Buyer – Expeditor


Position:           Buyer-Expeditor

Concentration:   Custom Components Buying, Special Processing (SP) & Contract Mfg. (CM) – Materials Expeditor

Department:      Materials Department

Reports To:       Materials Manager

Job Summary:

On Time Delivery (OTD) is the Materials and Manufacturing Departments’ primary focus on a daily basis.

Definition: A custom component is any material that has been designed by Trust Automation and is associated with a drawing or document that expressively directs the supplier to manufacture the part to the designed specification.

The Buyer-Expeditor is responsible for all purchases of Trust specified custom components utilizing our ERP system, MRP data, and coordinating use of correct released specifications and documentation with each order. Document changes must be coordinated with the supplier.

The Buyer-Expeditor will initiate purchasing of special processing requests as specified on Trust Automation drawings / documents; this is inclusive of daily communication of priorities with receiving inspection. Special processing requires management of raw materials being processed and after receipt of materials closure of work orders.

Daily Production Tasks to Support OTD & Buying Tasks:

(Not in Order of Priority or Limited To)

  • Establish a point of contact, working relationship, with custom component suppliers.
  • Coordinate with QA Department in maintaining special process suppliers.
  • Must maintain current supplier quote(s) and accurately maintain ERP system cost breakdown records.
  • Must have experience and knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices and procedures within purchasing and cost reduction.
  • Schedule visits and/or meet with representatives of key suppliers for consistent review of business relationships and continued improvements.
  • Must understand the Materials Handler’s basic duties to provide back-up and assist in critical demands or when materials exceptions occur.
  • Assist the Mfg. Eng. Dept. as needed to help ensure accuracy of all Production Lists.
  • Must maintain and understand MRP data in the ERP system to control the flow of materials to the manufacturing floor.
  • Coordinate with MFGE through change control processes on AML, RoHS, and conflict material discrepancies for new and existing components.
  • Report AML issues for hard to find parts, end of life parts, and need for second source.
  • Assist MFGE & QA to control non-conforming components and their disposition.
  • The Buyer-Expeditor is a back-up for the Planner-Expeditor at the daily OTD meetings in their absence.
  • It is the responsibility of every Buyer-Expeditor to be familiar with the other Buyer-Expeditors’ concentration(s) in order to back up other Buyer-Expeditor’s desk in their absence or during times of impacted workload.
  • Understand Trust’s procedures required to control product change.
  • Assist in supplier quality audits and new supplier approvals.
  • Participate in training, understand, and ensure that all department personnel uphold purchasing procedures OP7.4.1 through OP7.4.3.

Job Concentration:

Custom Components Buying & Expediting Specific Tasks:

  • Purchase all production level and Engineering Projects custom components.
  • Make sure custom component suppliers are working towards the current released documentation and are meeting promised dock dates. Report any exceptions to Planner-Expeditor.
  • Work with MFGE and Materials handlers for exceptions and/or changes that occur post PO issue. Assist in verification of ERP system data during changes.
  • Understand Quality requirements as they apply to product configuration and requirements for final use of component.
  • Complete Special Processing tasks on a daily basis
  • From receipt of component, help maintain receiving inspection priorities, special process requirements, and other inspection requirements in order to ready stock for kitting to the next assembly level.
  • Process all custom components coordinated by the Senior Planner & Expeditor for prototype builds.
  • Work in cooperation with MFGE to setup and maintain Engineering Project carts as required to maintain material control during the Design & Development stage of any project.

CM Coordination Specific Tasks:

  • The CM Coordinator must work with Materials Handlers to kit and relocate component parts as required per order.
  • The CM Coordinator must work with the CM to accurately maintain a record of the stock level of all parts stored at the CM’s facility.
  • Ensure that any shortages at the CM are filled in a timely manner.
  • Coordinate internal material flow through manufacturing and testing.
  • Work with Doc Control to ensure CM has correct documentation package for each order.
  • Understand Quality requirements as they apply to product configuration and requirements for final use of component.

