PERFECT – Purchasing Education and Research for European Competence Transfer

TM/S members Holger Schiele and Klaas Stek are involved in PERFECT, a research project funded by the European Union.

More than half of the total turnover of a modern industrial firm in Europe is directly transferred to suppliers. The purchasing & supply management (PSM) function of a firm manages these suppliers. Moreover, the bulk of supplies now is no longer of domestic origin, but European and international. As this network economy with a low depth of production and high reliance on international suppliers is a recent phenomenon that has emerged in the last two decades, firms are still struggling to find effective and efficient ways to cope with it. At the same time, professionalism of Human Resources Management in PSM as well as purchasing staff competences have been put forward as important performance drivers.

Despite this importance, unlike other disciplines such as marketing or finance, purchasing & supply management does not have any standardized purchasing & supply management higher education curriculum. This issue is seen at national, European and regional/international (e.g. North America) levels.

This makes it necessary for companies to hire university graduates with other specializations and often spend years bringing them up to a skill level that graduates in other disciplines already possess. For students, a significant challenge lies in finding appropriate university courses and matching them to their course portfolio during international exchanges. For the higher education institutions involved, the varying course contents and depth in exchange programs hinder a stringent teaching of basic modules first, and then building on them further for PSM.

To seize this opportunity, the overall objective of project PERFECT (Purchasing Education and Research for European Competence Transfer) is to develop an empirically validated European best practice curriculum for both a bachelor’s and a master’s program in Purchasing and Supply Management (PSM) and in the next step to establish an international studying program at participating universities for higher education in PSM.

The consortium consists of the following five project partners:

More information on the project can be found on the project website.