Senior Buyer - Operations

Location: Marlborough, MA, US

Category: Supply Chain

Ken’s Foods is a family owned business that takes pride in its roots.  Ken's Foods, Inc was incorporated in 1958, and currently has plant operations in Marlborough, Massachusetts, McDonough, Georgia, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Lebanon, Indiana.  In addition, Ken's employs over 1000 employees nationally. To this day, Ken’s is still owned by the same family, as they continue their tradition of flavor obsession.  Joining Ken’s Foods is becoming part of an enthusiastic team.  Whether you’re in our state-of-the-art facilities or in our corporate headquarters, you’ll enjoy a warm company culture and get all the tools you will need to succeed in your career. 



This role contributes to Ken’s Foods success by executing procurement processes while simultaneously building solid relationships with both internal business partners and external suppliers.  The Buyer will support the development and optimization of critical procurement processes by identifying and implementing best practices that will drive suppliers to higher levels of performance to minimize disruptions to Plant Production.   The Buyer will be responsible for the on-going operational relationships with Suppliers and Plants, while managing the overall Procure to Pay cycle for their designated Materials/Plants.  All Ken’s Employees are accountable for creating and maintaining a culture of Safety and assuring a safe work environment.


Procure to Pay/Plant Support

  • Responsible for replenishment of materials, building trucks from various supplier locations, while monitoring lead times, order quantities, storage requirements, and shelf life (as applicable)
  • Determines appropriate order quantities to balance demand and financial resources (i.e. available warehouse footprint)
  • Ensures seamless delivery of goods (and services) to Ken’s; managing inventory for zero out of stocks
  • Coordinate “Collect/Backhaul” Truckloads with the Logistics Department and identify/execute opportunities to streamline Freight costs
  • Ensure that material pricing/freight costs are accurately invoiced per Contracts and Pricing Agreements
  • Review the Daily Exception report and expedite materials as needed to cover Plant production
  • Review the weekly Inventory Discrepancy report and work with Plant(s) to adjust, as needed
  • Manage/oversee reverse logistics; work with Quality, Plant, and Supplier in the event of a material issue (Return to Vendor, oversee reimbursement process)
  • Be adept at crisis management and have excellent multi-tasking skills when issues arise involving any materials used in production
  • Primary contact for Plant Personnel for any material issues; available 24/7 to handle material issues that could cause potential Plant downtime
  • Facilitate the transfer of materials from Plant to Plant, as needed, while monitoring the formula transitions between Plants
  • Minimize obsolescence, tracking discontinuations and slow-moving materials (review short-shelf life report and “dead” inventory report)
  • Manage and facilitate quarterly inventory responsibilities
  • Manage invoice discrepancies with Accounting via DocStar
  • Back-up for other Materials/Plants, as needed
  • Manage item creation and ongoing data integrity maintenance (LT, SS, MOQ, ROQ, Shelf-Life, Pricing, COO, etc.)
  • Manage Supplier set-up and on-going maintenance, as applicable


Supplier Management

  • Initiate and facilitate Supplier Business Reviews to drive improvement and manage suppliers
  • Execute and make recommendations on Supplier and Ken’s Key Performance Indicators
  • Attend and report on audits with QA manager for critical and at-risk Suppliers
  • Primary contact for Supplier issues
  • Manage corrective action requests


Contract Management/Sourcing Support

  • Ensure that volume, pricing, delivery terms and conditions are followed, including accurate freight costs
  • Drive and manage “off the shelf” purchases
  • Support buys where Suppliers are established, and minimal modification/development is needed
  • Identify/execute against savings opportunities, as applicable (i.e. volume tiered pricing, freight differentials, alternative Suppliers)
  • Provide input into the strategic sourcing process (including document collection, regulatory, sample review, financial audit, etc.) and make recommendations, partnering with the Sourcing team


Lean Process Improvements

  • Regularly interface with cross-functional Business Partners to drive value across the Supply Chain
  • Streamline procurement processes (including with Suppliers and at the Plants)
  • Perform value engineering activities for existing contract products/services
  • Commitment to safety begins with management. Managers and frontline supervisors are accountable for creating and maintaining a culture of Safety and assuring a safe work environment.



Senior Buyers must also be able to effectively mentor/coach Buyers and Purchasing Coordinators within Ken’s Foods.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Education and/or Experience

Four-year degree in related field preferred; 8+ years with Purchasing, Supply Chain Management, and/or Inventory Management experience; 8+ years in Direct Buying, Supplier Management, and/or Project Management experience; 8+ years Cross-functional Team Management Experience.



  • Proficient in the Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, and PowerPoint)
  • Syspro experience a plus
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to set priorities, meet deadlines, and manage multiple projects in a fast-paced and changing environment
  • Proficient in enhancing productivity and effectiveness using Supply Chain/Procurement tools and techniques
  • Ability to travel up to 25% (primarily for Supplier Meetings)
  • Proficient in applying broad based business disciplines/knowledge to support Procurement activities
  • Highly proficient in maintaining accurate information about items and suppliers

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