Swift - Purchasing Manager - Phoenix, AZ, USA

Michael Swift

Phoenix, AZ, USA


Purchasing Manager

Work History


Premium Valley Produce

My current position is managing sales and marketing for a California row crop grower out of Salinas, Santa Maria, El Centro, and Yuma Arizona to supply major retailers around the country. My items are broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces, green onions, celery and cabbage. In just 5 short months I have picked up 6 new retail accounts in the USA and Canada.
• Collaborate with farms daily for overall quality and harvest estimates
• Advise USDA of Phytosanitary certificate issuance and tracking needed for export
• Set up pricing and promotions for retailers 2 to 4 weeks out • Balance the harvesting and sales so as not to carry product over 48 hours in cooler

• Alert and inform the cooler management of daily volume expected for labor scheduling
• Settled pass due and unpaid claims through the PACA, WGA, for over 1,000,000
• Developed new customers and relationships to expand and increase additional volume


Safeway Stores Inc

Responsibility for, but not limited to the procurement and inventory management of bananas, pineapples, specialty tomatoes for 3 Safeway divisions in the USA, and 3 divisions in Canada. Personally communicated daily with Del Monte, Chiquita, Nature Sweet, and Desert Glory for volume needed by week and month. Assist daily with 6 banana ripening specialists for reports on color and temperatures demanded for each division's preference upon store arrival. Collaborated together with Strategic Team in Pleasanton for decisions made to honor which companies will be rewarded the business and which label will be chosen per division. In addition I also maintained procurement responsibility for market buying for product shorts for all USA divisions.
• Collaborate negations for contract annually for best quality and price for all 12 Safeway divisions
• Monitored store movement and volume on hand, to turn up or down the banana gassing process
• Extremely familiar with jobbers in the Jessup, Chicago, Texas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, produce terminals

• Created volume incentives that were fair and profitable for all parties
• Mastered 3 different computer systems for in-house inventory, outside procurement and in-house transfers
• Procured "street buys" for 9 US divisions starting at 3:00 a.m. working from east to west so as to deliver daily on time deliveries


Safeway Stores Inc

Senior management procurement

Commodity Specialist

Safeway Stores Inc

. chose to centralize their procurement efforts to Phoenix AZ. and overnight we closed 14 strategically placed produce "branch offices" throughout the USA and opened one office for all of Safeway's procurement needs. At that time I was one of 3 Safeway Branch Mangers chosen out of 14 to design, implement and begin the centralization process to Phoenix. I was then selected (from a pool of over 60 applicants from both inside and outside of the company) to lead the vegetable commodity team consisting of 12 Commodity Specialist to purchase all vegetable items grown in the USA. for 12 divisions. I was able to run my office on the East Coast during the 18 months it took to complete traveling back and forth and coast to coast to handle all of my responsibilities.
• Directly responsible for approving purchase orders issued for the procurement of 1700 stores
• Implemented and monitored the QA, standards and specifications of product
• Coached a staff of employees implementing best practices and skills to reduce costs

• Managed the total company needs for all of the divisions vegetable needs
• Reported key information to buying staff, category management, sales and marketing to assist in over 3 billion dollars of sales
• Monitored vendor compliance regarding 3rd party auditing

Branch Manager

Safeway's East Coast Produce Procurement Department

. In this role I led a team of 7 to 9 employees consisting of 2 field persons, 4 buyers and 2 clerks to procure all products grown east of the Mississippi, from Florida to Quebec, and all offshore products. When I began this position our office was rated last out of 14 offices for sales and profitability. When we closed this office to move to Phoenix we were rated # 3 in profitability and #6 in sales. In this role, I also sold product to outside customers (Bruno's, Stop N Shop) for additional revenue. It was from this office I was nominated from my peers, interviewed, and accepted into the UFFVA Leadership Development Program Class number 7.
• Develop budgets for office, review and revamp accounting procedures and recommend improvements to controller
• Conducted field surveys to present and future growing plans and availability of specific crops
• Handled special projects or other related assignments with various customers and relations

• Examination of pertinent data for local and outside area pricing comparisons
• Considered growing conditions, prices, supply and demand to arrive best buying procedures
• Worked very closely with smaller family farms to bring their products to Safeway receiving standards
• Personally handled my own commodities while managing other buyers in my office


Safeway Stores Inc

Managed over 3 billion dollars worth of purchases for company


Safeway Stores Inc

I was promoted to produce buyer 1 in 1994 and I was responsible for street buying off of the New York, Philadelphia, and Jessup produce terminals. The need for market buying was to cover additional product from rejections, to find special buys, and or to cover any type of product shortages. The main items I was responsible for in this role were potatoes, onions, apples, watermelons, greenhouse tomatoes, and peppers that were all grown east of the Mississippi.
• Visited and contacted shippers, growers, cooperatives, associations, and local jobbers to procure items needed for the divisions
• Communicated and sold products to outside divisions to increase office tonnage
• Assist the procurement team and divisions with setting up ads and to inform them of market conditions and trends

• Inspected apple, potato, watermelon, and onion crops prior to each harvest
• Developed grower relations that were beneficial to not only Safeway but also our growing partners
• Ability to inspect crops for quality, condition and evidence of disease
• Actively work with division directors to resolve cost issues and to seek additional opportunities

Buyer trainee

Safeway's Eastern Branch Procurement office

division closed, I went to work for Jumbo Produce in Landover Md. as a produce warehouse shipping clerk. I returned to Safeway when an in store management position was offered to me.

Expert Marksman

United States Army

at Ft. Bragg North Carolina. I was in the 18th Airborne Corp and worked on CH-47 helicopters. I was honorably discharged and was awarded the United States Army Commendation medal, Good conduct with 2 stars medal, Expert Marksman medal, and the Army Service award medal. While in the service I attended Emery Riddle Aeronautical University and received certificate of completion for 3 courses. They were in Airframe, Powerplant and General Avionics.
I am a Graduate of First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach Virginia.
Professional Organizations and Industry Leadership
Alumnus of Class number 7 of the United Fresh fruit and Vegetable Leadership Development Program: I was trained to represent and speak on behalf of Safeway Inc. on subjects of Governmental Affairs, Relationship Development, Modern Technologies, Public/Media speaking and Foreign Trade to name a few.
I lobbied on Capitol Hill seeking our governments help to increase public consumption of fruit and vegetables several times. I was nominated by my class fellows to speak on behalf of our class on leadership development in Washington DC to a group of over 500 of our industry leaders to include the Secretary of Agriculture Ann Venniman.
I was trained by Safeway legal department prior to a newspaper article that Safeway asked me to speak on their behalf. The article was put in print and afterwards Safeway legal stated to me that my statements were better than paid advertisement.
I represented Safeway on a Mexican trade mission with the Mexican Government for potential investment into their crops. My mission was to visit growing areas in 14 States of Mexico and report back on availability, food safety, growing and packing procedures, and then speak at the Partnership for Prosperity trade meeting in San Francisco on the benefit of using Mexican grown product.
Served on the New Membership Committee for the UFFVA for two years
Current member of the United Leadership Alumni Group
Recipient of the Certificate of...

Qualifications & Certifications

Airframe, powerplant, and general avionics

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

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