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Experience Report David Steinke

David Steinke

Investment Buyer at thyssenkrupp rothe erde Germany GmbH

My job

My responsibility is the procurement of investment goods like machinery and equipment for our three plants in Germany. However, I am also part of a global team that consists of technical and commercial specialists who are performing global machinery procurement processes. Nonetheless, to support my internal customers best, I need to understand their requirements and their challenges. Once I achieved this understanding, I can suggest suppliers who might be able to help us finding adequate solutions. Therefore, I have to perform supply market researches and analyses. I perform these analyses by an internet research, attending a trade fair or even visiting the potential supplier itself.

After discussing in a cross-functional team, we are able to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of cooperating with these suppliers. Consequently, the cross-functional team is also deciding on the onboarding or release of suppliers with whom we are negotiating, and who to invite to our awarding negotiations or e-auctions for example. This way we create competition and thus price reductions and/or technological improvement that we usually cannot reach with a single supplier relationship.

My typical working day

Since I interpret my job as a moderating role in an intercultural and cross-functional team, I need to communicate a lot on the phone, via e-mail or in person. This means I am meeting many people every day – this is  what I enjoy to the fullest!

Working in procurement also means to deal with challenges on a daily basis because I am representing the interest of my company, which sometimes are in contrast to the ones of the supplier. Nevertheless, we all have one thing in common: we are always focusing on the solution and we are searching for a win/win situation.

My challenges

In procurement we expect that we will need many new suppliers in the near future, especially those who can supply competitive advantage in the field of digitization. Subsequently, one of our biggest challenges will be finding the right partners for future challenges. Consequently, we need to discuss and define our future needs in cross-functional teams that will include staff from R&D, engineering, maintenance, and procurement. All of us need to be open to new trends and adapt to current challenges and new market development.

My qualification

My business studies created a main understanding of business processes and synergies, while my time as a football player formed a profound team-working spirit, which is vital when working in or moderating cross-functional teams. Moreover, my psychology studies help me to take different standpoints as well as recognizing deviations in behavior during negotiations, which makes it possible to differentiate between truth and untruth, comfort and stress of my discussion partner.

Our slogan is „engineering. tomorrow. together.” Together means for me …

For me, our slogan means that we are thriving to be the best supplier for our customers when it comes to state of the art technology. Moreover, we are constantly searching for new competitive advantages, not just from a commercial standpoint but also in particular from a technological one. “Together” means for me that we are not only working hard internally to reach our goals, but also cooperating with our customers and suppliers to achieve win/win situations that lead to long-term relationships which also result in competitive advantages for all stakeholders involved.

Working with highly motivated colleagues in intercultural and cross-functional teams is keeping my motivation on the highest level since I joined thyssenkrupp rothe erde because we keep learning from each other, and thus, grow as employees, but more importantly as persons, too.

My employer thyssenkrupp rothe erde

I joined thyssenkrupp rothe erde because it is an innovative, global, and market leading company which is delivering high quality devices - and thus, competitive advantages - to its customers. Knowing this and collaborating in an international environment with cross-functional teams motivates me to do my best for achieving our common goals. However, acting on my own responsibility as well as interacting with general managers are further motivating factors for me.

Additionally, in procurement I have the feeling to be able to influence the achievement of the company at the beginning of the process chain because machinery that I buy will have a vital impact on the quality of our products and consequently on the customer’s satisfaction. As a result, I can help to increase customers’ satisfaction even though I barely get in contact with our clients.