Gerd Kerkhoff.jpgGerd Kerkhoff started his own specialist procurement consultancy in Dusseldorf just over ten years ago which has moved into the forefront of its discipline in Europe with over 200 consultants eomployed. SmartProcurement spoke to him about his background and his ambitions for expanding the business to Africa.

Age : 52

Married with three children

Lives : Dusseldorf, Germany. Travels extensively.

“Before I started Kerkhoff Consulting in 1999 I spent most of my working life in the coffee business. When I was 27 I joined up with Hubert Tempelmann, a friend from Essen University, and we took over the management of the coffee roasting house of the Tempelmann family.”

They worked together to build a flourishing business and through this experience Gerd learnt a lot about sourcing. He built up the coffee roasting house to be the second-largest coffee wholesaler in Germany.

“Kerkhoff Consulting now has a staff of over 200 in eight worldwide locations and has clients in most market segments, we are particularly active in the FMCG, banking and manufacturing industries.”

Gerd has a particular interest in research and in the development of procurement skills and has teamed up with the University of St Gallen in German to set up a competence centre for the procurement function.

Kerkhoff Consulting has just opened an office in Johannesburg in association with Rethink Consulting to service their Africa based clients. For more information about their services contact Richard Aldous on 011 285 0055 or richard@rethink.co.za.

"The focus of the procurement function has undergone major transformation in EU enterprises and now sits firmly at the strategic level. We are active in developing the spread of competencies that are essential to optimising the procurement value. This in turn requires of organisations to gear up their training and skills development programmes to meet the challenges of present economic circumstances".