Staff Profile: Kieren Crawford – Purchasing Manager

In this article, we profile one of our key staff.

Name: Kieren Crawford

Title: Purchasing Manager

Q: Please describe your role at Circuitwise. What does a typical day look like?

I’m a member of the team procuring the electronic components that go into the PCB assemblies. In my role, I establish and maintain relationships with the suppliers to ensure quality, price and timeliness of delivery. Typically, I’m checking the MRP system to see what is required for production. I then order parts, making sure the parts will arrive on time. I sometimes help in quoting prices for new jobs.

Q: What is the most important part of your work?

Before using a supplier we evaluate them to check their certifications, what quality management systems they have in place, how they monitor their own suppliers, and how they manage the packaging, storage and tracking of their moisture sensitive and electrostatic sensitive components. On a yearly basis, we select a few of our existing suppliers and audit them on the same criteria. We are also constantly monitoring supplier performance to see how they are tracking against the targets we set. This is how we know who the best suppliers are.

Q: What is the most interesting part of your work?

I like working with people and I find quality management interesting. So I enjoy, building relationships with suppliers and finding out how they operate. Our suppliers are located around the world, and it is interesting to learn about their cultures and how they do things differently. What I find most rewarding is working with suppliers to improve communication and develop better ways of working together, like linking our systems.

Q What is the most common question you get asked at work?

People always want to know when a job is ready for production. So, I have to know which part has the longest lead-time, when it is due to arrive and ensure it does not slip behind the schedule we have set for the customer.

Q: What is your best tip for customers in manufacturing electronic products?

When you are selecting a contract manufacturer, make sure they have systems in place that avoid potential problems occurring with counterfeit components, poorly controlled storage, or loss of the traceability. These are the biggest issues that can occur, as it can lead to rework costs and loss of reputation with end-users of the product.

Q: What is the best thing about working at Circuitwise?

The people here are great. The management is easy to work with and they help us develop professionally. My role can be challenging and the way we do business here makes it fulfilling and engaging.

Q: What are your favourite activities outside of work? What are you most enthusiastic about?

I enjoy travelling around. Most recently I went to China and went to Hunan province where they filmed Avatar and walked across a glass bridge. The scenery was amazing. I recently married a woman of Chinese heritage, so I am starting to learn Mandarin, which will be handy for work as well.

I like to learn new things such as cooking and I’m currently trying to learn a dish from every culture. I’m a bit of tinkerer and I am currently renovating my apartment. I like reading and the most inspiring book I have read recently is Screw It, Let’s Do It by Richard Branson. I’m also learning Python programming as it can really help at work with improving systems. I’ve been teaching myself guitar for a few years now and can play Cannon in D by Pachelbel.

Q: What is a fun fact that people may not know about you?

At high-school, I was a competitive race walker and I am a pretty good juggler.

Q: Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Baulkham Hills, here in Western Sydney, about a five-minute drive from Circuitwise. I went to the same high-school as Circuitwise’s managers Sean and Serena Ross, which is how I came to find about the business.