08 May 2003 | David Arminas
Royal Dutch/Shell's group contracting and procurement director - a new global position - sees the development of e-procurement as a main force for better purchasing at the international oil giant.
Kees Linse told SM that he had "high expectations for the future benefit of all e-tools, including e-procurement".
He said: "Despite the Internet bubble bursting, the web remains a tremendous opportunity to create value for an activity like procurement."
Once e-transactions had taken further hold, efficiency and transparency in the marketplace would reach a higher level, he added, and would become the accepted standard in business.
Linse, who took up the job in February, said Shell was active in online bidding and e-auctions. But major price reductions from e-auctions could not continue forever, he added.
"At some point the high savings will stop, but what will not stop is this whole new level of efficiency brought about by doing things electronically."
Linse is not a procurement professional - "I'm an old-fashioned chemist with a PhD in physics" - but has 25 years' experience within many areas of Shell around the world.
Before taking on his new role, he was chief operating officer, value and ideas business, at Basell, an equally owned joint venture between Royal Dutch/Shell Group and chemicals company BASF. Basell is the world's largest producer of polypropylene and Europe's largest producer of polyethylene.
"I'm from the generation in Shell that got a broad business education from manufacturing to sales and I can bring to the job a long-standing knowledge of the business structure."
Linse insists his new position is not dictatorial. "It is not my task to tell people how to do procurement because they do this very well. It's about adding value to what they do to support the global business strategy."
Over the next few months, he will be meeting procurement heads to set targets and consider global contracts for some areas such as IT.