Mr. Stephan E. Willigens
“The development of traditional value chain into a network will most definitely accompany us throughout the next five years,” said Mr. Stephan E. Willigens at the second Elcoteq Forum in September in the Millennium Hotel in Stuttgart, Germany.
Mr. Willigens from the Supply Chain Management Institute of the European Business School, Schloss Reichartshausen in Oestrich-Winkel, spoke in front of numerous interested listeners about Quality and flexibility without stock. “As provocative as this topic may be”, Mr. Willigens smiled.
According to Mr. Willigen’s theory companies are able to react flexibly and with consistent standard of quality to changing market situations, if they are in multilateral relationships with their customers, suppliers and partners. “At the moment 80% of all companies are still using traditional methods”, he assumed.
“Every single one is operating isolated in its own bipolar and straight forward nutshell. Target has to be to identify local and global networks and to define consistent structures. This way the extra costs and lead time can be saved through the mentioned reduction of stock and the risk of being hit by surprise by changing market situations, shrinks significantly,” Willigens says.
Most crucial for this development and the alignment of networks are the customers’ requirements.
“I first have to fully understand what the customer wants from me,” Willigens says. “This information has to then be communicated to every single component of the supply networks on a regular basis, because transparency is one key factor of a well working network,” he stresses. Furthermore it has to be considered that in a global network different cultures come together. “Human beings as additional key factor have to be considered. It is also indispensable to analyze already existing structures on the partner side in order to reorganize in a simple and practical way in order to work together. It is important that the common processes are being lived,” Mr. Willigens concluded.
How Elcoteq is living these kinds of networks already today was shown by Hannu Hautala, Vice President Elcoteq System Solutions, in his presentation. Concepts for cost and complexity reductions have been implemented together with big Chinese and European customers, by moving production to other continents close to the customers and to qualified, first class suppliers. Benefits were that stock was cut in half, several weeks of lead time was saved and flexibility was increased.
The Elcoteq Forum is a platform for decision makers in related industries. The event offered participants a good possibility to learn and discuss about the current topics in the industry and to network with other industry leaders.
Mr. Hannu Hautala, Vice President, Elcoteq System Solutions