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Kick starting a procurement career - Questions to Lutz Tabeling, FEV Group VP Procurement & Supply Management

In an interview with BME-JobSource, the Group Vice President of FEV, Lutz Tabeling explains how his career began and what he expects from (strategic) procurement managers in his organization.
Veröffentlicht am 19.03.2021

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FEV is a leading independent international service provider of vehicle and powertrain development for hardware and software. The range of competencies includes the development and testing of innovative solutions up to series production and all related consulting services. The range of services for vehicle development includes the design of body and chassis, including the fine tuning of overall vehicle attributes such as driving behavior and NVH. FEV also develops innovative lighting systems and solutions for autonomous driving and connectivity. The electrification activities of powertrains cover powerful battery systems, e-machines and inverters. Additionally, FEV develops highly efficient gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, EDUs as well as fuel cell systems and facilitates their integration into vehicles suitable for homologation. Alternative fuels are a further area of development.

The service portfolio is completed by tailor-made test benches and measurement technology, as well as software solutions that allow efficient transfer of the essential development steps of the above-mentioned developments, from the road to the test bench or simulation.

The FEV Group currently employs 6,300 highly qualified specialists in customer-oriented development centers at more than 40 locations on five continents.

In an interview with the career portal BME-JobSource, the Group Vice President of FEV, Lutz Tabeling explains how his career began and what he expects from (strategic) procurement managers in his organization. BME-JobSource asked the questions.

CAREER PATH & PROCUREMENT RECRUITMENT

Mr Tabeling, first of all thank you very much for your time and agreeing to the interview. As a first step would you be so kind and present yourself briefly? What are the primary responsibilities of your position?

Lutz Tabeling: I started my professional career as procurement consultant in 2003 (from junior to principle consultant) at Kerkhoff Consulting. The last 12 years I worked for thyssenkrupp in various Procurement & Supply Management functions.  In 2020 I joined FEV Group as Group Vice President Procurement & Supply Management (Central Procurement, CP) to professionalize and increase the value contribution of the CP function worldwide by developing a global sustainable procurement and supply organization with state-of-the-art structures and processes. One core element is our strategic commodity management, developing and implementing groupwide commodity strategies, defining supplier portfolios, ensuring early involvement in awarding and applying negotiation tactics.

What do you like most about your job as Group Vice President Procurement and Supply Management?

We started our internal transformation in 2020 and it is great to see that Procurement & Supply Management is changing to a serious business partner adding value to the company and our projects. We are increasingly getting involved in projects at an early stage, which enables us to apply our strongest lever – competition.

What is the biggest challenge in your current role?

Our biggest challenge is to ensure the bundling and scaling effects across all FEV entities. Procurement and Supply Management must be integrated in our projects in an early stage to bring maximum value add to the businesses. To secure and drive the transformation, we have several roles in place. For the time being we want to reinforce our function and are looking for operational/tactical buyers and strategic commodity buyers.

Briefly outline the role of a commodity buyer in your organization?

The main roles of a Commodity Buyer include:

  • Development of innovative and future-oriented commodity strategies
  • Ensuring a cross-functional collaboration and being involved in sourcing events at an early stage
  • Building up a dedicated team of experts to create synergies and share lessons learned as well as best practices
  • Performing supplier management, defining material group specific supplier portfolios (right size and scope) leveraging our cross-functional teams
  • Application of state-of-the art negotiation tactics
  • Framework agreements

Briefly outline the role of a buyer in your organization?

As a buyer, it is more about the day-to-day business, e.g.:

  • Ensuring the implementation of commodity strategies, using pre-defined and approved suppliers
  • Warranting supply & quality
  • Handling of inventory management in coordination with logistics
  • Creating order confirmations & handling returns
  • Dealing with claim management
  • Project-related sourcing, negotiations and management of ad-hoc demand

When choosing the right people to transform a procurement organization what are the most crucial criteria to consider?

Freely adapted from Thomas Edison: “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. Therefore, in order to transform a procurement organization a new employee should possess the following key-criteria:

  • Motivation      
  • Willingness to take over responsibility
  • Intention to drive change
  • Ability to work in a team

Thank you for the interview.

Lutz Tabeling
Group VP Procurement & Supply Management
FEV Group GmbH

This might interest you:

Currently FEV is searching for strategic commodity buyers and operational/tactical buyers. If you would like to work with Mr Tabeling and are interested in more information, please check out their open positions at BME-JobSource:

Commodity Buyer (m/w/d)

Operational/Tactical Buyer (m/w/d)

or contact Laura Bock (Recruiter): +49 241 5689-5906

For more information about FEV check out their company presentation: FEV Europe GmbH | BME-JobSource