Benefiting From Smarter Supplier Discovery
Changing legacy workflows is never easy. Christoph Woesler from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen knows that very well. However, Woesler, the CPO of the world’s leading company for printing machines knew he needed to be innovative when it came to screening a new supplier market for a rare cast metal part with an uncommon aluminum bronze alloy. He found out about Scoutbee at an engineering union meeting. Considering the niche supplier market for such a part, this seemed to be the right business case to start a new workflow for scouting suppliers.
Heidelberger had single-sourced the part in the past. Faced with supply bottlenecks and searching for opportunities to cut costs, the company needed to find alternative suppliers they could trust and was open to new supplier markets in foreign countries. Having worked with a high-quality net of existing suppliers in Germany and Europe, the stock traded company knew exactly what kind of business partners they were looking for.
The challenge, however, was where to find them with all the typical roadblocks that usually come with finding new suppliers in foreign countries: dubious supplier websites with little to no information regarding their trustworthiness and capacities, lack of transparency, and the ongoing uncertainty if a traditional search engine really shows all the options the supplier market has to offer. Woesler and his team knew there had to be a better way. With the aim to screen the entire market based on accurate data, Heidelberger turned to Scoutbee’s Smarter Supplier Discovery.
Timo Knebel, the responsible strategic buyer for this business case at Heidelberger, sees significant advantages in scouting suppliers with Scoutbee’s AI-driven suite: “You can’t really screen the Indian and Chinese supplier market with a Google search. The information on the websites is too sketchy to make assumptions about the trustworthiness of a supplier. Scoutbee provides the perfect market intelligence to screen a new market and therefore enables us to evaluate and pre-qualify a large number of suppliers in a very short time.”
The time frame for the entire scouting case was indeed on the short side. With the project only lasting 10 weeks from the initial kickoff until the proposal stage, Scoutbee managed to provide Heidelberger with a slick and speedy process resulting in negotiations with five new suppliers.
And while the wide net of suppliers enabled Heidelberger to make the best buying decision, the accurate data Scoutbee delivered on said suppliers helped the company to be more selective. Especially the AI-driven trust score as part of Scoutbee’s supplier discovery suite made the company spend less time on onsite visits. “Since we’re able to prequalify and evaluate suppliers based on Scoutbee’s accurate data sources, we can avoid unpleasant surprises at onsite visits by only checking out factories which have a high enough trust score. It makes your business trip a lot more targeted,” said Knebel.
When asked if he could imagine doing more supplier scouting with Scoutbee, Knebel said: “As buyers, the more complex our situation gets in the procurement department, the dearer we need solutions like Scoutbee.
We found fitting suppliers for a complex component very quickly, and we will be even faster going forward considering all learning experiences we made during these 10 weeks.