Communication and transparency for cooperation at eye level

Partners in the context of decentralised value creation chains

The procurement of essential raw materials and supplies is indispensable for ensuring a smooth production set-up. The HARTING Technology Group has a clear advantage here: as one of the world market leaders in the field of industrial connectivity, the company commands an extensive production network. HARTING manufactures its products in various national companies and locations around the world, thereby shortening supply chains and delivery times. One thing is certain: the shorter the supply chains and delivery times, the greater the resilience will be.

High internal value creation is important in order to achieve independence from external risks. This means that the company's own production is generally easier to control in a crisis than, for example, that of external suppliers. The resulting flexibility leads to a minimisation of production downtimes. The HARTING production network is characterised on the one hand by duplication and localisation for the respective local market, while on the other hand, this strategy also requires a hybrid purchasing organisation. This means that each production location has its own autonomous purchasing department. Decentralisation leads to a clear reduction in risk, because local purchasing at the local plant sources from local suppliers close at hand.  Nevertheless, synergies are created with the other locations and strategies are coordinated with the aim of achieving independence in crisis situations.

Important here: HARTING has been supporting its suppliers for years as partners and at eye level, communicating goals and strategy at an early stage so that they can adapt to each other. Speed and communication are the other essential components of this close cooperation. Fully digitalised communication creates transparency - both towards the supplier and back from the supplier. For example, the delivery performance of suppliers can be measured on a global level at the touch of a button. This transparency of the available data enables HARTING to make immediate adjustments and react to current circumstances and to hold the corresponding discussions with partners.

As good as the existing communication with direct partners is, the issue of transparency in the entire supply chain still has potential for improvement. This is due to the fact that comprehensive information about the various subcontractors is often scarce. If suppliers purchase goods from one and the same sub-supplier, this can lead to bottleneck situations. Consequently, it is necessary to not only focus on the direct supplier, but to differentiate oneself in terms of the entire supply chain.

Another important option in order to consolidate the supply situation - the substitution of previously used raw materials. Here, the HARTING Technology Group is undertaking sophisticated and extensive research work in its laboratories to identify material alternatives. For example, if it is possible to use recycled material from Europe with identical properties instead of aluminium sourced from South-East Asia, the following goals are achieved: supply is secured and the supply chain is resilient, while the carbon footprint has been improved at the same time.

Get in touch
Thomas Bake
General Manager Global Purchasing, HARTING Stiftung & Co. KG