Cycle Counting Primary Lead:

  • Primary employee responsible for the integrity & maintenance of the cycle counting process.
  • Start and track a cycle counting schedule to ensure ERP system integrity.
  • Manage the materials handlers counting cycle to ensure that all components get counted in a fiscal year if not more for high ticket items.
  • Make necessary ERP adjustments in a timely manner to ensure REAL-TIME inventory.
  • Analyses data for common/reoccurring errors that require additional adjustments i.e. BOM changes, production floor changes, etc.
  • A team member for the year end cycle counting process.

Additional Responsibilities:

  1. Abide by Employee Handbook.
  2. All suggestions and complaints must be discussed with the COO. Resolution of the suggestions and/or complaints, whether positive or negative, cannot be discussed on the Mfg. floor or with other Mfg. personal. Information shall be released as is appropriate with company procedure.
  3. Set a good example of time management.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements:

  1. Need to be able to work in a fast-pace environment, be able to prioritize tasks and effectively communicate priorities.
  2. Ability to maintain the day-to-day information required to manufacture our products and keep the satisfaction of our customers at its highest level.
  3. Work requires professional written and verbal communication and strong interpersonal skills.
  4. Learn how to use the ERP System and be efficient in the use of Excel, Word, and Adobe Software

Compensation Information:

  • Level(s) are going to be used to establish pay ranges.
  • Actual compensation is completely dependent on, but not limited to, the specific employee and his-/-her education, years of experience, additional skill and capabilities, quality of performance, attendance, and adherence to the company’s Corporate Values.
  • All Job Concentrations are specific to Trust Automation and are NOT intended to be compared to the outside world’s definitions of “Contract Manufacturer Coordinator or Engineering Buyer” type job description(s)”.

Students make Robotics Great (Again)!

Last month over 700 people chose to invest in students instead of watching the presidential debates. Adults and kids alike enjoyed robotic creations and learned how to solve real world problems with technology – there was no accusations about 33,000 lost emails, missing tax returns, or negative jabs. Just passionate debates over battery technologies and construction materials.

SLO MakerSpace

From school robots to commercial drones, this event is designed to inspire creative technologies and encourage kids who have a talent for engineering. Grants are given to existing robotics teams and key connections and seed money provided to form new high school teams. Softec gave $7,500 in grants this year and $40,000 over the last 11 years.

RMD Robotics and Drones

Softec gave $7,500 in grants this year and $40,000 over the last 11 years.

Instead of going toe-to-toe on higher wages and better education, robotics clubs come face-to-face with real-world experience for our future engineers, business leaders and managers. Many teams have a marketing officer, treasurer, and HR director to account for the thousands of hours, ten of thousands of dollars, and relationships with sponsors. More than STEM – club robotics create opportunity for students of all talents teaching lessons more valuable than a typical child’s ‘first job’.

VEX Arena

Instead of a debate on higher wages and better education, robotics clubs create a real-world experience for our future engineers, business leaders and managers.

Softec and our sponsors take direct action to invest in our local economy. As a local non-profit software and technology trade association, we work to build and promote local events for our sponsors, and we focus this annual event as an investment in our students – where we create a multi-generational experience for all ages. And that is the truth – no fact checkers needed!  😉

Softec Robotics Expo – a unique intersection of learning and fun!

Softec’s 8th Annual Student Robotics Expo is this Monday, Sept. 26th at 5:50pm. This free event has packed the house each year – full of learning opportunities and plenty of fun.

What is unique about this robotics expo is the student exposure to more advanced robotics leagues and applications in the commercial industry to provide a taste of what their future in robotics can look like. Truly a multi-generational experience, with LEGO robots, full-sized and underwater High School robots – and commercial bots from the SLO County Bomb Sqad and drones used in the Wine Industry, there is certain to be something for everyone.

