April 6, 2020

The current circumstances have disrupted everyone’s working mode and lifestyle. At BuyIn we’ve adapted in our own way. Here is the new daily life of my IT team in home office.

Flexible working is one of the key living principles of the BuyIn Workplace. Given that our stakeholders are operating worldwide and that we are split over several countries, we’re used to working remotely and according to multiple working modes. Some of us travel often for country visits, others connect regularly via web conferences and all BuyIn employees can work from their homes when needed.

Despite these established habits, staying at home full time and not being able to see your colleagues at the office as usual constitute for us all a big challenge. Still, in these difficult times, the resourcefulness of the human mind can prevail, so we’ve found creative ways to adapt and keep the BuyIn spirit alive. For BuyIn we’ve managed to successfully hold an event with all our DT customers via web conference and we’re “open as usual”, always adapting but staying close to our customers and suppliers.

My home office routine
I live next to Paris in Saint Cloud, together with my husband. I am trying to keep the same daily routine, even if I sleep in a bit longer as I am not commuting. One of the big risks when you work from home is to work non stop so I force myself to have regular breaks. I am lucky enough to have a terrasse with a lot of sun so I stock up on vitamin D there. I might come back with a tan 😉 In proper French fashion, I get out once a day to get my baguette and I end my day as usual when all the emails in my inbox are read.

The current situation has made me realize how fortunate I am to work in an industry with “essential” activities in such times, hence still thriving while being able to do our part for the overall economy and functioning of society. I would like here to thank the field operations team from our mother companies who sustain the foundations for us to operate.


The IT team routine

While distancing, we are still trying to stay social. My team has come up with different ways: I’ve noticed for example that we call each other more often rather than just chat on Skype. Lucas in my team had the idea for an IT France virtual coffee break twice a week. I send out regular messages to my team but I keep the rest “business as usual”. We’re lucky to have a very efficient Corona Task Force whom I belong to, informing the whole company about the status of the disease and its impact.


Turned towards the future
On top of leading the IT team, I will also be handling as an interim the HR tasks as our SVP, Friederike Mayer is leaving BuyIn. I would like to thank her for her great work and commitment to our unique company culture. This will keep me busy from home too.

Like everyone I try to stay away from the news but I still find myself scrolling regularly. It is important for all of us to stay focused and prepare for better days. Thanks again for all the people who are providing for the community (nurses, doctors, truck drivers, people working hard at our supermarkets and all the others).

February 4, 2020

In today’s complex world, achieving savings is not enough. A digital transformation journey is needed to transform procurement teams from corporate functions into customer-centric service entities that leverage digital solutions to deliver value propositions to their customers.

In December 2018, the Global Uncertainty Index, a measure of unpredictability in 20 countries, reached a record level of 300. Tensions between the US and China, Brexit, economic slowdown in Europe – it comes as no surprise that we live in a VUCA world (volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous). However, what does this mean for procurement?

In this context, companies have to use every tool at their disposal to succeed. That includes procurement functions, who now need new ways to overcome rapidly changing business challenges and to take advantage of all opportunities in increasingly dynamic markets. We believe that digital transformation is key to ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in this context. While external market information is becoming ubiquitous, internal knowledge also needs to spread faster across entire organizations. Technology can help to engage internal and external customers through interactive cloud-based tools, apps and portals for better and faster insights – to everyone’s benefit.

What added value?

Today, procurement is at an inflection point. It is time to change the focus in its KPIs and how its performance is evaluated. Savings used to be the core indicator for assessing procurement’s added value within a company. But stakeholders in many cases have wider needs than pure savings from suppliers: Contributing to topline growth, securing the supply chain stability or forging wider partnership deals have to be taken into account. It is becoming time to go beyond strict monetary values and include a far stronger focus on customer satisfaction. This underscores the consistent focus on customer benefit and ensures the prioritization of purchasing activities according primarily to stakeholders and their needs.

