Senior Buyer (21816)


The EPO's Procurement and Vendor Management unit plays an instrumental role in the day-to-day functioning of the organisation, influencing its long-term financial sustainability by ensuring value-for-money spending on services and products. Effective procurement operations are critical to ensure compliance with relevant policies and regulatory requirements in view of the EPO's prominent role as a leading European public administration organisation.


We successfully partner with our internal and external stakeholders via business-focused teams built around critical market categories: information technology, professional services, facility management and real estate.


Not only do we support the EPO's strategic direction, but we also have a key role to play in a major transformation programme called Finance 360, in close collaboration with the corporate finance area. It aims to strengthen our role as a business partner for the entire organisation by optimising existing processes, technology and organisational matters. In that context, we have a range of projects to deliver in the source-to-pay (S2P) process, supporting the overall goal of increasing effectiveness, efficiency and transparency.


You will add critical skills and bring profound market knowledge to our team. Drawing on your expertise in procurement tools and processes, you will help us to deliver better value for the EPO in its acquisition of goods and services.


Join us now!


With us you will:

  • team up with category managers in your assigned main category in preparation for all sourcing projects
    - to provide operational expert knowledge and technical expertise
    - to propose operational solutions to ensure the smooth execution of future framework contracts regarding sourcing and buying
      channels, GRSR handling, invoicing, etc.

    to contribute to analysis and lessons-learned on operational procurement topics
  • manage sourcing requests and standard procurement procedures (competitive direct placement, RfQ with framework contracts or direct placements) with a focus on one main category but providing support in other categories as needed
  • interact with suppliers to follow up on quotations, purchase orders or delivery-related matters
  • monitor suppliers' delivery reliability and service (where applicable)
  • follow up in a timely and proactive manner on all procurement-related activities with suppliers and/or business units (planning, problem solving, exception handling, master data)
  • handle procurement queries and complaints
  • ensure compliance with the relevant working instructions and working practices in the procurement area and perform regular quality checks on own work


Apply if you have:

  • proficiency in using procurement platforms such as Ivalua
  • several years' experience in a similar role and covering the entire S2P task portfolio
  • an understanding of the processing of sourcing requests and the ability to execute them
  • the ability to conduct commercial offer evaluations in a structured manner
  • the ability to process and monitor purchase orders in collaboration with the suppliers and the business areas of the category assigned
  • an in-depth understanding of technical procurement aspects (i.e. payment terms, INCO terms, handling of retentions, bank guarantees, indexation, etc.) and the ability to apply and/or use them
  • the ability to communicate in a professional manner with external and internal stakeholders
  • an understanding of different contract types and their respective legal consequences for procurement
  • the ability to work in a project environment and contribute to the implementation of a new procurement platform
  • the ability to use MS Office applications (Outlook, MS Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) in day-to- day business



Minimum requirements:

  • Diploma of completed studies at bachelor's level or equivalent or – in exceptional cases – equivalent professional experience.
  • Working knowledge of two official languages. Alternatively, working knowledge of one official language and the willingness to learn a second official language to B2 level within a set time frame.
  • Citizenship of one of the member states of the European Patent Organisation.


The successful candidate will be selected on the basis of qualifications, competencies, professional experience and language knowledge, supplemented as appropriate by interviews, tests and/or a personality questionnaire.


If, following the selection procedure, we identify more suitable candidates than we have vacancies for at this time, we will establish a reserve list that will remain valid for 18 months. We may then use this list to fill any vacancies with substantially the same profile that arise during this period.


More information on how we recruit can be found on our Careers home page.


Key information

Job group: 5

GradeG7 to G9 (net basic) monthly salary* for this vacancy: EUR 6 758 to 8 573, depending on experience and location)

Duration of appointment: 5 years

Career path: Technical 

Location: Office-wide 

Application deadline: 24 April 2024

Interviews planned: 6 and 7 May 2024


* after deduction of EPO-internal tax and before deduction of staff contributions to the social security and pension schemes.





We welcome all applications for vacant positions. We consider each on its professional merits – regardless of your nationality, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, parental responsibilities, age, religion or belief.



Why join us?
✓ Be part of the EPO`s transformation and enable innovation
✓ Work with inspiring people from a variety of cultures
✓ Develop yourself and take on an intellectual challenge

What's in it for you?
✓ A competitive salary
✓ Family-friendly benefits
✓ A good work-life balance
✓ Generous flexibility options 
✓ Relocation benefits and various allowances
✓ Contributory medical insurance and pension schemes
✓ 30 days' leave per year
✓ Free gym access
✓ Social activities and clubs

Who we are
We are the patent office for Europe. We are proud to deliver high-quality patents and efficient services that foster innovation, competitiveness and economic growth.

Our vision
We will empower and motivate our staff to set worldwide standards in intellectual property. Our Office will be effective and transparent, respond to the needs of our users and be agile in managing the changing demands and conditions of a dynamic global patent system. Our work will contribute to a safer, smarter and more sustainable world.

Our values
All our relationships within our Office and with partners around the world will prosper through trust, fairness, mutual respect, adaptability, collaboration and a commitment to excellence.

Our work environment
We believe that diversity is fundamental to our success. Our inclusive work environment respects, values and celebrates our individual differences. We want you to be yourself at work.Join us on this exciting journey to a more digital, collaborative and sustainable organisation.

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