Head of Buying

  • Job Reference: 00001223-1
  • Date Posted: 31 August 2021
  • Recruiter: Morleys
  • Location: Bicester
  • Salary: On Application
  • Sector: Accounting, Education, Executive Positions, Sales & Marketing
  • Job Type: Permanent
  • Work Hours: Full Time

Job Description

Morleys (Bicester) Ltd is part of the Morleys group, established for over 90 years and are proud to still be a family-owned, British company.

The UK’s largest supplier of furniture for education, from early years to Post-16. Morleys prides itself on offering quality furniture, a service that consistently delivers what educational establishments need, and a team of industry experts that honour our 92 years of heritage with their breadth of knowledge and dedication.

We help any educational establishment with their complete furniture needs, whether that is day to day furniture such as chairs and tables, design and install for the refurbishment of key areas, or have a brand new build to design and furnish.

Our dedication to service means, we continually strive to offer our customers a breadth of choice, flexible solutions for all budgets and high-quality furniture that meets the needs of a modern educational environment. We have the widest choice of furniture, including our own exclusive ranges, all the leading brands as well as being able to source quality products from around the world.

Reporting to the managing director, the main focus of the role will be to ensure that the product offer is always aligned to our customer’s needs, all products and suppliers meet any required standards, working closely with sales, marketing and operations to ensure we continue to provide a market leading range of products and services to meet all our customers demanding requirements.

Ideally the successful candidate will join the leadership team and actively contribute to the continued successful strategic development of the business.

The role:

Product development

  1. Sourcing new products/suppliers – evaluating new suppliers/products based on agreed criteria/kpi’s
  2. Developing existing products – product improvement
  3. Sales analysis by brand/channel for selection and development and trend analysis
  4. Ensure all products and suppliers meet any required standards, eg FSC, ethical/corporate governance
  5. Establishing product gaps, completing product ranges

Supply chain management

  1. Reviewing effectiveness of specific suppliers – based on agreed performance criteria.
  2. Building closer supplier relationships, including negotiating favourable terms and conditions, best prices, marketing contributions and rebates. Including stock, direct and all third-party partners
  3. As necessary, rationalizing the supplier base

Prices and gross margin

  1. Ensuring that selling prices are in line or better than key competitors and yield optimum gross margins
  2. Product and margin mix allows flexibility to achieve target price points
  3. Ensure flexible product and margin mix that gives the business the necessary quantity/volume discounts for key customers without impacting margin

Web and catalogue

  1. Reviewing and selecting product details and pricing in a format that is transferable to both printed and digital
  2. Selecting product mix to allow for choice in a logical but defined order to maximize sales
  3. Contributing to the physical catalogue and web production in terms of planning, selection, compilation, and proof reading
  4. Run in house product training courses

The person

We are ideally looking for the following skills and experience

  1. Proven experience in a senior purchasing role
  2. Strong commercial awareness, ideally in a B2B multichannel distribution business
  3. Excellent communication and negotiation skills especially around pricing/margin/MOQs/MOVs
  4. Knowledge of UK education marketplace
  5. Knowledge and experience in buying furniture
  6. Supply chain management including supplier consolidation/SKU reduction/NPD
  7. High level computer literacy (knowledge of SAP a preference)
  8. Management of people and teams
  9. Managing budgets/P&L
  10. Understanding of quality processes (ISO) throughout the company
  11. Resilient and positive personality with the drive and determination to achieve results.
  12. Team player


  1. Ideally CIPS accreditation
  2. English and Maths to reasonable level

Competitive salary including a performance related bonus, staff discounts (including across all department stores in the group) and the chance to come and work for a dynamic and fast growing business with a great history.

Interested? Then please click the apply button now!