Head of global direct procurement

Médecins Sans Frontières

Brussels, Belgium

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 24 sections, 25 associations and other offices together. Registered in Switzerland, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested.

Position Background:

  • In recent years, there has been a significant development in MSF’s medical and operational activities that has been sustained by an upsurge in MSF’s operational budget and complexity. Every year, approximately half of MSF’s budget is spent in procurement (services and goods).
  • In line with the MSF Organizational Supply Strategy’s (OSS), the MSF Strategic Procurement Program (MSPP) has been launched in order to intensify collaboration between the different MSF entities and streamline the existing MSF procurement set up, in order to achieve optimal operational efficiency by avoiding duplication, waste and operational complexity.
  • The ultimate goal of the program is to develop and implement a global, common approach to strategic procurement across all entities at international, regional and national level.
  • In this frame, MSF is implementing a Category Management Structure for selected categories of items. A pilot has taken place on 3 selected Direct Categories (categories of items primarily purchased by the ESCs) from February of 2022, and for a duration of 1 year. 
The objectives of the pilot were to:
  • Confirm the expected value added of the Category Management Structure
  • Identify any potential negative impact on operational activity
  • Test and improve processes, tools and governance developed in the frame of MSPP.
  • Following the assessment of the Pilot Phase, it has been confirmed that the Category Management model brought value on the 3 selected Pilot Categories. However, some structural Challenges were identified and need to be tackled prior to scaling up the model to other Procurement Categories.
Place In The Organisation:

The Head of global direct procurement will:
  • Report hierarchically to the MSPP manager
  • Will manage a team of 3 direct category buyers (the team might increase in the future)
  • Work closely with the ESCs Procurement and Technical Managers, International pharmacists, international working groups and interacts with technical, medical, operational and supply directors of the OCs and ESCs.
  • Work with the MSPP program team and managers
Objectives Of The Position:
  • The objective of the Head of global direct procurement is to steer and organize at best the Procurement activities for the Direct Procurement Spend, as a way to bring the most value for MSF.
  • As a follow-up to the Category Management Pilot, she/he should ensure that the challenges identified in the frame of the Pilot is addressed to ensure a smooth running of the category management model allowing a successful roll-out.
Specific Objectives:
  • Manage a team of Category Buyers
  • Drive Category & Strategic Sourcing Performance
  • Further support and develop mutualized activities for Direct Spend to ensure the most efficient use of the Procurement resources
  • Develop and implement systems & processes to enable efficient and effective management of the direct spend
  • Stakeholders Management
Main Responsibilities:
  • Manage a team of 3 Category Buyers
  • Mentor and coach the Category Buyers
  • Prioritize and assign effective resources to manage properly category strategy, effective negotiations, contract establishment, and supply base management in line with the movement’s priorities
  • First level escalation for Category Buyers
  • Drive Category & Strategic Sourcing Performance
  • Develop and define KPIs and Targets in line with Operational Priorities
  • Monitor the advances against those KPIs for the Direct Spend
  • Ensure the value delivered by strategic sourcing activities is maximized
  • Further support and develop mutualized activities for Direct Spend to ensure the most efficient use of the Procurement resources
  • Lead the activities to tackle the Challenges identified in the frame of the Category Management Pilot
  • Ensure a smooth and efficient coordination of the direct procurement activities across the 3 ESCs
  • Foster an integrated view of Global, Regional and Local requirements and Opportunities
  • Develop and implement systems & processes to enable efficient and effective management of the direct spend
  • Lead the supplier performance and risk management frameworks for direct categories
  • Identify the processes, systems and guidelines required to support category buyers‘ job and cooperation with different Stakeholders and participate in their development
  • Development of enablers to support category buyers‘ job and cooperation with different Stakeholders
  • Stakeholders Management
  • Act as procurement partner for key identified stakeholders, to promote and develop the position of Procurement within the Movement
  • Support in establishing the appropriate decision and communication channels
Job requirements:
  • Master Degree in Business, with ideally a specialization in purchasing or project management, or a combination of relevant education and professional experience.
  • 7+ years of experience in Procurement or Supply-related function, of which 5+ years of experience in strategic procurement including vendor management
  • proven experience with people management
  • Direct work experience in a complex multi-entities organization
  • Direct work experience in MSF is an asset
  • Experience in global contracting and negotiations
Knowledge and Skills:
  • Excellent communication skills, assertiveness and negotiation skills
  • Team player with strong customer orientation
  • Ability to work in a cross-cultural and cross-functional environment
  • Drive for change, improvement and innovation
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to handle multiple priorities at one time
  • Excellent analytical skills and strategic thinking
  • Proficiency in standard office tools including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and data management
  • Fluent spoken and written English
  • Good command of French is a strong asset