Technical Buyer, Senior

Long Beach, United States (USA), Rocket Lab [4012023003]

Field(s) of expertise
Aerospace Engineering
Job type

About this job

Rocket Lab is redefining how we access space by providing frequent and reliable launch to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) – we’re opening access to space to improve life on Earth. Rocket Lab is the global market leader in dedicated small satellite launch, with a strong leadership team, solid financial backing and a full launch manifest. To meet the growing demand of dedicated small satellite launch, Rocket Lab is assembling a world-class team.

Rocket Lab is its people. We are seeking passionate individuals comfortable working in a fast growth, dynamic, and collaborative work environment where they will be given ownership of responsibilities and expected to perform at a high level.


Technical Buyer

Build and sustain a supply chain in which every purchased production item has a stable supply, from a reliable supplier, with exceptional quality, and under agreed commercial terms. Guide engineering teams on proper sourcing strategy, support suppliers with new product introduction, and collaborate with quality teams to establish efficient and effective validation strategies for purchased flight hardware. Ensure suppliers are developed to grow with Rocket Lab and relationships are set up to foster collaboration and proactively identify/mitigate risks.



  • Build methods and systems that allow for clear understanding of supplier capabilities, capacity, and core competencies.
  • Responsible for developing sourcing strategies to eliminate or mitigate key risks in the US Supply Chain and liaise with Global Buying team on opportunities to support company growth targets.
  • Identify technical challenges during the first prototype and production runs at a supplier, propose solutions, and push engineering for design changes needed to achieve rate and/or quality needs.
  • Monitor market trends, competitor strategies and adjust procurement tactics as needed to maintain a healthy supply base.


Supplier Relationship Management

  • Responsible for negotiating long term agreements with key suppliers as well as maintain buying-related master data.
  • Work with suppliers to understand their supply chain risks and develop strategies to mitigate risks and provide early warning.
  • Establish a supplier relationship framework that enables transparent and open communication channels and ensures that a professional and consistent approach is taken in relation to all supplier relationships.
  • Responsible for rolling out supplier scoring and performance measurement metrics.


Cost reduction

  • Develops and implements cost-saving ideas with suppliers and initiates cost-savings/avoidance reports to provide visibility to management on total cost.
  • Develops target costs for products to use as a negotiating tool.
  • Balance both tactical executions with strategic initiatives necessary to drive cost reduction projects.



  • Liaise with material planners, engineering and production to ensure components are ordered, manufactured and delivered to specification, on time and at the best price.
  • Resolve quality, engineering and accounts payable issues concerning supplies in an expedient manner under the guidance of the relevant manager.
  • Recover costs from suppliers for scrap, rework and costs incurred by the company due to supplier discrepancies/returns.


Reporting and data integrity

  • Ensure all purchase related data is recorded and updated regularly.
  • Reporting requirements established with the business are adhered to.



  • Ability to identify improvement opportunities in the process and develop solutions.



  • Domestic and international travel may be required.
  • Additional duties as reasonably required.



  • Good understanding of Aerospace or related industry.
  • Ability to read and interpret engineering drawings.
  • Experience writing procurement and sourcing strategies and execute these.
  • Experience in a systemized purchasing environment and be familiar with Material Requirement Planning (MRP), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
  • In-depth knowledge of procurement policies/procedures related to Federal Acquisition Regulations and Defence Acquisition Regulations (FAR/DAR).
  • Knowledge of financial principles.
  • A proactive and can-do attitude with the ability to keep calm in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent communication skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work in a team and to build effective working relationships with external and internal customers.
  • Excellent MS Office skills.


Required Education & Experience

  • 7+ years’ experience in a senior buying or sourcing position in a manufacturing environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.


Preferred Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering.


Preferred Skills / Experience

  • Experience supporting machine shops and/or additive manufacturing.
  • SQL programming skills.


Important Information:

To conform to US Government space technology export regulations, applicants must be a US citizen, lawful permanent resident of the US, protected individual as defined by 8 USC 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorization from the US Department of State.

Rocket Lab USA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, employment with Rocket Lab USA is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

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