Meet our purchaser Trude

Strong performer

Trude is unquestionably strong.

Physically strong, but also mentally. Her list of achievements in long-distance races like cross-country skiing, roller skiing, bicycling and running is extensive – a testimony to her impressive willpower. Her ability to cope with uphill challenges comes in handy in a variety of settings.

It has almost been a year since she started her job as an Operational Purchaser, responsible for the procurement of system components from both Norwegian and foreign suppliers in the defence and aerospace-industry. The fit 52-year-old has not, at any point, regretted her decision to change jobs.

“The initial introduction and training I received was absolutely fantastic,” she says, and brags uninhibitedly about the buddy system which ensures that new employees have a dedicated person to lean on in the first weeks and months of their new position.

After years of working within procurement from other companies, Trude accepted a position at Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace in order to become part of a larger purchasing environment - with the opportunity to learn and interact with others within her field. Some work is done individually, while other tasks are solved in interdisciplinary teams. Trude likes both, and especially the variety. And of course, it wasn’t a disadvantage to become part of an expanding and successful high-tech Norwegian company either.

Supplying production

Purchasing is part of what is called the supply chain, which is the name of the process from raw material to delivery of a finished product to the customer. As a purchaser, you are part of this supply chain, responsible for procurement of everything needed to support production of the final product.

We distinguish between Strategic and Operational Purchasers, where the Strategic Purchasers are responsible for obtaining and negotiating agreements with suppliers, while the Operative Purchasers ensure that the procurement is made in accordance with the agreements.

“What I like most about working with operative procurement in a large manufacturing company, is that no two days are the same,” says Trude. “There are constantly new challenges and tasks, and I enjoy the variety,” she says.

A regular day can consist of everything from placing orders, ensuring that the orders are delivered at the right time, price and quality, participating in meetings with suppliers, handling complaints and much more. The documentation requirements in the defence and aerospace industry are strictly regulated, therefore an important part of the job is to obtain end-user declarations and documentation from Norwegian authorities.

The role as an Operational Purchaser requires personal qualities such as accuracy and structure. Also, a bit of patience will come in handy. In a large company with many different divisions and extensive procurement processes, it can sometimes take time to get everything through the system.

“At first, it felt a bit unusual to not keep an eye on and control everything myself, but the advantage of being part of a larger professional environment is that you can focus on the specific area you are responsible for and acquire the necessary expertise,” says Trude.

- Today's worldview highlights the importance of having a defence, and I am very proud to work here and contribute to others being able to defend themselves.

Hybrid office solution

Trude and her department colleagues have agreed to a hybrid office solution where they work half the time in the office and the other half from home. The arrangement suits her perfectly. Even if she doesn't spend more than 30 minutes commuting to work, it means that she has more time for her passions for outdoor activities like training or gardening.

“I was curious about how not being at the office physically every day would affect the working environment but it really didn’t matter. We are social and have a lot of fun together and I have deliberately chosen to work in an open landscape to be able to take part in both the formal and informal conversations as much as possible,” she says.

- Even though we are many employees, my experience is that we are all seen as valuable individuals and that the work we do is appreciated and significant for the company as a whole.

Drive and mastery

Improvement work engages Trude. In the same way as when she’s training for the long-distance races like Marcialonga, Vasaloppet or Birken, it is the satisfaction of constantly accomplishing small improvements that drives her forward.

“I enjoy working with optimization and simplification of processes, and still being fairly new in the company is an advantage because it makes it easier to see the potential,” she says.

And even though changes can be demanding, it is still worth it. Because a person used to completing what she sets her mind to, knows that the feeling of mastery when crossing the finish line, is worth waiting for.