This event has grown in every way; in order to bring in new activities this year, we have moved to the Alex Madonna Expo Center! Last year we offered a Drone Obstacle course for the first time. This year we have a drone arena, bigger than last year’s course and located in the Expo Building to make piloting easier. So bring your drone or quadcopter – and compete for the best time in your assigned class.

The community’s support to put on this event has been amazing! CalFire will be providing a pool for the underwater robotics teams and we already mentioned the Bomb bot from SLO Sheriff’s Dept. Cal Poly’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and staff from Experts Exchange have offered to volunteer to help with setup and running the Drone Course. We also have several food vendors lined up: The Pairing Knife, RibLine, What the Truck, Paradise Shaved Ice, and Coastal Peaks Coffee

Several Robotics Leagues will be Represented:

  • FIRST – High School Robotics
  • MATE – Marine Advanced Technology Education
  • VEX – High school and Middle School Robotics
  • VEXiq – Elementary School Robotics
  • FIRST LEGO League – Elementary School Robotics


  • 5:30PM – Food vendors start serving
  • 6:00pm – The Robotics Expo Begins! Attendance is Free!

Job Board: Electrical Design Engineer


Engineer to lead electronic circuit and electrical system design efforts for motion control and power conversion products.  Responsibilities include requirement derivation, conceptual design, prototype and production system development, and hands-on integration and test.  Successful candidates will have:

  • Over 5 years of electrical design experience, both circuit and system level
  • A strong grasp of control theory fundamentals
  • Development experience from a system design perspective
  • Practiced use of simulation programs to do preliminary trade studies and circuit review

Please go to for a complete job description and application process

20-years of Softec

Throughout the last 20-years, we have worked hard throughout the community to bring technology and businesses together, hosting awesome events and creating what we call ‘Softec Moments’.

Let’s look at some of the highlights of Softec’s history and while we do – let’s not forget the amazing (and sometime hilarious) technology and cultural headlines at the time.

To get our bearings, let’s start out in the mid-80’s – before the birth of Softec.

The first cell phone was available to the public in 1984 weighing in at 2.4 pounds and was the size of a shoebox, New Coke was introduced in 1985 and CD-ROMs were released in 1989.

In 1994 56k modems were considered screaming fast, Netscape was the latest thing, and 4MB of RAM was a huge.  It was also at this time that the original idea of Softec came to be, not as a non-profit but as a local Technology VC fund.

And in 1995 while beanie babies became the current Internet sensation being sold all over the newly launched auction site, eBay – Softec transformed into a technology networking group.

The following year Softec officially launched as a 501(c)(6) and held their first Technology symposium with local celebrity Eric Schwefler giving the Keynote.

In 1997, local startup Xing Technologies sold to Real Networks for $75 million – creating an influx of cash and talent in the local tech community.  And 12x speed CD-ROMs were the norm.

Who remembers what happened in April 1998?  – I’m sure you have seen it on YouTube and if you haven’t don’t you dare google it now – At COMDEX Bill Gates was demonstrating Windows 98 and the computer crashed during his presentation

In 1999 shelves were emptied as IT departments worldwide stocked up on supplies of caffeine and frozen pizza in preparation for Y2K.  But we survived and mankind has learned learned so much leaving me confident that we are prepared for Y3K, even if beanie babies make a comeback.

By the year 2000 – Softec held 5 annual Technology Symposiums and the IT departments all across the country were quickly burning through their caffeine stockpile as they busily worked the clean all those computers infected from the ‘I LOVE YOU’ email virus.

Not to be outdone, the following year Dutch programmer, Jan de Wit, released and email virus purportedly claiming to contain pictures of Anna Kournikova.  Soon after, obviously frustrated by the lack of Anna Kournikova pictures in those fake emails, programmer Bram Cohen releases bitTorrent – one of several distributed file sharing programs available at the time.

Also in 2001 Softec had the first TechBrew meeting and the ‘Softec Moment’ was born when Ed Stevens and Sean Collier met at a Softec open house which blossomed into shopatron.

