Let's introduce Anthony Bagen
26 January 2023
Making sure your sales team gets on nicely. Good purchasing is inextricably linked to that. Meet Anthony Bagen - head of purchasing.
Who is Anthony?
Our buyer Anthony Bagen has been working in the metal industry for 35 years. Once started at MCB when he was 23 and moved to a small trader after 5 years. Then back to MCB to start buying stainless steel rod. It appealed to him that stainless steel is of a higher segment than steel.
How long have you been working at Paul Meijering Metalen bv?
Anthony has been working at Meijering for 12 years and he enjoys going to work every day. Meijering may be a smaller company compared to MCB, but you have short lines of communication. He gets a lot of freedom to do his work here and he likes that.
Where does Anthony buy his products?
The countries that appeal most to Anthony are India, China, Korea, Malaysia and, of course, countries in Europe. He likes working with the Indian companies the most because they are cooperative and solution-oriented. The service they provide is very good.
Countries like China and Malaysia are also good countries to source from. However, anti-dumping rules make it more difficult. To which he responds, "That is the art in this business, you have to look carefully. All roads lead to Rome"
Good purchasing conditions
Anthony pays particular attention to 3 things: quality, ISO, PED certificates or other approvals and finally price. Not only is the quality of the product important, what is also important is to look at where the product comes from. If a company from India tells you they have good quality products, but they can't handle the production, things often go wrong.
So how a company operates is also definitely important. They can show a nice website and leaflets, but if you come into the production hall and it's a "mess", you don't want to buy from there.
During corona, a company approached Paul Meijering to sell fittings. Anthony asked for a video of the whole company including production and facilities. After all, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he could not visit this company. Watching the video, he saw how poorly organised the company was, even though they had all the certificates. For this reason, the business did not go ahead.
In the early days when he worked at Meijering, he once bought too much from an incourant size, typo shall we say. Paul said "this doesn't really make us nervous" and after a few months everything was sold thanks to some extra effort from the sales department.
Changes and innovations within the purchasing department
Anthony is most proud of 2 things.
The first is the automation process he has implemented. There is advanced software from Slimstock in which they look at all the data. These are put into an Excel file where everything can be compared easily and quickly. Then they decide which supplier to buy from and then they can read the orders from Excel back into the ERP system.
Henriëtte en Anthony in consultation
Secondly, Anthony is proud to run the purchasing department together with Henriëtte Aarts.
The department used to consist of three people, but now it consists of two. In the beginning it was difficult because you were used to having a good colleague there, but now it runs well. Henriëtte and Anthony help each other and complement each other well, especially when it comes to things like anti-dumping and safeguard quotas.
So working together is really necessary. At the moment we are in the process of recruiting a new colleague, Marc Van Herwijnen to give the department a bit more air.
Biggest problem in buying stainless steel
The anti-dumping and quota. These two complications unfortunately make it quite difficult to buy. A lot of research has to be done before purchasing. After all, we don't want a purchase order not arriving or hugely delayed because the quota is full.
Freedom and independence
Anthony gets plenty of freedom within the company. He is now a very experienced buyer and he has shown that he does his job very well. Of course, purchasing is done in consultation with the sales department. After all, that department knows best what our customers' needs are.
How have you changed in your profession in recent years?
According to Anthony, this is quite a difficult question to answer. He is actually a buyer at heart. You have to have a good feeling about something. After training at Slimstock, it became even clearer to him how important communication is throughout the chain. This was an eye-opener for him and has positively changed his work.
Do you pay attention to the same things in private purchases as when you buy things for business?
In private life, he also pays attention to price-quality ratio. His wife is also alert to this and often says that it is not always the price that determines whether something is of good quality.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Watching a good film, preferably in the science-fiction genre. He also likes a good football match. Furthermore, he really enjoys reading but does not take enough time for it. His last book was War and Peace by Tolstoy, a big pill, but worth reading. And unfortunately very relevant again now. I also enjoy doing DIY jobs around the house, solving Sudoku and receiving friends to play board games with.