Erwan recently joined Stanley Robotics as a Procurement Manager and will be in charge of structuring purchasing and logistics, finding partners and work with them on improving competitiveness and performance.

OK, Let’s start by introducing yourself to our readers (Just about who you are, your career so far etc.)

So, I started in the automotive sector. I have always had a fascination with cars, and I still have. I started with a Technician’s certificate in car maintenance, so I repaired vehicles in garages. I then did a sandwich course at an engineering school where I began working for Delphi, an automotive supplier. This is where I discovered purchasing. I started in supplier quality assurance where I was involved in improving the quality of parts that were provided by our suppliers, in the electronics department. Having built contacts with suppliers, I pivoted into purchasing. The whole business relationship was of great interest to me, including participating in the strategic aspect of supplier selection.

I then worked for two years in a big French SME called GRUAU which converts commercial vehicles. That is to say that they take regular commercial vehicles and adapt them for trades as needed. For example firefighting vehicles that need to be transformed to meet their needs. There I set up project purchases and managed tools to work with the design office, quality assurance...

After that, PSA recruited me, where at first I worked on a vehicle project with Toyota for 108, C1 and Aygo. I worked on that project for three years, and my role was to interface between suppliers, design offices, quality control and, finally, the factory. So we start with a blank page, the stylist draws the car, and then we choose the suppliers, we develop the parts with them, we go through this whole development phase then we go into the stage of industrialisation where we get the products certified.

Subsequently, I took positions of responsibility on the purchasing team at PSA sourcing automobile parts. By this point, I have just over 10 years of experience in purchasing, in particular in the automotive industry.

Why did you choose Stanley Robotics?

A recruitment agency contacted me at a time that I was, at PSA, thinking about whether I should stay or leave. I was amazed by the product and its customer application. What I liked was that there is a real customer need for the product. I think that if this need already exists, tomorrow the prospects will be pretty huge. Which I believe is not the case among all innovating companies that need to prompt a customer’s needs. Today, robotics is talked about a lot, and I think it is a sector that will be important in the future, which I also found very attractive for the rest of my career. Once the conceptual stage of product development is over, you need to look at the kind of company. The interest I saw in a startup is that in large companies, the conversation everywhere is about agility because a lot of small startups challenges them. I feel I see much more disorganisation than agility. It was something that bothered me a bit.

I was often frustrated that I could not move a particular line because there is a defined framework. In trying to imagine the medium-term future, I told myself that working in a big company was not necessarily something made for me. Participating in an adventure in a more human-scale company was an excellent opportunity to find this agile environment.

What I liked as well was that I worked a lot in project mode before, especially in the automotive industry, and I enjoyed having a rather small team in which everyone is heading in the same direction to achieve a goal. Where I worked before, I was at the crossroads of several paths and projects, and everyone had their interests. At Stanley, everyone is there to develop the product, satisfy the customer, improve the profitability of the company ... I really like this working environment.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I spend some of my free time enjoying architecture. I share this passion with my wife. We have just finished our second apartment, and we will surely have another project. We take a wholly dilapidated apartment, we redo the plans, and we do it up.

Can you tell us a bit more about your role here at Stanley Robotics?

My position is Procurement Manager. My assignments involve on the one hand structuring purchasing and logistics to develop a strong supplier base that can work well in the long run, to find partners and work with them on improving competitiveness and performance at Stanley Robotics.

Finally, do you have a “funniest word”?

Since my son was born in the spring, I rediscovered the word “salopette” (dungarees) which gives me a laugh every time I put it on him!


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