#134: Digital Procurement Transformation starts with mindset

Bodo Bokämper is the VP of Procurement at BMW AG, responsible for Processes & Digitalization.

Bodo has 25 years of experience in the automotive industry. He is a guru in building and implementing strategy, procurement operations, and digital transformation.
In his current position, Bodo is transforming BMW Group‘s procurement function towards a data-driven organization with highly automated processes.

Bodo has an interest in start-ups, disruptive solutions, and people.

Listen to the full discussion here:

  • Stream by clicking here.
  • Download as an MP3 here.



Connect with the Guest:

Bodo Bokämper: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Digital Procurement Transformation starts with a mindset
  • Hurdles and measures to implement digitalization
  • Future of digital procurement at BMW
  • Qualities and skills to strengthen the BMW team

Show notes:

  • [1:37] Please tell us about you, and share your career highlights. How did you follow the career path to be where you are today?
  • [3:33] I joined two months after the founding of the procurement division, I joined the operational function for electric leading electronics and entertainment, and BMW procurement. That was my start- my entry point into procurement.
  • [3:51] Any tips that you could share with our audience? How do you get to where you are today? What are your secret sauces?
  • [5:24] What makes digital procurement different from traditional procurement? Why has it become a buzzword for businesses?
  • [6:44] With this digital procurement, you see that analytics actually is more important than the experience, or the ship goes to analytics at least. And everything is much smarter, faster, and more efficient than the old ways. I would say that that’s the core difference.
  • [7:15] How would the older generation or procurement profession adjust to this new trend?
  • [8:19] What you can do id you can spend maybe more time with the ones who are more conservative and explain the tools. You have to kind of challenge their mindset.
  • [9:32] When did BMW start the digital procurement journey? How important is the digitization of the procurement and supply chain at BMW?
  • [12:11] I would say 2017 is the starting point. Digitalization of procurement is extremely important. It’s unthinkable not to use the available tools, which are out there to mask all the different data and the impacts we experience.
  • [12:47] Where does BMW stand with digital procurement now? Specifically, have you found a user-friendly entry point, a single-stop shop, where end users start their purchasing journey prior to being redirected to buying channels?
  • [15:03] We have started a major initiative called ConnectED procurement. It is the program we want to not only work within procurement but really be connected to engineering, finance and also production, and even sales in terms of forecasting.
  • [15:29] What hurdles do you have to overcome internally to find the appropriate recognition and successfully implement a digitalized supply chain?
  • [18:32] You have to be really clear about what is your plan, what you won’t hit in the next step, what’re the second next steps, what makes sense and what does not make sense, and still, you have this constant challenge that somebody has seen some better solution somewhere else.
  • [18:57] What is the future of BMW’s digital procurement journey? 
  • [21:00] I think from now on in two or three years, we’ll see a major shift, we will not be finished with that but there will be big progress. 
  • [22:02] How do you use digital digitalization to help you bring risk management to the next level?
  • [23:09] I think when you say where can digitalization generate one of the biggest benefits, I would definitely say it’s in risk management. 
  • [23:20] Which parameters characterize a successful Supply Chain? How will these parameters change in the coming years, especially in the context of digitization and a resilient supply chain? To what extent does digitization help you bring risk management to the next supply chain level?
  • [25:02] I would actually say procurement needs to have very great supply chain management. I really believe that if we can prove that we have transparency, and we know that, let’s say CO2 footprint that our customers will award that and will be led, it will be buying criteria in the future.
  • [26:31] Congratulations on winning the Digital Leadership Award (I heard that the digital tool is called Chameleon”). Tell us about it.  
  • [28:18] It was to recognize the collaborative approach we took and that’s probably something that BMW actually stands for that we are tough, but we are always trying to be collaborative and trying to generate win-win solutions and find a solution.
  • [31:41] On the people’s side, what qualities and skills do you look for to strengthen your team? 
  • [32:17] For me, attitude, personality, and actual ability to collaborate, are still my key search criteria. In addition to that, I have a shift to not looking at the experience so much as in years before, but would be really happy if I can find some analytical skills, and of course, IT knowledge doesn’t hurt.

About the Host:

The host, Fei Yu has over 15+ years of experience in Executive Search and Talent Acquisition & Management, gained from top-tier consultancy and premium executive search firms. She is an advocate of cross-cultural networking and has successfully organized and moderated public events.

Alcott Global connects and upgrades the supply chain ecosystem by finding the right talent through executive search, developing talent through learning solutions, and meeting supply chain technology needs through a comprehensive crunch base marketplace.

The supply chain executive search has been our focus since the very beginning, offering recruitment services for top-tier supply chain roles at every level of the end-to-end supply chain: plan, source / procure, make, and deliver. Our consultants have years of experience in placing top talent, in North America, LATAM, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and APAC, and besides speed, one of our biggest strengths is our network within the supply chain industry, and we capitalize on it to find the best solutions.

Through the years, we have grown as an organization and our offerings with it. One of our initiatives, the learning solutions- training and supply chain academy, is focused on transforming leadership- self-leadership, executive presence, influence capital, and business acumen. Through Supplify, we aim to match corporations with the top technology companies to solve their supply chain and logistics challenges with a focus on innovation and digital transformation.

We are in constant touch with the leaders in supply chain, inviting them to inspire the supply chain professionals in thought-provoking podcast episodes and events, and showcasing what is possible at the yearly Leaders in Supply Chain Awards.

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Related Episodes:

#131: Leading Transformation and Redefining the Logistics Sector

#132: Building and Empowering a Resilient Team

#133: The Making of “From Source to Sold”




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