Ensure satisfaction digitally

In its research, the Hackett group identified a number of digital accelerators, such as digital engagement and analytics-driven insights. These accelerators are designed to enable procurement organizations to reach a new level of performance and efficiency, claiming they reduce process costs by 30 percent.

In line with these findings, we launched at BuyIn new digital services in the form of mobile and Web apps for our customers. Based on a solid data ecosystem, these apps efficiently collect, process and share the latest internal and external information, such as market prices, supplier financials, spend, closed contracts, demands etc.

They are designed to meet our stakeholders’ needs and seek to provide efficient support for finding the best sourcing option for each market and demand. To achieve this, we leverage state-of-the-art concepts such as machine learning, automated analysis and prediction algorithms. Our goal is to deliver the best-possible user experience to make it attractive for our stakeholders to directly look for the available information, giving us then the ability to focus our sourcing capacity to non-recurring tasks.

So what about the future?
Of course, procurement will always have to save money. Digital tools can help us take the next step and artificial intelligence will be the foundation to automating high complexity data to drive solid fact-based negotiations. To this end, procurement organizations will need digital tools that provide fast, easy access. That is where we are moving. One app at a time.


Author: Stefan Figge, VP Digital Office


December 21, 2018

Orange and Deutsche Telekom announced the spring 2019 launch of the Smart Voice Hub called Djingo at the #ShowHello in Paris. CEOs Stéphane Richard (Orange) and Tim Höttges (Deutsche Telekom) presented the new smart speaker that uses artificial intelligence.
This is a pioneering project among Europe-based telco companies to develop their own voice assistant equipped with AI technology. In Germany, the speaker will be launched as Hallo Magenta.

The state of the art solution ensures that customer data will be secured and processed in full compliance with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation.

In terms of sourcing, a team from BuyIn (DHP) successfully led the negotiations, from strategy alignment with the various stakeholders to defining the specifications and of course the supplier selection. BuyIn also secured a solid contract with a voice recognition and natural language understanding software provider.

The commercial success enabled our mother companies to share the development costs as well as benefit from better prices thanks to the bundled volume. The partnership allowed an accelerated time-to-market by mutualizing resources. One crucial element of the contract is that both Groups can balance their volumes. This lets them benefit from the best possible prices and minimizes risks during market launch, such as in terms of forecasts versus sales results, with a common approach.

If you want to know more about the topic, it is worth to check also the Homepage of Orange about the #ShowHello and Djingo.

For more information about “Hello Magenta”, please read the media information of Deutsche Telekom.

July 20, 2018

External auditors confirm that BuyIn has established effective measures against antitrust violations, highlighting several measures as best practices.

Independent auditors from KPMG certify in their report that antitrust compliance is deeply integrated in relevant procurement processes at BuyIn. The company has established Antitrust Guidelines that outline specific rules to ensure antitrust compliance while successfully doing business. “I’m delighted that independent auditors have endorsed BuyIn’s system, which focuses on our employees’ understanding of the Guidelines and their integration into the daily business. Combined with smart tools, we manage to deliver the highest standard of antitrust compliance for our Alliance members,” says Sven Büschgens Compliance Officer at BuyIn.

The audit report contains no material findings or recommendations, but identifies BuyIn as a company with several best practices.

BuyIn’s Compliance best practices

  • Innovative preventive IT controls embedded in business processes that efficiently manage antitrust risks
  • Strong monitoring of compliance measures and controls (quarterly self-assessments by individual teams) and additional monitoring by the Compliance team.
  • Intensive, regular exchanges between the Compliance function and the rest of the company, leading to a high acceptance of the rules as well as of the team itself
  • A high level of professional training within the Compliance department

You can see the details of the audit, its content and the audited units in the official report.

“This is a great result that all the teams at BuyIn can be proud of. The most important factor in running a successful business is that our customers, business partners and employees are confident in our company and the work we do,” says Guillaume Breton, CFO and General Secretary at BuyIn.