In the period from 19th August 2013 to 14th February 2014, I had the opportunity to go on a working visit to Bentley Motors, Crewe, United Kingdom. During this six-month Internship programme, I worked in the procurement department, in a team called Project, which was responsible for not only preparing new project calculations, nominating new suppliers, but also for modification of current components, which for some reason are not suitable for automobile production. Working hours were Monday to Thursday from 8 to 5, on Fridays only to 12. More than 60 people worked in the department and our team had 9 members.
As a part of my internship, I had several tasks for which I was exclusively responsible for. The first one was evaluating and approving purchases for Design and Development under 20,000 EUR. This work required daily contact with engineers who submitted these requests, but also with suppliers that received approved orders. Thanks to this, I have improved my communication skills and time management. Another task I had throughout my stay were so called B-Releases, which practically meant managing a database of all new components and distributing information about new and used components to individual buyers. Thanks to this, I learned to use software such as AVON, TEVON, SAP or KVS. My next task, called AEKO, was closely related to this activity. AEKO is essentially a proposal of engineers for modification of an existing component that does not comply anymore, for example because of an incorrect dimension, so the supplier has to fix this so that the component is fitted faster and easier. For example, several weeks were devoted to finding the best way of fixing iPads in car seats. These AEKO meetings brought together representatives of procurement, logistics, finance, engineering and other departments so that they could agree whether a proposed change will be approved or not. Every day I had to prepare a list of components that are affected by the individual AEKOs and inform the respective buyers.
Marginally, I also worked on Forward Sourcing, updated the Forward Sourcing Plan for individual projects and entered the information in the TEVON system. Every week, I also prepared documents on Forward Sourcing for my manager, who then presented them to the head of the entire procurement department.
Over a period of 4 months, me and three other interns worked on creating a Capacity Database, i.e. a database of possible capacities for all used components in all produced models (more than 10,000 components). Each of us was assigned with about 90 suppliers, our task was to find out how many components they are able to produce in one week. This database will be used for a much more efficient production planning and will determine whether production can be increased, or whether a certain a supplier would have difficulties supplying more components than before. This task required almost constant telephone and email contact with the suppliers who we asked to fill in special forms, but also with buyers of individual components, with whom we often verified whether a component is still in use or whether a given capacity is not undervalued or overvalued. We then entered the data into the Cap DB programme.
This experience was very beneficial in many ways. I have learned practical use of time management and assigning priorities to tasks. With daily contact with engineers, buyers, suppliers, team members and other interns, I have improved my communication and language skills. I worked every day with systems like SAP, TEVON, AVON, Cap DB, Workflow and used advanced functions in Microsoft Excel, Word and Outlook. I also had the opportunity to get an insight on the procurement process, the way it takes place in individual teams, departments, but also that procurement in Bentley is strongly linked to the entire group, for example by sharing identical components and suppliers.
During my stay, we had the opportunity to see the car production process, visited a room where wood for dashboards is stored, or had the chance to see the processing of leather for seats, lining and the steering wheel. It is this precise handwork that makes Bentley a luxury brand. Towards the end of my stay, I also had the opportunity to drive two Bentley models during test drives before handing over the new cars to their buyers.
In addition to my work experience, I also travelled around the UK, since Crewe is a railway junction, it is easy to get practically anywhere by train from there. During weekends and holidays, I spent several days for example in London, Manchester or Liverpool, sightseeing and visiting museums.
My team helped me a lot in the beginnings, as well as the Intern Committee, interns who had been there for several months and were always willing to help, for example with how to get a National Identification Number, open a bank account or what places nearby are worth visiting. I would highly recommend working in Bentley, because it is a unique opportunity to test school knowledge in practice and six months is long enough to get to know all the processes in procurement.
I worked in the Purchase Department in the Projects team which consisted of 16 nice colleagues who were always prepared to help me kindly if I needed it. The beginning was quite exacting as we had to manage our bank account and request all Bentley systems such as SAP, TEVON, AVON, B-release database, but everything was arranged sooner than we expected.
If I had to evaluate my stay in Athens, the words I could use would be amazing and unforgettable. Not only that, I met with great friendly people from many parts of the world, and I also learned about Greek culture.
My daily task was to negotiate discounts with suppliers and ensure a steady flow of orders in the internal system called Workflow.
One of the main reasons why I decided on Škoda Auto University was the possibility for extensive internships, not only at Škoda Auto a.s. but also abroad with companies such as VW, Audi, Seat and Bentley.
ŠKODA AUTO University offers a lot of options for an exchange semester abroad. As a result, it was not easy to decide which university is the most interesting. I decided to study at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.
From 10th February till 25th July 2014 I had a great opportunity to be a part of the Purchasing department in Bentley motors Ltd. in a small town called Crewe. Crewe is situated in the north-west part of Great Britain.