Meet our purchaser Terje

The joy of negotiation

Terje is an experienced strategic purchaser. He knows well what it takes to land the good supplier agreements. The list of things he likes about his job is long, but on the very top is the joy of negotiation.

“What really makes this job exciting is the opportunity to meet many different people and professional environments, travel around the world as an ambassador for the company, participate in negotiations, secure good agreements and build lasting supplier relationships,” says Terje.

The 55-year-old has a degree in economics with a focus on international industrial marketing. He has many years of experience from sales, before he switched to strategic purchasing in KONGSBERG; first for Kongsberg Maritime for 10 years, and the last couple of years for Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace.

He finds working within the defence industry exciting and important, knowing that he contributes making a difference. The division he works in develops advanced defence systems for both air, sea and land. Terje is responsible for a group of suppliers within the maritime domain, which includes submarines and surface vessels both at home and abroad. At the moment, there is a lot of work with the new submarine and upgrading the combat system on the Norwegian Armed Forces' corvettes.


Although he likes to travel the world, Terje is also above average engaged in the local community in his home town of Kongsberg.

Among other things, he has been active in the work of safeguarding ruins and cultural monuments from the silver mining era, and many have probably seen him in the local band Byorkesteret on both 1 and 17 May, where he marches in the first drum line, as one of the impressive Berggeselle (skilled miners during the Silver mining era). He has been a steady part of this group of musicians for the past 17 years, and among other things he has played for the prime minister and showcased the Kongsberg heritage in the twin city of Gouda in the Netherlands.

“We manage with a little repetition of halt, march and close order, then we don't need to practice much more – we should know it by now.”

With the month of May around the corner, it is time to prepare the traditional miner’s costume again.

Focus on Norwegian industry

And speaking of home - the collaboration with Norwegian industry is an important part of the job as a strategic purchaser at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. The company has a clear focus on Norwegian suppliers and the desire to contribute to secure Norwegian industrial workplaces in the districts.

“I find it rewarding that we work hard to get Norwegian industry on board. Every time we can get a Norwegian supplier involved in something that we sell abroad, it creates positive ripple effects in the local community,” he says.

Sometimes, this kind of cooperation requires support for the development of the company in question. In those cases, the agreement is concluded and funds are set aside to develop and make it possible for them become a long-term supplier in the future.

“Supplier development is important, and we work closely with the quality department to measure everything from product quality to delivery ability and punctuality. If a supplier becomes yellow or red in our quality system, then it's time to help them solve the challenges or to look for a new supplier that meets our requirements and expectations.

“KONGSBERG is a phenomenal company to work for. Here you are guaranteed a safe and good workplace, you get to work internationally with challenging procurement tasks and not least state-of-the-art technology.”

Building relationships
And this is where the building of relationships comes in. Because it is through a close and regular follow-up of the supply chain, you can ensure the maintenance of quality and detect any challenges at an early stage.

“At Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, we recognize good, long-term supplier relationships. The better we know our suppliers, the better it is,” says Terje.

As a strategic purchaser, it is undoubtedly an advantage to be outgoing and enjoy meeting new people. According to Terje, it is also an advantage to have “plenty of backbone” and be able to argue your opinion. He believes that the procurement role has changed considerably in recent years.

“Purchasing has gone from being a function that stamps orders, to truly being an integral part of any project team. We are at all times informed about the project status and any challenges, we help mitigate risks and recommend measures. We make a difference,” Terje says enthusiastically.

The department he works in consists of many experienced purchasers, some with a technical background, others with expertise in finance or marketing and sales, like Terje.

He admits that due to a lack of technical expertise, he probably asks some stupid questions at times, but in return he has a more overall perspective and can see it all from a mercantile point of view.

Although there is almost always someone in the department out travelling, they make sure to be social as often as they can - both at and outside of work. Now they want more colleagues who can strengthen the team and perhaps make the days a little less busy. Terje firmly believes that Kongsberg is the world's best city to live in, so if you are considering moving, he will argue well for why you should decide moving just here.

“Purchasing is one of those functions in a company where you get to be involved in a lot of different things. Our expertise is central right from the development of a new product, until it ends up as something tangible. It motivates me to work with so many skilled colleagues, and to be a part of something bigger.”