“Koper is een goed metaal, en een aankoper is goed met taal.”

Olen | Monday, February 26, 2024

Meet Ivo! As Procurement Coordinator at Aurubis Olen, he plays a crucial role in the procurement process. Together with his colleagues, he manages the purchase of all non-metal goods and services.

  • Ivo Briers
  • 60 years old
  • Procurement Coordinator
  • Working at Aurubis Olen since March 1984
  • Ivo, tell us, how did your career at Aurubis start?
    After my studies, I applied directly to 'the factory in Olen.' My father worked here, so I was somewhat familiar with the copper factory, which is now Aurubis, from a young age. My father was a worker, and he was so proud that his son could start here as a 'white-collar worker' (employee). At the time, I started at the counter in the Arrival & Shipping department, where I worked for eight years. Then I was asked to join the Procurement team. I've been active as a purchaser for 32 years now.

  • What does Procurement entail exactly?
    Almost everything you see on our site (except the metal itself) is purchased by Procurement. We purchase all non-metal goods and services. That makes us generalists. We can't be completely knowledgeable about everything technically, but our focus lies on negotiating price, delivery time, payment terms, etc. 

    I often say: "copper is a good metal, and a purchaser is good with language." Language skills are important, but so are communication skills and assertiveness. In our job, everything revolves around building professional relationships. We must always try to strike the right tone and adapt our language to the situation and the person. Both with our suppliers and our internal customers.

  • Do you have much face-to-face contact with suppliers?
    After Corona, physical visits are being scheduled more again. However, many meetings have remained digital. Also with colleagues within the company. For important negotiations, I still prefer face-to-face contact. You can often glean a lot from a person's attitude, right from the greeting. If language is important, you can certainly add body language to that. Of course, that also applies to yourself as a purchaser. Engaging in conversation with the necessary self-confidence is a must. You have to be willing to 'come out of your shell.'

  • What energizes you in your job, Ivo?
    Engaging in the 'battle' in a negotiation and using the right words, letting the silences fall, seizing the opportunity, and striking at the right moment, each time in a different dynamic. That gives me energy, even if the result achieved is not always as expected. But the goal is always a fair agreement, a 'fair deal.' Especially the direct financial impact you have as a purchaser gives a good feeling.

  • What makes Aurubis Olen an attractive employer?
    We have been a stable company for many years, and it seems that this will be more the case than ever in the future. With a focus on our recycling activities and our end product 'copper,' which is only becoming more important for the energy transition. Add to this the 'just do it' mentality where everyone contributes to a well-functioning whole, and you know that working at Aurubis is good.

  • How do you experience the growth opportunities?
    What a difference from before! With training programs, Aurubis Olen is very committed to the professional development of every employee today. This can only be applauded.

  • Is there anything you would still like to achieve?
    In my team of six fantastic colleagues, I mainly want to remain a 'people coach.' I want to be an example and pass on experiences. But at the same time, everyone gets the space to approach things in their own way. It's important that they know they can rely on me. With their dedication and commitment, they deserve the best. I am extremely proud of our team!

Ready for a career at Aurubis Olen?
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Kathleen Thys
Kathleen Thys

Watertorenstraat 35, 2250 Olen

Phone 014 24 33 57
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