Audi

How Audi completed a complex supplier scouting process for eco-friendly towing machines in just 7 weeks with Scoutbee

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7

weeks project timeline

180x

more suppliers

6

hours total time spent

 

 

 

Company profile

  • The Audi Group is among the world’s leading producers of premium cars
  • Audi stands for sporty vehicles, high build quality and progressive design – for “Progress through technology”
  • For Audi, sustainability is synonymous with future viability

Initial situation

  • Audi AG decided to move from diesel-driven industrial towing vehicles to more eco- friendly solutions

Objective

  • Sourcing a highly complex industrial product: eco-friendly towing vehicles
  • Finding new suppliers for a vehicle powered by an electric motor
  • Screening a niche supplier market
  • Evaluating possibly fitting vendors to negotiating and contracting
  • Different supplier scouting approach in order to significantly shorten the lengthy procurement process.

Solution

  • 57 potential suppliers for electric industrial towing vehicles on Longlist
  • Within just 7 weeks, 7 suppliers made a proposal for the specific vehicle Audi AG was looking for
  • Total time spent on this project by the responsible purchaser: 6 hours
  • Screening 180 times more suppliers in a fraction of the time needed for conventional supplier scouting

Benefiting From Smarter Supplier Discovery

The event that kickstarted the collaboration between Audi and scoutbee dates back to the spring of 2017 – and it couldn’t have happened at a more iconic place for business innovations. A newly formed German startup company, scoutbee – represented by co-founders Gregor Stühler and Christian Heinrich – showcased their marketable supplier discovery suite at the Captivate Startup Pitch in Silicon Valley.

Little did they know that one particular attendee, the prestigious German automobile manufacturer Audi, was screening the startup environment for disruptive, tech-driven innovations. To a supplier-heavy corporation like Audi, scoutbee’s big data-backed supplier discovery suite was just what the doctor ordered.
Audi has always been one of the companies at the forefront of innovation. Therefore, choosing to optimize procurement processes with the help of AI seemed like the next big step in an industry that is not only massively competitive, but also thriving on new technologies.

The first supplier scouting cases

Conscious about their own principle “Vorsprung durch Technik” (advancing through technology), Audi quickly recognized the potential savings that would come with the use of AI in procurement, and scoutbee was ready to deliver.

“We saw that scoutbee had the potential to really simplify our global sourcing processes by providing a smarter supplier discovery, so we decided to use it to our advantage,” said Kathrin Schwinghammer, responsible for digital innovation at Audi. “Our aim is to embrace new technologies, and scoutbee was the disruptive force that our global sourcing operations would benefit from.”

Some months and dozens of successfully closed scouting cases later, Audi had already achieved significant cost savings. Throughout 2017, the car manufacturer had sourced a wide range of items from series- and drawing parts to complex systems and innovations via scoutbee.

However, Audi had not only achieved crucial material cost savings. One more significant benefit was the reduction of time spent on supplier scouting processes. On average, it took a strategic purchaser less than a full working day for a proposal of a new, fitting supplier. Moreover, scoutbee enabled Audi to continuously extend their supplier portfolio and therefore gain valuable insights into their supplier networks.

We saw that scoutbee had the potential to really simplify our global sourcing processes by providing a smarter supplier discovery, so we decided to use it to our advantage. In only a couple of weeks, scoutbee managed to scout numerous suppliers that catered to our needs – it’s fast, efficient and reliable. In addition to substantial cost savings, the level of supply chain transparency we gained by utilizing scoutbee’s artificial intelligence was astounding,

Kathrin Schwinghammer, Project Manager AUDI AG

“In only a couple of weeks, scoutbee managed to scout numerous suppliers that catered to our needs – it’s fast, efficient and reliable. In addition to substantial cost savings, the level of supply chain transparency we gained by utilizing scoutbee’s artificial intelligence was astounding,” said Schwinghammer.

From supplier scouting cases to a data cooperation

With a partnership that efficient and fruitful, Audi decided to move even further ahead of the curve. By establishing a data cooperation with scoutbee, the automotive giant is gaining access to holistic 360-degree supplier profiles and profound insights into supplier activities, relations, partnerships and networks all the way to tier 3.

Future Plans

Audi and scoutbee may have come a long way, but 2019 is anything but the end of their cooperation. As scoutbee is relentlessly developing and optimizing its supplier discovery suite, new possibilities arise to further optimize Audi’s procurement processes. Instead of working together on a case-by-case basis, the companies are planning to scout suppliers continuously. Thus, scoutbee’s AI creates a steady feed of potential new suppliers, enabling Audi to be up-to-date on supplier data 24 hours a day. Moreover, it will function as a market trigger for lucrative scouting cases and arrange lists of potential suppliers in case of contractor defaults or unforeseen events.

About Audi AG

The Audi Group, with its brands Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini, is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium segment. It is present in more than 100 markets worldwide and produces at 18 locations in 13 countries. 100 percent subsidiaries of AUDI AG include Audi Sport GmbH (Neckarsulm), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna, Italy).

In 2018, the Audi Group delivered to customers about 1.812 million automobiles of the Audi brand, 5,750 sports cars of the Lamborghini brand and 53,004 motorcycles of the Ducati brand. In the 2017 fiscal year, AUDI AG achieved total revenue of €60.1 billion and an operating profit of €5.1 billion. At present, approximately 90,000 people work for the company all over the world, more than 60,000 of them in Germany. Audi focuses on sustainable products and technologies for the future of mobility.

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