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Experience Report Wibke Katharina Bertelsbeck | thyssenkrupp rothe erde

Wibke Katharina Bertelsbeck

Strategic Buyer at thyssenkrupp rothe erde Germany GmbH

My job

I am responsible for our steel sourcing strategy and steering this commodity together with my team. Based on an analysis of requirements and supply markets, we set up a valuable supplier portfolio. We initiate and drive the supplier development and support our technical colleagues in the area of product development. For these key initiatives and the contract negotiations, my team and I are selecting and using our tactical instruments. I am leading the measure activities and the awarding of regional/global contracts, also considering risk management and sustainability.

Our typical working day

Every day I have the possibility to work together with my procurement colleagues all over the world. The topics shared with cross-functional teams are also getting more and more important and are discussed on a regular basis.

Negotiating contracts including preparation and the selection and application of tactical instruments is part of my daily work. Setting up the contract and working together with our legal departments is another interesting topic. The opportunity of deep dives in a big variety of aspects (technical, commercial, and economics) makes every working day unique and diversified.

Our challenges

As a strategic buyer for steel, my team and I are dealing with a global market which is impacted by a lot of important trends and developments (e.g. raw material prices, cost driver analysis, environmental impact, political frames). Setting up a long and mid-term strategy for this commodity has to reflect this complexity. Finding and developing the right strategic partners is one of our main tasks. The combination of high volatility driven by the trends and setting on the right decisions for the business is really challenging.

A regular communication with internal and external partners and the possibility to meet each other and to learn from one another helps to find good solutions which are representing all parties and following the overall strategy.

My qualification

I have got the ability to solve problems in a logical and analytical manner by using different angles. My masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business & Administration supports these skill and forms the basis of reflecting the different point of views.

I really like to understand and continuously investigate how business works and how to meet our company targets and values best.  This helps me to optimize and focus my daily work.

I love to work together in teams, especially when the team members have got different backgrounds.

The variety of different sub-commodities and tasks has been another interesting aspect for me and always keep me highly motivated.

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

to be a pioneer and a first mover, to be brave and to make the right decisions one step ahead. The pioneers the world needs today and tomorrow are not a one-man-show (or a one-woman-show). The key of success will be to work together and to trust each other in good times and in bad times. I am very happy to be a part of thyssenkrupp rothe erde and to be able to make things happen.

My employer thyssenkrupp rothe erde

thyssenkrupp rothe erde is a technology company which manufactures complex bearings, the unique production possibilities in terms of sizes are important for our position on the global market. We need to know with which trends we have to deal with in the future.  5 to 10 years in advance we have to develop the know-how and provide the right technologies for our customers. Beside the technical challenges, we also have to decide in which market we want to move forward to in order to provide not only the right technology, but also the right service in terms of delivery time and costs. Our global network and good working culture are the key for our success.