Urs Güttinger, Head of Smart Factory Logistics, Bossard Switzerland
"How to reduce your supplier pool from 186 to 1 and save time, money and stress"
After 15 years of working at Bossard, I still find new challenges every day. There is one simple reason for this: In my job as Head of Smart Factory Logistics, I deal with many parts, even if these are small. In fact, that’s what I find exciting. Many small parts with minimal value, individually, to which one might not pay much attention at first glance. However, they are indispensable and generate substantial costs. Therefore, my job is also about large sums of money – money that companies can save by entrusting the management of their C-parts to a specialist.
Roche Diagnostics International AG, a Swiss systems provider for medical diagnostic solutions has been a loyal customer of Bossard for more than 25 years. We have watched them grow and evolve, and we have kept them up-to-date on all the latest advances. For many years, they didn’t want to even consider an external C-parts management solution.
Time for core competence due to logistics concept
However, Roche Diagnostics International AG has been very successful in the past ten years and has grown from 300 to 2 000 employees. It is not surprising, therefore, that their in-house logistics department had trouble keeping pace. With regard to C-parts, this meant 186 different suppliers and procurement processes. At some point, the managers at Roche Diagnostics International AG asked themselves: What is our core activity? Definitely not chasing after C-parts! That’s when they called me.
We did a process analysis and analyzed the flow of goods and information, looking closely at the paths and procurement process and quantifying the costs. Based on our findings, we developed a new logistics concept. Since then, Bossard Inventory Management has been responsible for supplying all C-parts. Where once over 180 suppliers had a hand in the logistics operation, today Roche Diagnostics International AG gets everything from a single source. We have also consolidated their supplier list where possible to negotiate better conditions for our customer. Since 2007, Smart-Bin – Bossard’s logistics system with automated procurement – has been part of our customer’s assembly process, providing a reliable and costeffective logistics solution. Overall, these measures have helped Roche Diagnostics International AG to reduce process costs by 39 percent.
The next challenge is right around the corner. Roche Diagnostics International AG aims to double their output of diagnostic products by 2017. To achieve this goal, they plan to optimize their assembly process even further. This means that my team and I will face a whole new set of challenges.