Buyer Connected Services and Digital Content Interview with Shuang Sui

How do the "CASE" megatrends affect the work in the unit Procurement & Supplier Quality? What sort of background should one have to work there“? We spoke about these and other questions with Shuang Sui.

Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

My name is Shuang (nickname "Jingxuan") Sui. I studied international trade management and worked at a large trading company before joining Daimler in 2013. I am currently working in Böblingen as a buyer for Connected Services and Digital Content – such as live traffic information or map data – for Mercedes-Benz Cars, Vans and smart.

Why did you choose Daimler as your employer?

As I was looking for new challenges I came across an advertisement for a job at Daimler. I can still remember what it said: "…to redefine the automobile with the automobile's inventor…". That was when the automotive industry had just started working with partners in the consumer electronics and IT sectors in order to bring connected services onto the market. It sounded like a very interesting challenge to me.

What was your previous experience at Daimler – starting from your first day in the company until today?

My start at Daimler and in my unit was made very easy for me. There was a clear structure there, with an induction plan and various courses etc. There is also a mentor system in which experienced employees are available to answer new colleagues' questions. On my second day the team were invited back to the boss's house for a barbecue. I was immediately impressed by the familiar and relaxed atmosphere. At the very start I organized a business trip to China with my boss and other colleagues. I enjoyed that a lot because I was immediately given a lot of responsibility.

The last three years have been very exciting due to the rapid growth of Connected Services.

I have had the opportunity to work on some very interesting contract awards, work with start-ups as well as IT giants such as Baidu or Alibaba, and manage a task force on a new project. There are a lot of jobs to do that offer a lot of freedom.

Please tell us a bit more about your team and your work. What is your typical work routine like?

My team has changed a lot. That is also a reflection of how quickly Daimler is adapting to the changing world. At the start we were a mixed team of hardware colleagues, with a couple of us taking care of Connected Services and others buying displays, for example. We now have a team that exclusively deals with Connected Services. We are growing with the tasks we are being asked to do, in two different ways: the team itself is getting bigger, and each one of us has to rise to meet the challenges. On a typical working day I have a lot of conference calls with suppliers all over the world, but also with our contacts in Development and Sales. We have a lot of fun in our team. We laugh a lot and the table with sweets at the center of our office is always a popular meeting point.

CASE – these letters will shape the future of Mercedes-Benz Cars. They stand for the strategic future fields of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared) and electric drive systems (Electric), which will be systematically advanced and intelligently combined by Mercedes-Benz Cars. How do the "CASE" megatrends affect your work as a buyer?

Our team buys Connected Services, which means CASE will have a significant impact on our work. We have already started to think about how we can improve the way we work with suppliers and Development in order to allow our customers to benefit even sooner from new services. This ranges from the streamlining of processes through to new systems. Our management covers our backs for the implementation of these ideas, allowing us to implement many of them within a short space of time.

What sort of background should one have in order to work as a buyer in your unit Procurement & Supplier Quality?

You have to be able to identify interdependencies in business as well as draw up and implement corresponding negotiation strategies and goals. Basic technical familiarity with the goods you are buying is often beneficial. In the case of complex projects with a large number of stakeholders at the company and among suppliers you also have to stay focused on what is essential – which means that project management skills are required! Soft skills are also important, such as a good sense of how to deal with people from different cultures.

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