Ivalua Blog

Supply Chain Innovation + Automation: How Körber is Positioning Procurement for the Future



by Doug Keeley

Learn how Körber leveraged Ivalua’s software tools to automate and streamline tactical activities while keeping strategy front and center.

Session REPLAY

The global supply chain is undergoing an incredible transformation that will change the way we do business. Today, organizations are looking to build supply chain resilience and maximize opportunities for growth as we pivot and prepare for unexpected global events. 

At our annual Ivalua NOW event in Paris, France–Ivalua asked, “Is your procurement team prepared to respond to unexpected supplier chain issues with speed and agility?”

Michael Stietz, Senior Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer at Körber AG, Jan Koch, Senior Project Manager at Körber AG, and Douglas Keeley, Senior Product Manager at Ivalua discussed how to automate and streamline tactical activities while keeping strategy front and center. 

Automation and innovation are at the forefront of the supply chain industry with procurement acting as a key enabler in the process. Körber, a leading international technology group with over 10,000 employees, aims to be a tech leader in procurement to open the door in supply chain performance and drive innovation in the community. 

Körber at a Glance…

  • 5 BU’s: Digital, Pharma, Supply Chain, Tissue, and Tobacco
  • Centralized and decentralized procurement & supply chain organization
  • 2B EUR Revenue in 2021

Growth and Challenges

In recent years, Körber’s global supply chain management network has integrated all relevant processes as they expand in multiple markets. As new strategies are implemented and unexpected crises occur, business continuity is vital to maximize and sustain Körber’s supply chain agility and resilience.        

Körber + Ivalua

Procurement is a core role in any modern business, but when issues surface, it can be a source of waste and inefficiency. Ivalua provides the technology for Körber to run a “hybrid” procurement organization comprised of both centralized/decentralized strategies and personnel across highly differentiated business units. This structure creates a smooth and transparent procurement process across their organization’s diverse supply chain. 

Körber must also develop and implement category strategies at a corporate and local level, with autonomy and flexibility granted to the Strategic Business Units (SBU’s).  Looking ahead, Körber needs to initiate effective supplier lifecycle management strategies, to build sustainable supply chain strategies and eProcurement (transactional) automation. Reducing resourcing on non-value-added tasks will free time and energy to develop and implement successful supply chain strategies.

Building a sustainable supply chain that can survive the ups and downs of the economy.

For Körber, investing in procurement technology solutions frees up time to allow for more work on more strategic activities. Their technology investment has accelerated procurement team development to better prepare and allocate resources toward supply chain challenges.

Procurement Tech Tips: Build a sustainable supply chain that can survive the ups and downs of the economy.

  • When researching and implementing possible procurement technology solutions, work closely with your team of users to gather feedback and maintain transparency. 
  • Transformation takes time and it’s an ongoing process!
  • Be prepared to handle governance / regulation such as supply chain laws covering human rights and the environment
  • Procurement, and its technology stack, must be flexible and ready to face changes, whether acquisition, regulations, supply chain crisis, etc.
  • Organizational structure (Central / decentralized). Is your central procurement organization empowered with transparency and able to lend support to the dentralized BU’s?
  • Employ effective governance. Have at least one person that is dedicated to the project, then key users and process owners to drive feedback.
  • Harness the power of their supply chain to drive innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.
  • Enable innovation. Engage solution end users (“key users” & “process owners”) and empower them to add more creativity into finding solutions across procurement processes and supply chain challenges.

How Körber is leveraging Collaboration to build a resilient supply chain

Across the organization and its business units, Körber has implemented Ivalua’s solutions to establish transparency into procurement processes and activities. With the right tools in place, they have the flexibility to collaborate on strategy and act independently where it makes sense for that business area.

Körber’s hybrid organizational structure has been built to collaborate effectively and efficiently. They have successfully centralized procurement to increase team collaboration, access to talent, and streamline processes. Investing in a modern collaborative procurement solution like Ivalua has enabled the procurement team to focus on building strategic supplier portfolios for each of their business units while maintaining competitive pricing and minimal risk.

A core element to successful supplier management and designing a supplier portfolio is collaboration. Through this, procurement can identify supplier capabilities, certifications, risk, performance, opportunities for partnership & innovation, and more. 

Designing a supplier portfolio with collaborative technology enables more effective category strategy, supplier management, and transparency across the supply chain. When it comes to procurement–It’s not about solving every risk before they happen, it’s about response and ability to mitigate these risks.

Supply Chain Golden Rules 

  • Don’t depend on luck! If your strategy depends on luck, that is the opposite of resilient or antifragile.
  • Design your supply chain in clusters: Europe to serve the EU market, US to serve the US market, Asia to serve the Asian market to reduce the complexity within their supply chain.
  • Don’t be afraid to redesign current supplier portfolios for existing business/product lines to maximize resilience.
  • Design supplier portfolios for new business/product lines with flexibility and resilience in mind.

Key Takeaways

Körber needed to effectively leverage Ivalua’s software solutions to automate their tactical activities, prioritize strategies, and make smarter decisions. The versatility of Ivalua’s solutions allowed the Körber Group to adapt its supply chain strategy for its five Business Areas: Digital, Pharma, Supply Chain, Tissue, and Tobacco. 

For Körber, the key elements driving value and success included a more resilient supply chain, supplier lifecycle management, Source-to-Contract, and Requisition-to-Pay automation.

Building Capabilities to Reallocate Resources.

Körber is progressing through its technology transformation journey steadily with updates along the way. As new challenges arise, every requirement cannot be anticipated, requiring a consistent and constant engagement with their global team to identify and implement new ideas. Further, closely collaborating with Körber’s team of stakeholders leads to an overall high satisfaction of users across Procurement and the Supply Chain to encourage increased user adoption.

Procurement is a key enabler of agility and innovation for the company and it is also a domain that is being rapidly transformed, with new capabilities emerging all the time. 

As they continue to integrate new solutions and transform their strategies, Körber is positioning itself for the future to emerge as a procurement tech leader. 

Ivalua | Körber Case Study

Blog - Doug Keeley - Product Marketing Manager

Doug Keeley

Product Marketing Manager

Prior to joining Ivalua, Doug spent 12 years with Directworks in Sourcing Consulting and Customer Success. During this time, he managed consulting engagements, worked with customers to implement lean processes, and managed SaaS implementations for global manufacturing enterprises. Doug has a B.S. in Marketing / International Business from the Pennsylvania State University and MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He is leading global marketing activities for upstream procurement.

You can connect with him on Linkedin

You May Also Like

Ready to Realize the Possibilities?