Optimum quality, fair prices and an equal partnership with suppliers—this is what Andrea Braband and her colleagues from Strategic Purchasing have been working toward for Sennheiser. Audits are a regular occurrence, but one in particular stands out in her mind. “Our MD 21 Paul McCartney Edition came in an elegant wooden case with silk interior. The suppliers of the cases have to be audited and so we set out to the Bavarian Forest, in the dead of winter,” explains Andrea. “Four of us got onto a crowded train, and we were immediately taken aback by the warm welcome.” The Sennheiser crew was incontrovertibly drawn into conversation with an array of business travelers, which made the long train ride a real experience from the very beginning. Halfway through the journey, the manufacturer of the inlays boarded the train and marveled at the good mood on board. The blanket of snow was rising from station to station.
“We arrived at this little station, late in the evening, and then we saw this wall of snow! The street was completely deserted,” laughs Andrea. A sole taxi finally emerged from the darkness, and the driver immediately made it very clear: “Nobody else is coming here today!” The only problem was the car was far too small for five people. So, suitcases, bags and people all squashed into the taxi like sardines. There wasn’t even room to breathe. Then the supplier came to sit in the back seat on Andrea’s lap. The talkative and jolly taxi driver kept us amused with his jokes until we finally arrived at the hotel. At that point, the supplier had a bit of explaining to do. “While he was sitting on my lap, the cell phone in his pocket accidentally dialed his wife’s number, and of course she wondered who he was with and what exactly was going on,” laughs Andrea.
Safely checked in at our destination but snowbound, next we needed to find some food. The hotel kitchen was closed, but a few meters away we spotted our last chance to get a bite to eat. The crew chanced upon a hospitable host in the village who was delighted by the company, clearly not expecting to see any more customers that day. Andrea and her supplier discovered a piano, a small music system and microphones in the lobby. They were both well versed in chart-topping bands. So together they decided to inject some life into their surroundings. Andrea stepped up to the microphone and sang, while her supplier took care of the piano and backing vocals. Andrea remembered how she secretly listened to ABBA at night when she was a child. Since then she has always been at her happiest singing and dancing to the hits of the famous Swedes. The twosome performed ABBA tunes until late into the night. And that is why every MD 21 Paul McCartney Edition in its chic wooden case with silky interior is ingrained with a little piece of Frida, Agnetha, Björn and Benny. Thank You for the Music.