Structured supplier management

Our supplier management harnesses procurement as a strategic factor in competition. It comprises four essential elements – supplier qualification, development, evaluation and stabilization – and is subject to continuous development. This standardized process helps us to ensure high-­quality standards together with experienced suppliers. Supplier management applies throughout the Group. The SMaRT platform introduced in the year under review digitally models our supplier management, enabling our collaboration with suppliers to be even more efficient, effective and transparent. We concluded contracts with a total of about 19,000 suppliers in the year under review, 575 of which fulfill 80% of procurement volumes. Procurement ensures a high level of operational excellence when carried out in line with processes. An audit of contracting activities as part of the Performance and Financing Agreement (Leistungs- und Finanzierungsvereinbarung; LuFV), commissioned by the German Federal Audit Office (Bundesrechnungshof) and carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), found that no directive or legal provisions governing the awarding of contracts or any other provisions were violated. Trusted collaboration with industry associations and initiatives also makes it possible for us to orient our supplier portfolio predominantly toward system providers with proven expertise in the rail transport sector. Strategically we are focusing on a high rate of consolidation and long-­term framework agreements.

In addition, the main objectives of strategic supplier management are to access supplier innovations and ensure sustainability throughout the entire supply chain. For example, we set clear priorities for supplier management innovations and digitalization with DB Group’s sponsorship at the Railway Forum. The Railway Forum has become a highly recognized industry meeting place for the railway sector with about 1,400 participants and about 140 exhibitors.

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