Senior. Specialist, Sourcing Ops:
Merck USA

Merck USA
West Point Pennsylvania
Requisition ID: PRO016925

Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, N.J., U.S.A. known as Merck in the United States and Canada, is a global health care leader with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines and animal health products. The difference between potential and achievement lies in the spark that fuels innovation and inventiveness; this is the space where Merck has codified its legacy for over a century. Merck’s success is backed by ethical integrity, forward momentum, and an inspiring mission to achieve new milestones in global healthcare.

Merck is on a quest for cures and is committed to being the world’s premier, most research-intensive biopharmaceutical company. Today, we’re doubling down on this goal. Merck Research Laboratories is a true scientific research facility of tomorrow, and will take Merck’s leading discovery capabilities and world-class small molecule and biologics R&D expertise to create breakthrough science that radically changes the way we approach serious diseases. 

Pharmacology & Therapeutic Area Biology Sourcing Operations Senior Specialist within the Discovery Operations group of Merck Research Labs (MRL): This individual contributor, with minimal supervision, will take the lead in managing in vitro biology projects with external vendors in support of Discovery Sciences. This cross-functional position will involve working with scientific stakeholders to define project deliverables & workplans for various biology disciplines, developing & managing the biology vendor base, collecting metrics on supplier performance, tracking budgets, working with vendors to improve their level of service as well as developing, managing, improving & troubleshooting operational issues with our external suppliers. 

This position relies on:

Technical experience: 
  • Relies on extensive in vitro background related to protein production & cell sciences, including biological reagent generation (cell lines, RNA, DNA, etc.), enzyme & cell based assay development & screening of small molecule compounds
  • Maintains big picture working knowledge of drug discovery processes & organizational structure dependencies, as well as main scientific network contacts for in vitro work
  • Facilitates troubleshooting & resolution of operational & non-technical aspects of projects or defines & engages appropriate network resources to address issues with minimal supervision
Sourcing strategy management: 

  • Actively participates in Supplier Management Process (SMP) teams, providing Discovery Operations expertise in partnership with scientific stakeholders, Capability leads, Finance & Research Procurement to identify vendor requirements & any gaps
  • Exhibits strong leadership skills to align organizational needs across the functional network with our vendor strategy, influencing functional area scientists & driving governance teams appropriately
  • Identifies sourcing challenges proactively & focuses on workflow improvements to enhance our efficiency, capabilities or quality with external vendors

Vendor relationship management:
  • Responsible for understanding the scientific & technical capabilities available at Merck's vendor partners across multiple disciplines, such that Merck can leverage these vendors to provide increased levels of service 
  • Relies on a strong business acumen to serves as partner relationship manager (PRM) to ensure success of multiple projects & programs running with the partner, while adapting, strengthening & broadening the collaboration where useful
  • Ensures partner understands & is prepared to meet Merck expectations based on project workplans & master service agreements
  • Manages projects with external partners by coordinating meetings & communications externally to ensure all project requirements (timeline, budget & scientific) are met
  • Accountable for metrics which monitor supplier performance through the Vendor Performance Process (VPP) 
  • Participates in external vendor audits & due diligence assessments

Superior communication skills:
  • Serves as primary point of contact for communications with a network of strategic & preferred CROs in addition to Merck scientists
  • With Scientific Capability Leads/ Merck scientists, creates clear & concise workplans based on scientific, operational & business requirements that accurately reflect scientific needs & communicates them to vendors
  • Supports capacity & new capability planning, implementation & vendor performance coaching using recurrent meetings, email communications & metrics-driven formal reviews
  • Responsible for maintaining internal records on progress of projects & keeping internal scientists & Capability leads up to date on progress

Ordering/budget management:
  • Ensures quotes include appropriate payment milestones & timeline specifications
  • Maintains close collaboration with finance colleagues to ensure accurate budgeting/forecasting & actuals reporting
  • Ensures good stewardship of Merck’s resources confirming that payment is made only on goods & services that meet quality & turnaround time requirements



  • Minimum (5) years of scientific experience in a research environment (with preference to pharmaceutical environment) with a BA or BS degree.

  • Prior experience in biological/ drug discovery research & in vitro experience (e.g. biological reagent production, enzyme & cell based assay development, screening of small molecule compounds)
  • Must possess strong communication, leadership, interpersonal and computer skills 

  • Direct sourcing experience (as buyer or seller) 
  • Process Improvement/ six sigma methodologies experience 
  • Project Management Certification (PMP, CPM) 
  • Experience in negotiations & contracting 
  • Budget management/ Finance experience 

Your role at Merck is integral to helping the world meet new breakthroughs that affect generations to come, and we’re counting on your skills and inventiveness to help make meaningful contributions to global medical advancement. At Merck, we’re inventing for life. 


If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request to [email protected].


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Job: Project Management Generic
Other Locations:
Employee Status: Regular
Travel: Yes, 15 % of the Time
Number of Openings:
Shift (if applicable):
Hazardous Materials:
Company Trade Name: Merck
Basic Qualifications