22.05.20 • The German Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics (BME), located in Eschborn, Germany, has awarded our Procurement department with the 2020 "Excellence in eSolutions" award.

The project team of the Procurement Department
The project team of the Procurement Department

Since 2012 BME has been honoring innovative achievements by user companies in electronic procurement that have contributed to a remarkable increase in purchasing performance or a significant improvement in the company's results.

"By presenting SEW- EURODRIVE with the 2020 "Excellence in eSolutions" award, we have recognized the work of an international family company, appreciating the leading role that its purchasing team has taken in finding new suppliers", emphasized Dr. Silvius Grobosch, BME's Managing Director and spokesman of the jury.

Based on our digital transformation strategy, SEW- EURODRIVE developed the “Procurement 360° - Digital Vision 2025” project in 2016, an innovative approach whereby employees in Procurement proactively seek out new digital opportunities for even more efficient collaboration, addressing interdepartmental requirements and verifying functionality and added value through digital prototyping. The newly developed concept is based on an integrated, forward-looking, process-centric approach for which close collaboration between departments is essential.

In- depth research is key when it comes to analysing the purchasing market, therefore, aware of the difficulty and high costs involved, and of the important contribution that purchases can make to meeting corporate figures, a total of six objectives were formulated:

1. Ensuring the value chain, taking into account market volatility

2. Digitally transforming purchasing processes

3. Integrating the supplier base of Industry 4.0

4. Obtaining competitive advantage through the exploration of innovation

5. Managing suppliers globally and uniformly

6. Managing the interface efficiently

With these milestones in mind, SEW- EURODRIVE and five other companies founded the"Startup2Mittelstand" initiative to identify young, innovative companies for the needs of small and medium- sized enterprises, focusing on mechanical industry/ engineering. From the large number of applications received, the start-up Scoutbee GmbH was chosen to launch a pilot concept. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, Scoutbee found twelve times more suitable suppliers than conventional searches, reducing the cost of the process at SEW by up to 75%. The result: we are all very satisfied with the project and are already thinking about future collaborations.

Head of Procurement, Bernd Kohring
Head of Procurement, Bernd Kohring

Purchasing Manager Bernd Kohring works daily to further develop his department -which employs almost 50 people- into a value creator within the company. In this interdepartmental cooperation, Procurement takes on the role of interface manager, being both the driver of product development and the responsible for ensuring security of supply at each of the production sites.

"Of course, we are delighted to have received this award. For us, this award clearly demonstrates that the path we have taken is worth exploring and that the purchasing team can bring significant added value to the company as a whole", Kohring concludes.

If you want to know more about Procurement 360°, click here (only available in English).