The best machines and production facilities around the world use Lenze, whether in the form of individual gearboxes or motors, complete automation systems or digital services. For our own products and systems we purchase material, parts and services from hundreds of sub-suppliers. So it is clear that we not only have to make high demands on ourselves, but also on capable and reliable partners.
Anyone who works with Lenze can be sure of a reliable partnership. Our company has been in business for 70 years, and there are trusted suppliers with whom we have worked for almost as long. We appreciate partners who grow with us, who keep developing themselves and their products, and who accompany us into new markets.
For us, a partnership of this kind has a lot to do with trust, with openness and transparency, with shared risks, but also with shared rewards when it works out really well. That is the case when we can individually assess the options for working together and then implement them as effectively as possible. This is why we have analysed our supplier base in detail and identified strategic suppliers where we see even more potential. We are now working with them to find ways of interconnecting more closely in order to achieve even more benefits for both sides. For example, we are thinking about how we can improve operative processes: the material handling, for example, or the warehousing, or the re-utilisation of packaging material.
Reliable cooperation is especially important to Lenze in its partnership with its suppliers.
A flexible assembly and testing line for frequency and servo inverters ensures that only fault-free products are sent out to Lenze customers.
The partners we like most are the ones who can supply us not only in Europe, but also in Asia and America, and who have local branches there. This is because our customers and suppliers come from all parts of the world. Like us, most of them have an international set-up. Our worldwide strategic purchasing is controlled centrally from our European headquarters near Hamelin. The purchasing teams at our sites in Shanghai in China and Uxbridge in the USA make valuable contributions, thanks to their knowledge of the regional sourcing situation. No matter where in the world we are represented, our purchasing department always acts globally. And it plays a key central role at Lenze. This is why it is always located very close to the production and development divisions, in all our regions.
Strategic purchasing has been set up in a way that meets the company’s needs. Project purchasing supports the worldwide development teams in achieving the demanding goals with regard to project duration, quality and cost. Series purchasing is responsible for relations with the suppliers. It works out cross-functional supplier strategies and commodity-group strategies and then implements them. Indirect purchasing is responsible for the general purchases, including investments and services. Because the demands that are made on product and process quality are growing, we set up a department for supplier development at the beginning of 2017. An experienced team is in charge of advancing the purchasing processes and systems in the Lenze Group. The goal is a more efficient and effective Purchasing 4.0. In this way we have set everything up to achieve the optimal orientation of strategic purchasing and operative sourcing.
No matter where a product is manufactured – the quality of the supplied components and the end products must be equally high everywhere.
Our own distribution centres are equipped with Lenze technology to enable us to supply our customers quickly and reliably.
As a family-owned company we know how to run a sound and reliable business. It is no accident that we enjoy an excellent financial rating. This also comes from cost-optimised purchasing. The partners who have actively helped us to reduce costs have understood something important: as our supplier they are a key part of our value-added chain and make a significant contribution to our success as a company. In return they can profit from our growth and our success, and they can be with us at the very forefront of innovation. Fair partnership and cooperation as equals are for us a natural part of working together. This is why we like to maintain personal contact to our main suppliers: we visit them in their businesses, have regular feedback talks, and evaluate them according to a known and transparent set of criteria.
according to region in the 2016/2017 financial year in %
In the last financial year, Lenze spent around € 317 million on purchasing: € 238 million of this went on industrial goods and € 79 million on investment goods, non-industrial goods, and services.
What do we expect from our suppliers? Reliable and punctual delivery, with 100% quality. In addition, we expect transparency with regard to costs and immediate support when it is needed. If there should be an error that is attributable to components from our suppliers, these suppliers should accept responsibility. We want partners who work with us on becoming better and better. Partners who foster innovations with us and who keep increasing the benefits of our solutions for our customers. Because together we want to create special applications for Industrie 4.0!
One successful example of this kind of application is our i500 frequency inverter, a drive for conveyor, travelling, winding and tool drives and many other machine applications. We launched this product in 2016. Demand is high, and there are good reasons for that. The success is due, for example, to the device’s compact size and the very good opportunities to combine the devices as modules to meet individual needs. The i500 is also very easy to use: it can be commissioned and configured by using an app on a smartphone. In short: it sets new standards in terms of easiness. It has been reduced to the essentials. Everything that is superfluous has been left out, but nonetheless it has everything that modern technology can offer in the way of innovations. As for the components, we have stringently used only the latest components available. These include the latest IGBT technology, the seamlessly controlled fan, and the active balancing of the intermediate circuit voltages, all of which helps to keep energy consumption as low as possible. Our suppliers have played a big part in the product’s success.
Getting rid of everything superfluous: with the i500 frequency inverter, Lenze has put a streamlined product on the market that can be tailored to meet every need in terms of functionality and power.