there is a strong downward pressure on cost and lead times. As these high tech products are developed at the very edge of technology, the production costs and lead times need further improvement. To enable this you need to help suppliers (and maybe also tier 2 and 3 suppliers) to improve their processes. Ofcourse it is important to question existing situations, yet you need to know that switching suppliers knows many hazards. Which suppliers can best handle the pressure on innovation, technological progress, quality, lead times and costs?

Finally you need to simplify the P2P processes, thereby increasing timeliness and decreasing the effort put into the operational processes.

You are expected to play an important role in make or buy decisions.

You are familiar with the QLTCS methodology.

Travelling is to a limited extent part of your role.

Your profile

  • University level
  • At least 5 years experience with management of procurement within international high tech industry
  • Proven experience with change management
  • Solid experience with procurement for NPD/R&D projects
  • Experience with supplier development
  • Strong communicator, strategic and analytic
  • EU citizen
  • Strong command of English, ability to communicate in Dutch



Gross yearly salary around € 95K/yr, no bonus structure, 27+13 vacation days, a lease car, plus a pension scheme with PME, on the basis of ‘middelloonregeling’; 60% of premium is paid by the empoyer.



Please send your CV and motivation letter to

Additional information can be obtained from Maarten Smits van Oyen, tel. +31.70.2400414.


In the industrial or construction sector



In the industrial or construction sector