This is a proven landing spot for consultants. In recent years, several consultants have successfully made the transition from consulting firms such as Roland Berger, OC&C and KPMG to ASML in order to take on the role of Strategic Sourcing Manager. As ASML is at the heart of an expanding industry, there are more consulting-exit opportunities within Strategic Sourcing at ASML.
According to Moore’s law, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. Computers get faster every year; every generation of smartphones boasts higher resolution screens and better cameras. ASML invents and develops the complex technology required to drive this progress. They are a leading provider of tech systems for the semiconductor industry, creating transistors and computer chips.
ASML is a Dutch company and is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. It was founded in 1984 and currently has over 70 offices worldwide. ASML employs more than 14.000 people – of which 5.000 in the R&D department. With its product, ASML wants to provide affordable microelectronics that improve the quality of life. To achieve this, the mission is to invent, develop, manufacture and service advanced technology.
The success is based on three pillars: technology leadership combined with customer and supplier intimacy, highly efficient manufacturing processes and entrepreneurial people. Open innovation is an important accelerator for ASML’s disruptive scientific progress. The technology behind ASML’s business is known as lithography. These systems – called steppers and step & scan tools (scanners) – use a photographic process to image nanometric circuit patterns onto a silicon wafer. The process is similar to the way a camera prints an image on film. The lithographic process is a driving factor in the fabrication of state-of-the-art chips. ASML invents and develops lithography machines for printing smaller, faster, greener transistors and computer chips each year. An ASML lithography system contains tens of thousands of parts, and nearly all of them are manufactured by suppliers. For example, all lenses are produced by ASML’s strategic partner Zeiss. Evidently, the supplier network has a pivotal role in ASML’s innovation and progress. As a high-tech system integrator, the company focuses on ultimate outsourcing and integration of its supply chain.
The Strategic Sourcing Manager at ASML has a significant impact on the development of the supply base strategy and policy in Optics, Mechatronics & Mechanics and Electrical Sourcing. (S)he is not a buyer negotiating prices; (s)he’s the one landscaping the supply base, preparing decisions whether the production of components is done in-house or outsourced (by one strategic partner or several) and scouting suppliers whose technology will create another step change. Needless to say, this role includes frequent exposure to the Board and senior management.
“As a Strategic Source Manager at ASML, the impact you can have on the business is huge. ASML is growing fast and has an even brighter future. This is an amazing place to be right now, especially if you have a background in consulting.” – Paul van Meel, Strategic Sourcing Manager at ASML
The Strategic Sourcing department, led by Mark van Spall, works in close cooperation with Development, Engineering and Senior Management of Strategic Sourcing & Procurement to secure the long-term supply of the right products and services. Its success is carried by the close collaboration with suppliers. With 85% of the manufacturing cost price accounting for purchased goods, it’s safe to say that the future of ASML depends on its supplier network.
The Strategic Sourcing Manager identifies new suppliers to support new technologies, creates early supplier involvement in development projects and balances long-term supply capacity with expected market requirements. After all, the chip industry has a reputation for its volatility, so the supply chain needs to be flexible as well.
This role is a proven way for first-tier consultants to enter ASML and secure a stellar career path within ASML. The role will have international business exposure and requires occasional travel. Depending on the candidate, there are various possible next steps, including product management, corporate marketing or a more senior role within sourcing.
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