Sustainably close to the customer
Decentralisation of the value chain from the perspective of manufacturing connectivity components
tec.news talking to Andreas Conrad, Member of the Board for "Operations" at HARTING Technology Group
With “Connectivity+”, i.e. connectivity as a unifying theme deriving from social and technological trends, the HARTING Technology Group has come up with the answer to the challenges of the future. Here, the focus is clearly on concrete added value for the customer. In this context, the value chains are of paramount importance for a company in contact with its customers and partners. So, what conclusions can be drawn from decentralisation?
Future security and resilience are what count: on-site production shortens delivery times –without sacrificing product quality. But how is this achieved? Andreas Conrad explains: “We have created a global standard in all of our plants. The same quality assurance methods are employed all over the world, which means our production looks the same everywhere. This is how we ensure that our products are all the same – regardless of which part of the world they come from.” To guarantee this global standard, a large number of factors need to interact with one another. For this reason, the first important step is to map the value chain as well as the local supply chain (see also article T. Bake). Local, fast procurement and independence from possible crises and conflicts such as the coronavirus pandemic, political upheavals or limited transport capabilities are essential here. What’s more, HARTING has also pushed its own on-site development: product managers ensure that local market needs are translated into technical requirements. In the next step, product development and production are initiated so that this integration of functionalities can meet the requirements of the market as much as possible. The use of regional competencies is also important. We are strengthening those local subsidiaries that have mastered certain technologies.
In Europe, for Europe
Andreas Conrad adds: “There are many products that we now manufacture in up to three locations. If there is a problem at a production site, be it due to a defective machine, material not delivered on time or other circumstances, then we always have the option of switching to another plant.” The focus is therefore on the robustness of the supply chain – on the one hand through local supply chains, and on the other hand through other HARTING-owned locations, which in exceptional cases serve as second sources. These local subsidiaries, which are distributed across the globe, also serve to meet competitive needs. This is because, in some regions, local production is an important success factor.
For HARTING, the strategy of decentralisation also means that production takes place where it makes sense based on our responsibility towards customers and society.
For us, localisation means that production corresponds to the customers’ requirements, that it is climate-friendly and sustainable and that there are no long transport routes.