An interview with Bernhard Raschke (part 2)

Continuing our interview with Bernhard Rashcke, who until very recently led PWC’s global procurement consulting practice, and is now moving on to new opportunities. (Part 1 was here).

What about the people side of things in procurement?

We still need more clarity on what core procurement skills are needed and a route map for the career path linked to that. But procurement leaders are becoming seen as business leaders – so there is rightly more focus on those soft skills and competencies needed for that wider role.

What excites you about where you see procurement going?

My passion is to help procurement understand and know about business, to work on solutions that procurement cannot do alone. I’m excited about ideas like co-creation.  I think we need to go much deeper into the value chains of industries to really understand value. Procurement will need to be agile, seize opportunities. And any transformation has to be people led, which takes us back to those people questions and challenges.

Does this business-focused role cut across Category Management - which your previous firms have spend a lot of time promoting?

No, not necessarily, but CatMan deployments can’t be superficial. The strategy phase of the model needs to be very specific in looking at the particular situation and the business drivers. Procurement has to connect with the CEO agenda – growth, cost, risk, impact on the balance sheet. Category management cannot exist in a vacuum.

You mentioned transformation earlier– I know that’s an area of interest to you. But if I’m being cynical, isn’t it just consulting jargon and another way to get a big assignment out of the client?

I have seen some cases where I could honestly say there was genuine transformation of procurement performance and capability. And transformation has to be people led.  But if procurement transformation is to work, it has to be one building block of business transformation, so perhaps the message should be procurement transformation is dead, long live procurement transformation – in a new form, closely linked to business transformation!

Any final thoughts?

The key thing I would stress is that link to the business – transformation means new ways of working for procurement and the business. That’s what I hope all procurement people will keep in mind.

Thanks to Bernhard, and we wish him good luck, and wait to see his next move with interest; I suspect he’ll pop up here again at some point...

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