“One of the key learnings I would apply to any supplier/customer or seller/buyer relationship is that every situation will have ups and downs, but it is critical to align expectations up front. You have to stick to what you have been telling to each other, and that cuts both ways. If things go wrong, you have to have an open dialogue to get it fixed.”
AOP Host Philip Ideson starts each interview with a question about what brought that particular guest to procurement. With this week’s guest, business consultant and coach Juergen Scherer, it might have been better to ask what brought him THROUGH procurement, because he has held influential roles across procurement, supply chain, sales, and operations.
While he isn’t in procurement today, Juergen’s doctoral thesis on Procurement Marketing received the Scientific Award of the German Industry Association for Purchasing and Supply Management. His knowledge of the function has unquestionably improved his ability to excel in each of his other roles, as well as in his current coaching practice.
Today, Juegen splits his time between Germany and the US West Coast as a business consultant and coach, leading his business called BXB-Exchange. He reached out to Art of Procurement in response to our podcasts about the flywheel effect and its applicability to procurement. We took that opportunity to probe deeper into his thoughts about how procurement can better align with the business as a whole.
In this conversation, Juergen shares examples from his extensive background that illustrate the key part of his business philosophy:
- How procurement can push suppliers to deliver more value while investing in them so that their capabilities are developed at the same time.
- Why, despite the fact that every buyer/seller relationship is unique, there are common success factors that have to be consistently present: trust, open communications, and mutual respect, to name a few.
- How procurement can develop and effectively communicate a “USP,” or unique selling proposition, to both suppliers and internal stakeholders.