“I came to Valmont® through a friend who had an opening on the credit team, where I helped for six weeks,” says Shirley Simons, Valley Irrigation Purchasing Manager and Procedure Specialist. “After some organizational changes, I was recruited to purchasing. I was encouraged to get my degree and CPM certification (Certified Purchasing Manager), and I did it all in one year!”
That was 30 years ago, and Shirley is still with Valley, although she has held multiple positions since then.
In her current job, she manages eight buyers and ensures all the parts needed to make an irrigation machine are available. She negotiates pricing continually, builds contracts, deals with national accounts across the world and constantly manages inventory levels.
“I have a great team under me, but purchasing is challenging,” she says. “There is a lot to juggle and you have to have a tough skin and think of the customer first – both internal and external.”
Shirley is thankful for all that Valley has done for her – for all the training and opportunities the company has provided her through the years.
“I’m proud to be part of Valley," she says. "I give 110 percent all the time. The support from upper management is essential to the purchasing department, and we employees and the vendors appreciate it.”
Outside work, Shirley spends time with her five grandchildren. She and her husband also “do antiques” – weathering, waxing, and selling them.