Meet Michael Bøgeskov: Purchasing has become a creative discipline

The working day is varied and challenging for Michael Bøgeskov, who is responsible for buying goods and production materials for ODIN Engineering, for example special tools, consumables, ton-heavy steel products, mechanical and electronic components.

He enjoys getting up from his desk and go for a walk in the factory to see how a new special machine takes shape with the components he is helping to procure. Recent years have presented unforeseen and new challenges.

“I’ve always worked with purchasing. It has been my passion ever since my apprenticeship. When the alarm clock rings, I’ve always felt happy to get up and go to work,” says Michael Bøgeskov adding:

“This is also how I feel about my job at ODIN Engineering. It’s varied and challenging every single day, and it’s great being able to get up from my desk and take a walk in the factory to see how a new machine takes shape.”

Involved in the development of special machines

Michael Bøgeskov’s many years of experience in purchasing steel, tools and industrial components has given him a solid network and a great deal of knowledge. Knowledge of what is produced, where, by whom and with what prices, conditions, shipping options, etc. He therefore has a seat at the table when new machines are to be developed.

“I’m involved in the whole process when we design and develop solutions for our customers, which are most often complex special machines that are vital for the production companies. It places great demands on the quality from the inside out. In the design phase, I can suggest what will work best, who can deliver and how we get the best solutions. Here I work with both the design department, warehouse, and production. Once we’ve decided on the solutions, I’m responsible for selecting suppliers, completing the procurement, and following up. I’m a purchasing nerd, others are production nerds and technical nerds. You have to be proud of that,” says Michael Bøgeskov.

A workplace with humour and good colleagues

“We’re all mechanical engineers – also the floor sweeper. We all have a share in a new machine that is being built, and it creates a feeling of unity. We pull together – and we also play jokes on each other. I like that,” says Michael Bøgeskov.

Since ODIN Engineering is a make-to-order company, Michael Bøgeskov is now in charge of a completely different planning process than what he has previously worked with. He has dealt with whole shiploads of steel, but the work is the same, even though ODIN may just need two lengths. On the other hand, we constantly have to use many different things. We buy goods as we need them, and Michael Bøgeskov often has to take care of unforeseen things:

“You have to be flexible if you want to thrive here at ODIN. Tasks often change during the process, and there can be urgent tasks. Suddenly, I have to find solutions to something that I thought I had already managed. It could be components that have not arrived, or other unpredictable things.”

Purchasing and supply challenges

Recent years have also presented other unforeseen challenges for ODIN Engineering’s purchaser. During the pandemic, Michael Bøgeskov had to find out which disinfectants and face masks were approved:

“During the pandemic, I was one of the employees who wasn’t sent home for a long period of time. It provided some challenges, and I was also happy to take them on for ODIN and not least my colleagues, and in the meantime, I was looking forward to the world being ‘normalised’ again, and everyone was back in their seats,” he says.

Already during the pandemic, major changes in international trade and supply began to take place. And the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made the challenges of purchasing everything that is part of special machines even more difficult:

”I’ve managed to procure the parts so far, but not without challenges. My experience and broad international network has undoubtedly been of great benefit.

New suppliers, higher prices and longer delivery times

“I’m in my twenty-fifth year in the iron and metal industry and have previously experienced large price fluctuations. But this is something completely different. For example, the price of steel. I couldn’t believe my own eyes. In this situation, we’ve a very close dialogue with the project managers. The price increases have consequences for the tasks that ODIN Engineering is working on, and together with our suppliers we have to find a satisfactory solution for us and our customers’ solutions,” says Michael Bøgeskov.

According to Michael Bøgeskov, the price is not the biggest problem. It’s also a challenge to get hold of the goods. Wholesalers have goods in stock, but it’s difficult to get new on the shelves, and they are therefore worried about their supply chains.

”It’s likely that we haven’t seen the worst of this yet. I think it will spread to include not only steel but also mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and electrical components, where we need to be more forward-looking and order well in advance, or find new or completely different solutions,” he says.

Michael Bøgeskov lives in Slagelse with his wife Ida Marie. The couple has a 15-year-old son named Jeppe and a 17-year-old daughter named Johanne.

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