Vice President Procurement and Real Estate of GfK
Suki Becker: A quick history
Suki Becker is Vice President for Procurement and Real Estate at the independent, trusted and unparalleled tech- and data- company, GfK.
For over 25 years, she has been working in the procurement and supply chain world and, in her last few roles, has been responsible for the transformation of indirect procurement. Becker has a degree in Procurement & Supply Chain Management and has been a member of CIPS since graduating – in other words, she has procurement in her bones.
Becker started out as a Production Planner working in Automotive, where she learnt lean processes and management before becoming a Lean Consultant, and then moved to Procurement over 18 years ago.
Coming from a manufacturing background and never having worked in a service industry before, Becker “was really interested to understand how this industry works compared to manufacturing”, wanting to “understand some of the challenges of the service industry”.
Now VP for GfK, Becker understands the challenges more than most.
A sophisticated tech- and data-company, present in over 60 countries, GfK helps their clients solve critical business questions in decision-making processes around consumers, markets, brands and media. They also provide reliable data and insights through advanced AI capabilities at their foundation. But it doesn't stop there.
GfK have revolutionised access to real-time actionable recommendations that drive marketing, sales and the organisational effectiveness of their clients and partners.
‘A marketing company is a marketing company’, they say. But GfK stands apart from its competitors due to four crucial factors:
- Trust: GfK have one of the highest competences with data management and quality
- Signals from the noise: They provide actionable and measurable recommendations through analytics and technology
- Knowledge and expertise: GfK have a deep understanding of the market – as well as of psychology and consumer behaviour – having been around since the 1930s
- Always-on intelligence: GfK also offer digital solutions that put data science at the fingertips of clients, giving them a substantial advantage over competitors
How GfK reorganised its procurement and real-estate functions
Becker joined GfK in November 2020, when their procurement and real estate had already been combined under a single function.
“However, “I realised that there were category teams, as well as some regional teams and 25 direct reports.
“Some rolls, job descriptions and titles were not defined accurately enough. So, I spent time revising all the job descriptions and titles so that we had the same across categories and countries, then worked with HR to standardise the grading and work on a career path that helped individuals understand what they need to achieve to develop themselves.”
Becker created a category structure for GfK’s procurement functions and changed the roles of the regional heads, making them not only responsible for procurement, but also real-estate and facilities.
Introducing new procurement tools
Two years ago, GfK had several different contract databases for leases and also the way of storing contracts was not well defined. The company then streamlined these by moving to a modern building lease contract database.
At the same time, GfK: executed a tender for the procurement contract database to enable a single, integrated system for storing contracts, which are now readily available to the team; an e-sourcing tool to move away from email exchanges with suppliers; and a supplier-management tool, where they could send questionnaires to the suppliers and collect data relevant to their onboarding onto their system. having the right tools at the right cost for GfK.”
Read the full story HERE.