Concerned for the environment and our landfills filling up too quickly – No More AOL launched trying to stop AOL’s CD Marketing campaign flood.  Obviously AOL’s efforts paid off – because by 2002 they reached their peak of 27 million subscribers.  People were so busy checking their email, they didn’t have time to vacuum and iRobot capitalized on this releasing the Roomba.

Also in 2002 local business CustomFlix was launched and the first local high school robotics team was started at Atascadero high School by John Mirron

We saw wireless get faster in 2003 with 802.11g quadrupling wireless speeds to 54 megabits per second – this extra speed was perfect timing to allow everyone faster access to news of the dotCOM bubble bursting.  Gone were my dreams of early retirement and a personal chef.

In 2004 the Spirit land rover explored Mars with wheels and other key components made by San Luis Obispo’s own NextIntent.

Softec Launched the IMPACT awards program in 2005 recognizing Andrea Seastrand for her contributions to the community and Mark Wright for his work in the technology industry.

Twitter launched in 2006 and by July of that same year it is estimated that AOL shipped 1 billion CDs, but at that time I was too busy anticipating the release of Nintendo’s Wii to notice!  As a matter of fact, I was so distracted, I also missed Softec’s first Women in Tech dinner and the launch of CEO Roundtables – thank you Bob Dumouchel.

In 2007 people were leaving MySpace in droves to this new website called FaceBook, Netflix introduced streaming video, and everyone was talking to their friends and colleagues on their motorola flip phone about this amazing new product – the iPhone.

The sound of the bursting housing bubble made all the noise for the next two years until 2010 when Starbucks announced free wifi in all their stores.

By 2011 Android outsells the iPhone and Apple responds by introducing Siri.

2014 is remembered by the ice bucket challenge – any participants in the room?  Again, if not, please don’t do it now.

By 2015 – the big local news was the IPO of MindBody and the Shopatron merge to create Kibo

By then Softec has given over $30,000 in grants to local High School robotics

launched our fastest growing interest group ever – Women in Tech

So we are celebrating 20-years of Softec with still much to look forward to in the rest of 2016 and the years to come as we continue to live out Softec’s mission to help align local businesses, individuals and educational resources in our community to produce a thriving hub of innovation on the Central Coast.

Let’s keep the momentum – check out our upcoming events

And finally thank you to our sponsors – your financial support empowers us to give back directly to the community and your involvement with our events has created so many unique experiences for our members – from Open Houses at MindBody and Rosetta – to dinners with great networking and a never-ending variety of interesting topics at TechBrew – we thank you.

20-years! A Softec moment to remember

Words cannot express how great I feel about last night’s celebration.  It was an amazing gathering of some amazing people.

Over the past few years being involved with the Softec Board, I have heard the name, Greg Biggers, and last night I got the pleasure of meeting him.  We took some great pictures (to be posted soon) and heard of the growth and positive influence of Cal Poly’s Tech Park.

Of course, let’s not forget the food and prizes!  So many drawings and winners and so much fun.  It is a privilege and my pleasure to serve as president for such a fine group of people.

Thank you all for attending and thank you to several who worked hard to make this event possible:

  • Brittany McCrigler – hard work with handling the Catering
  • Robin Mitchel-Hee – event promotion and marketing
  • Fred Dyste – for the killer slideshow
  • Katie White – for providing the PA system
  • Stewart Morse – who is an amazing VP filling in the gaps and sending me reminders.
  • All the people who showed up early and stayed late!

Let’s keep the momentum!  I hope to see you all at the SLO Airport and ACI Jet Open House!

CCNTH Hackathon

Softec sponsors lots of technology related events and we are especially fond of those that serve the kids in our community. These take several forms but one of them is the Hackathon a competition designed to exposure kids to coding. So over the weekend with support from Softec and several other sponsors the kids ranging from middle to high school age put their coding skills to the test.


Coding group making magic.


Okay this might not be a software problem.  Clues included the need to use tools. Mentors noted that if it requires pliers to fix it then it might be a hardware problem.


What a group of really smart people looks like.

Softec looks forward to next year’s event.