Along the value chain

The manufacturing conditions of products and the execution of services are of increasing interest to the public. Ecological and social challenges cannot be solved by one company alone, though. Instead, they have to be solved through co-operation along the whole supply chain. An increasing number of companies therefore require proof from their suppliers that they meet environmental and social standards. Sustainable procurement management is becoming exceptionally important.

Ecological and social challenges

In interaction with its suppliers, Piepenbrock develops its equipment further, participates in creating guidelines and involves itself in discussions about sustainable building certification. The procurement department maintains long-term partnerships and selects suppliers systematically. An ongoing appraisal of the suppliers ensures that only sustainable, high quality manufacturers are considered. Within the scope of the integrated management system, Piepenbrock qualifies and checks subcontractors and suppliers. In doing so, the material management work group considers not only aspects relating to business management but also sustainability criteria.

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Material management work group

Since 1987, the procedure for "quality-related supplier and manufacturer registration" is a fixed part of the selection process for new suppliers and products at Piepenbrock. The material management work group thereby organises the development of strategic procurement and internal logistics. The team deals in good time with new developments in theory and practice. Whether new technologies are implemented in practice is down to a professional appraisal by the work group.
Procurement and logistics functions are becoming more and more complex. Aspects of organisation and controlling are gaining in importance. This focus is shifting to questions about risk management, environmental issues, legislative guidelines and regulations as well as financial planning. For example risk prevention: The work group has a nationwide pandemic plan available, which is orientated around the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). In the event of acute danger, the team regularly convenes and implements a three-stage plan of measures that includes external advisors.

Continuous supplier survey

Sustainable sourcing activities reduce risks and enable a smooth process of the functional business. Piepenbrock checks with a continuous supplier self-disclosure to what extent the subcontractors fulfill sustainability standards. The online questionnaire comprises subjects like subcontractor management, environmental objectives and actions as well as examples for economic and social engagement. The questions are based on Piepenbrocks moral concepts and standards for sustainable economic activities and international accepted conventions like the United Nations Global Compact. That way the family owned company verifies to what extent sustainability can be guaranteed in the whole supply chain and how risks can be minimized in the buying process. The survey will be extended for more suppliers in the future.

Regional sourcing

Hastamat acquires the majority of its parts from regional suppliers. For certain components, the company converts the material supply to an anonymous, demand-controlled process. To do this, quantity orders are agreed with the suppliers which are independent of the volume of the customer orders. Complex modules are partially preassembled so that the delivery time for the customer is significantly reduced.

Solutions for LoeschPack's supplier day

On 21st February 2013, LoeschPack organised its first supplier day with providers of production parts. In total, 41 participants from 28 partner companies honoured the invitation. The packaging machinery manufacturer presented itself and its product portfolio and discussed its own expectations of its suppliers. On the agenda was also the holistic appraisal of the entire value chain at Loesch. Here, participants talked about supplier rating and the consequences derived from this. For the fault costs, the participants agreed on a mutual compromise: Since 1st July 2013, the suppliers contribute towards the cost of every fault not attributable to LoeschPack with a fixed amount. An annual supplier day is planned for the future.

Detailed effectiveness test

In close co-operation with Water Clean GmbH, Planol examined the effectiveness of a new kind of disinfecting cleaner with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), which is known for its antiseptic quality. The trials revealed that to use NaOCl effectively, the stability of the ingredients has to be improved and a sufficient reaction time has to be adhered to.