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Interview with DI Marco Schlimpert, Vice President Performance, Improvement & Technology, Lenzing AG

DI Marco Schlimpert teaches “Procurement, Supplier & Contract Management” in MBA Automotive Industry

DI Marco Schlimpert

The traditional supply chain management approach is currently being replaced by the ecosystems approach with super-flexible networks of specialized partners, offering the necessary consistency and flexibility in supply the same time.  Recognizing this global development, it becomes evident that the traditional procurement function is outdated. Procurement has evolved from a transactional administrative role to a strategic function and finally is becoming an executive role orchestrating the ecosystems of companies. At his lecture „Procurement, Supplier & Contract Management”  he will provide a sustainable learning experience, this course combines theoretical input with profound practical experience within different industries and best practices in the automotive industry.

Why do I as an expert burn for the topic "Procurement, Supplier & Contract Management"?

I have always been interested in many different subjects (technology, science, psychology, history). Especially the combination of economics and technology moved me to study Industrial Engineering and Management at the TU Wien. As a young graduate, I wanted to have a lot to do professionally with people from different cultures and travel the world. If there is one job where you can realize this, it is probably the one in purchasing. I have noticed that you can make an enormous amount of positive difference with value orientation, building networks and actively shaping processes and business models; not only for the business success for the company, but also in the relationships with people. Even though I have not worked in purchasing for some time now, I benefit enormously from my experience from that time. And I always notice in my lectures how much interest my practical examples generate and what great solutions I was able to solve with the departments involved during this time.

Why is this topic relevant for managers?

With a material cost share of a product of 50%, a 2% reduction in purchasing costs has the same effect on EBIT as a 20% increase in sales. For this reason alone, it is important to pay special attention to purchasing. Or to put it another way: you don't have to earn a saved Euro. However, the conventional methods of price reduction have long since become obsolete; it is much more a matter of value generation and the design of flexible supply chains and networks. The cost optimization and the generation of added value are in the foreground, therefore from the point of view of total cost optimization a meaningful and partnership-based management is also necessary. In this context, executives must familiarize themselves with the most diverse aspects of leadership and technical topics (cost structures, business processes, IT systems, organizational set-up, international law and culture-specific leadership topics) in order to be successful in the future. The self-image of modern purchasing is the designer of flexible supply chains while optimizing total costs. It thus orchestrates the various departments involved in the company (from engineering to production to logistics) and is an essential strategic sparring partner for the management.

What impact does my topic have on companies or on society?

Successful companies synchronize sales markets with procurement markets. In both markets, companies and people are active in offering and selling products and services with unique added value. Purchasing employees represent the company in the procurement market and thus have a direct influence on the way business is done. A meaningful but also challenging partnership (in a positive sense) thus leads to an increase in the long-term competitiveness of supply chains and a special identification of the employees involved. Especially in the current time, when many people are asking themselves the question of meaning, it is important to create sustainable business relationships that generate innovations in products and services. Here, purchasing acts as a catalyst not only within its own company, but also for its business partners.

What do the participants learn from me?

Participants learn from my practice the most important concepts and tools that are easy to implement and bring enormous added value: from the creation of transparency in purchasing, to the efficient design of processes and organizations, to effective and practical purchasing strategies. In addition, participants will learn the key points of designing contracts in an international context in order to avoid falling into the typical traps of procurement. All this is paired with personal examples from around 15 years of international purchasing experience and my leadership values in dealing with people and business partners on the international stage.