Supply chain responsibility
We believe that sustainability extends to the entire process of procuring materials, products, and services. Reflecting the company's holistic approach, decisions on the selection, evaluation, and development of our suppliers are made with due regard for sustainability criteria in areas such as environmental protection, occupational safety, and compliance with human rights. We work with our partners in the supply chain to achieve best-in-class quality for Wincor Nixdorf and thus also for our customers.
Global supplier network
Our customers operate all over the world. As such, they want to be sure that they can source products and services of a consistently high quality wherever they are. In response, we have established our own global network of suppliers. In fiscal 2015/2016 this network comprised several thousands of suppliers with a total purchasing volume of approx. €1.7 billion. Around 80% of this figure is attributable to our top 400 suppliers. Our procurement activities extend to more than 80 countries, with 50% of all purchases being made in Europe.
One of the main tasks of our Global Purchasing division is to facilitate the ongoing expansion and development of the company's supplier network. In this context, we have a responsibility only to work with suppliers that meet our social, ethical, and environmental criteria. These are defined in our Supplier Code of Conduct – ScoC.
Our global supplier management system focuses on three main areas:
- Careful selection of suppliers
- Category management
- Supplier quality management
We assess business opportunities and potential risks in each of these priority areas. In addition, we strive for continuous improvement in our processes. To this end, we regularly subject those processes to a series of checks.
Careful selection of suppliers
In order to ensure consistent standards with regard to the selection of suppliers, we have defined mandatory purchasing processes for the entire Group. We have reached a level of standardization that allows us to ensure that all our global suppliers meet the same demanding criteria.
Before doing business with new suppliers, we check that their compliance, financial, quality, and environmental management systems meet the relevant standards (e.g., ISO 9001 and 14001). This procedure is designed to check the extent to which suppliers are able to meet our sustainability requirements. We do not place orders with new suppliers until we have checked that they meet the specified criteria and have been awarded a positive rating.
We employ purchasing experts for certain categories of input materials. Their task is to draw up purchasing strategies that take account of market information on technology trends as well as assessments of supplier capacity and performance. During the year under review, we made further improvements to the purchasing process by assigning clear roles and responsibilities to those involved. Accordingly, we now distinguish between employees with specific responsibilities, those providing information and those whose function is to approve purchases. We also refined the procedures for coordination between the various divisions.
In addition, we made further changes to our contract management system in order to increase the level of standardization. Our suppliers have to accept certain legally binding responsibilities, e.g., to comply with our Code of Conduct, the specifications imposed by certified management systems (quality and environmental), and the environmental agreement they sign with Wincor Nixdorf.
Supplier quality management
Supplier audits are a key element of our quality management system. Among other aspects, these include an evaluation of production processes, quality management, and handling of core compliance issues relating to work, health and safety, the environment, ethics, and management. To date, none of our suppliers has breached our Code of Conduct. In large part, this is because we take a very responsible and well-informed approach to selection, while nurturing established business relationships, and ensuring that information is exchanged transparently.
Quality management begins with the components that make up our products, i.e., at supplier level. The aim here is to avoid defective materials or components going on to create faults at a later stage in the production chain. Before we place any orders, our quality engineers hold talks with suppliers to coordinate on technical issues as a way of further improving the quality of the components and materials we use in our products.
Every year, staff from our Logistics, Quality, Finance, Technology, and Service units come together for a series of joint workshops in order to rate our suppliers. Together they examine every aspect of our suppliers' performance and agree on specific measures for improvement. The results of this supplier rating process are incorporated into our category strategy and risk management system. We believe that comprehensible and transparent criteria are an important aspect of sustainability.