July 2, 2020

The All Employee Meeting (AEM) is the highlight of the year for BuyIn’s employees. We were supposed to all meet in Berlin but with no possibility to travel, we made the best out of the situation with live streams from Paris and Bonn.

Over the course of two hours each on Tuesday, the 16th and Wednesday, the 17th of June, we celebrated BuyIn: its achievements, its team spirit and commitment, and deep-dived into its strategic priorities.

“The AEM is the unique opportunity for BuyIn to come together around its tangible projects and company culture”, says Volker Pyrtek, BuyIn’s CEO since its founding in 2011. “We’re happy to have been able to replicate our great team spirit in our online event, in particular with creative contributions from all over the company.” Several teams submitted videos about projects and hot topics to underline our current and upcoming priorities.

“As the largest procurement alliance in the telco industry, we want to leverage our scale and expertise to grow and to create sustainable value for our customers”, underlines Béatrice Felder, SVP IT. “After almost one year at BuyIn, this event, even online, demonstrated to me the strong BuyIn cohesion and unity around this vision of procurement excellence.”

The feedback from the employees is overwhelming: “I think this type of events is great because it brings people together and people are proud of being part of BuyIn”, “Interesting, inspiring and funny”, “The feeling of belonging together at BuyIn again”, “It was stunning to see the broad excellence of the whole team on a working level”, “A very well organized, passionate, creative, and full of energy event”.

We are still hoping to be able to meet in person and to party together in autumn! Also in its digital edition, the AEM was a full success, proving again that people are BuyIn’s biggest asset.


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