Director of purchasing
Before coming to Brainlab to contribute his unique expertise, Ruediger spent 15 years gaining a breadth of experience in areas ranging from Supply Chain Management to Controlling. Learn below how people with diverse experience help strengthen Brainlab from the inside.
What is your educational background?
I studied engineering physics and business administration.
And your professional background?
I’ve had various roles and career fields, for example, I was a power plant engineer, a management associate, I worked in controlling, order processing, supply chain management including purchasing, continuous improvement, lean management and quality management. My last role before coming to Brainlab was as Director of Site Business Services comprising some of the areas above.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
All I can say is that I did NOT want to become a firefighter.
Can you give a brief overview of your role at Brainlab?
I lead the Purchasing division. As a business leader, I provide guidance and support to my team, especially whenever we encounter roadblocks on the way towards our targets. At the same time, I act as a coach and strive for continued learning and employee development.
How does your department contribute to the company?
My team acts as a business partner and supports all Brainlab business functions regarding any purchasing related tasks. It is our mission to provide the right materials and services at the right time, price, quality, and place.
What is the best thing about your team?
They have always given me confidence that we will be successful as a team. My team helped me to integrate quickly and they are very determined and focused.
Is there a person that inspired you to go into engineering?
One of my parents’ friends, who is an engineer working as an energy conservation consultant, encouraged me to become an engineer in the field of environmental protection. That is why I studied Engineering Physics, which included focus classes around environmental technology. It may be interesting to know that I was not necessarily a fan of Math and Physics in school. My decision to become an Engineer, of course, involved some very intense semesters catching up on those topics. In the end, it was my decision and my focus and it was definitely worth the effort.
How was it starting at Brainlab in a managerial role after gaining experience at another company?
I started at my last employer when there were just 70 people. We went through two acquisitions and the business grew rapidly over the course of 15 years. During my time there, we transitioned from a start-up-like company to part of an international corporation with a total of 50,000 employees. One of the key learnings for me was the continuous adjustment and improvement of processes and structures to grow in a rapidly changing environment. Besides the organizational aspects, I gained experience in various functions and career fields. I started in Marketing and made my way through different operational areas including Controlling, Order Processing, Supply Chain Management, Purchasing, Continuous Improvement, Lean Management, and Quality Management. Rather quickly I was given the opportunity to lead teams, which has been a very enriching experience. Working with people, sharing ideas and being successful as a team is what has inspired me the most.
How did your previous roles prepare you for your position at Brainlab?
My previous roles helped me to understand the bigger picture of a business. They allowed me to acquire a wide range of experience in many different situations, interacting with many different people, cultures, etc. This foundation helped me to quickly settle into my new role at Brainlab. It has also enabled me to support my team in achieving our ambitious targets.
What was your first impression of Brainlab?
When I first came in contact with Brainlab, I looked at the mission statement: “Together we are making medical technology and knowledge more impactful and accessible to physicians and their patients.” This is what attracted me initially and this spirit still continues.
What is one of your most memorable experiences at Brainlab?
The topping-out ceremony for the new Brainlab headquarters in Riem took place just a few days after I had started at Brainlab. I could already get a sense of the new building and, of course, it was very impressive.
What three words would you use to describe Brainlab?
Dynamic, innovative, unique.