Dr Fred Lemke is the founder of Hidden Needs Business Consulting (Germany) and acts as a management consultant for international companies such as Sony, BASF, and Bosch. His business experience was in the financial services sector, in marketing and business analysis, for several years. Parallel to his employment, Fred completed a BCom (Hons) in business studies in Germany. Later, he studied for an MBA from Oxford Brookes University in England and completed a project in organisational psychology. Afterwards, he conducted doctoral research at Cranfield School of Management, UK in the area of customer relationship marketing on a part-time basis. His research looked at optimising supplier management and involved an extensive contact with companies in Germany and the UK. The results of his research have been applied at a number of leading companies and published in both the academic and practitioner literature. In addition, as a researcher in the Operations Management Group at Cranfield, Fred also conducted projects for, eg, the automotive industry (Germany), pharmaceutical industry (UK) and the European Commission (Brussels).
In 2003 and 2004, he was an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Innovation Management at Stuttgart Institute of Management and Technology (SIMT) in Germany, where he taught MBA students and collaborated closely with industry. This included conducting projects with BASF, DaimlerChrysler, and for example, an advanced market research project with Bosch. Fred is actively involved in conducting supplier management and innovation research in the UK and Germany and runs workshops for managers in both fields. In addition, he breaks new ground in exploring the hidden needs of customers that inform the innovation process at multinational companies. In his role as Senior Research Fellow at Cranfield, he investigates marketing challenges that companies face today. The present investigation is centred on 'customer experience' with the aim to establish theories and management guidelines that go beyond relationship marketing. He has published in practitioner magazines and top academic journals, such as Journal of Operations Management, and won the IJPDLM Emerald Literati Award for Excellence 2004 Price for one of his papers.