On July 23rd, 2019, WHU’s Full-Time MBA class of 2020 visited Henkel’s global supply chain office in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, as part of their Strategic Sourcing core course with Professor Lutz Kaufmann and his team. With the visit, Henkel and WHU continue a success format that Henkel’s Chief Procurement Officer, Bertrand Conquéret, launched together with the team of WHU’s Henkel Center for Consumer Goods nine years ago.
After a very early morning bus-ride from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam, Travis McGrew welcomed the group. Bertrand Conquéret shared his insigths on his personal leadership journey with the MBA students. In three Espresso-type interactive sessions, Ralph Burkhardt, Dr. Johannes Holtbrügge, and Benjamin Lorthiois, then dived into Henkel’s current approaches to eSourcing at Henkel, the digitalization of the supply chain, and risk management for raw materials. In the afternoon, Ana-Maria Hoogendorp briefly shared information about career opportunities at Henkel before the participants enjoyed the opportunity to gain insights into the digital evolution of purchasing at Henkel from Dr. Hendrik Kohleick, Corporate Vice President Purchasing, and into sustainability in packaging by Pierre Defaix. The event closed with a highly effective “speed-networking” session between the MBA students and further members of Henkel’s global purchasing leadership team. The students were highly impressed to see in detail how professionally the Henkel team manages a “purchasing spend to sales ratio” of about 70% and their wider supply chains.