Innovative strategies in the procurement of an automotive supplier

Cross-functional creative workshops as a source of innovation and optimization

Our client is a leading automotive supplier based in Germany. With the production of diesel, gas, hydrogen and electrified engines, the company achieves annual sales of over €1.5 billion.

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Objective: Innovative ideas for procurement

The aim of the joint collaboration was to strengthen the procurement function of the automotive supplier and optimize conditions. This was contrasted by sharply rising prices and increased demands on the part of suppliers during the one-year project period. To resolve this conflict, we worked with the client to develop new ideas that went beyond the classic commercial levers.

Approach: Workshops as a source of innovation and optimization to determine the optimal commercial and technical levers

After an initial analysis, we designed and implemented a series of creative workshops to identify and evaluate all imaginable potential in procurement. In 14 workgroups on individual category clusters, 80 employees of our client jointly exchanged ideas and sought solutions. What was special about this was the cross-functional approach – with procurement as the patron and with the support of our consultants, we were able to include impulses from all relevant departments. In the workshops, we also went into depth from a technical perspective and examined the technical potential in detail for each category in addition to commercial potential.

The results of the workshops formed the basis for a detailed implementation plan and short-term measures such as tenders, negotiations and should-costing analyses. We also initiated cost avoidance measures to counter price increases on the market.

In the technical area, we have initiated projects and developed long-term plans together with the engine manufacturer with the aim of tapping further potential.

In order to make procurement more efficient and position it to act in the future, digitalization measures for the main procurement processes were decided and pilot projects launched, e.g. in the areas of P2P, source-to-contract and strategic raw material procurement.


  • Innovation management support through cross-functional collaboration
  • Implementation of powerful cost reduction measures
  • Significant optimization of cost structures in direct and indirect procurement through use of commercial and technical levers
  • Support for the digitalization of procurement processes


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