Strategic supplier management

Our supplier management contains four essential elements: supplier quali­fication, development, evaluation and stabilization. The processes and co­­­operation models in supplier management are continuously being developed. We concluded contracts with a total of about 20,000 suppliers in 2020, 530 of which fulfill 80 % of procurement volumes.

We make the greatest possible contribution to sustainable mobility development through strong partnerships in transparent supply chains. Our suppliers take an active role in ensuring mutual success with their sustainability performance and capacity to innovate. We have refined our social and environmental responsibility in many product group strategies and have embedded it in our contract-awarding practices as suitability, per­formance, evaluation and implementation criteria. The Code of Conduct for Business Partners is the starting point for forming sustainable supply chains and making procurement decisions. We monitor our partners’ compliance with the Code’s requirements through on-site audits if their industry, the country where their registered office is located, or their supply chains are exposed to increased risk.

We place great importance on conducting comprehensive sustainability assessments on our suppliers. More than 600 suppliers, which account for 60 % of our procurement volume, have already submitted their assessments to us. Fortunately, the majority of reevaluated suppliers have improved their sustainability performance. This allows us to reduce risks and increase resilience in the supply of goods and services. In many product groups, our suppliers can benefit from a simplified qualification process if they submit an up-to-date sustainability assessment.

We are continuing to develop sustainable performance and decision-­making criteria in a continuous dialog with industry associations andRailsponsible, the rail transport industry’s sustainable supply chain initiative. All 15 Railsponsible members play a key role in making supply chains more transparent with more than 1,500 supplier assessments. Climate protection and safeguarding social minimum standards are the strategic focal points for responsible procurement management at Railsponsible.

In addition, a core aim of strategic supplier management is to enable access to supplier innovations. For instance, we have placed a clear em­phasis on globalization and digitalization in supplier management with our sponsorship of the 2020 Railway Forum Digital Edition. The Railway Forumhas become a recognized meeting point for actors in the railway industry.

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