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Purchasing Assistant/Buyer



Job type:


Location: Cambridge Office,

The Devices team is an enthusiastic team of programme managers, technologists and engineers responsible for the specification, development, evaluation, testing, trialling and deployment of Hive connected home devices. We are looking for a Purchasing Assistant/Buyer to join the small team which is responsible for the sourcing and manufacture of components and services for our own devices. This team covers electronics and mechanical hardware design, supply chain management, manufacturing technology, logistics, product approvals, device firmware and Quality. This is a great opportunity to participate in the development of technology products for a high profile consumer electronics brand, and the start-up culture promoted within Connected Home provides a perfect environment for enthusiastic team players with the ambition to develop their skills.

Key activities for this role include:

  • Assist Supplier Chain Manager in creating costed Bills of Materials (BOM’s) for new product projects and managing these during project lifecycle.
  • Build relationships with key suppliers to ensure Engineering team have access to new technology and components.
  • Communicate with Supply Chain, managing engineering requirements and driving component enquiries through to commercial resolution and design in.
  • Load new components into Arena database to ensure New Product Introduction (NPI) process is kept updated. Similar activity will be required for sustaining projects.
  • Manage periodic reviews with key suppliers, updating pricing and reviewing current and future projects.
  • Liaising with factory and communicating commercial and supply chain information regarding new projects and cost reduction activities.
  • Assisting with communicating business product forecast to supply chain, managing manufacturing builds and ensuring components are available to meet that demand.
  • Identify, explore and implement cost reduction ideas with suppliers, manufacturing partners and Engineering team.
  • Offer Hardware team rapid catalogue (Farnell, RS etc) and intermittent purchasing requirements, utilising Centrica Purchasing process and credit card orders.
  • Assist with dispatching of small parcels and samples from Cambridge office. Arranging collections from other sites and communication of tracking information and progressing where required.
  • Seek opportunities to improve business processes, and work with the relevant functions to identify and implement improvements, maximising value-add and minimising waste.

What experience are we looking for in our ideal candidate?

  • Good all round education with GCSEs in English & Mathematics minimum.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of consumer electronics related component and assembly purchasing/sourcing.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of working in multi-disciplinary project teams.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience working with formal data management processes (revision control etc.)
  • Computer literate (to an advanced level on Excel spreadsheets in particular, email, Word, etc.).


  • Familiarity with setting up and administrating volume electronics manufacturing supply chain and sourcing, including contract negotiation and implementation.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of setting up and implementing formal data management processes (revision control etc.).

What qualities are we looking for in our ideal candidate?

  • An outgoing and enthusiastic team player, with the attitude and energy to deliver in a fast paced, start-up environment
  • An attention to detail, ensuring all aspects of key activities are carefully considered and addressed.
  • An entrepreneurial flair and a can-do attitude; in the connected homes category things change very quickly and we constantly strive to adapt to these changes.
  • A passion for doing what’s right for the customer.
  • Excellent written, verbal and computer skills.

The Company

I’m Carla (carla.bickerstaff@centrica.com) the Resourcing Partner for Connected home. I’m excited to learn about your background and how you can become part of our market leading team in Connected home.

This is a fantastic opportunity to be part of an innovative business that is leading the connected home market. Hive is a British Gas innovation that creates connected products designed to give people the control they want for their homes remotely. The first product Hive Active Heating launched in 2013 enabling people to control their heating and hot water from their mobile, tablet and laptop, followed by the next generation Hive thermostat in 2015.

This year Hive has launched a family of complementary connected home products including SmartPlugs, sensors and soon to be released lights

PLEASE APPLY ONLINE by hitting the 'Apply' button. Please upload your cover letter and CV as one document. Applications will ONLY be accepted via the ‘Apply’ button.

To request an update on this role, or if you have any problems uploading your CV please email carla.welch@britishgas.co.uk typing "UPDATE REQUIRED" Purchasing Assistant/Buyer R9913383 in the subject title.

Agencies: Centrica operate a preferred supplier arrangement, however if you wish to be considered at the next review session please submit a brief overview of your capability to PSL@centrica.com.