SEW Eurodrive

How a leading manufacturer of drive technology leveraged scoutbee to gain valuable second source suppliers for battery systems

Download PDF Contact Us

12x

more suppliers scouted vs. manual scouting

70%

more suppliers submitted RFI feedback

75%

savings of project resources

 

 

 

Initial Situation

  • SEW-EURODRIVE wanted to test new technology and approaches to scout suppliers and make procurement a more significant value driver in the business.
  • Since supplier scouting remains to be a time consuming process, SEW wanted to evaluate the potential benefits that would come with scoutbee’s AI-driven supplier scouting.

Objectives

  • Finding the optimal suppliers for a specific battery system
  • Only a few suppliers known to the company that were trusted enough to deliver this product reliably
  • Aim to find a steady development partner in order to mitigate risk

The Solution

  • scoutbee was able to identify 1885 potential suppliers for the requested material.
  • After a first validation based on SEW’s criteria, scoutbee provided a longlist of 62 suppliers that could deliver on the company’s needs.
  • SEW asked 11 suppliers to provide RFI feedback, and subsequently onboarded 6 of those suppliers for negotiations.
  • The scoutbee solution delivered upon both the company’s efforts to digitize and to massively improve supply resilience and purchasing processes.

 

Benefiting From Smarter Supplier Discovery

When the leading German drive manufacturer SEW-EURODRIVE won the award “Excellence in E-Solutions” at the ceremony of the Federal Association of Purchasing in March 2020, it didn’t come as a big surprise for many insiders in the industry. As part of their digital transformation strategy, SEW had been putting a big focus on digitizing purchasing processes to establish procurement as a value driver in the organization.

“The digitalization strategy put in place by our executive board gives us the opportunity to test new disruptive technologies in procurement and their impact on our overall business,” said Angelika Bittner, responsible for SEW’s digital roadmap in purchasing. Through the use of scoutbee’s AI-driven supplier discovery, SEW was not only able to save money, resources and process costs, but also managed to win this award in the process, and therefore positioned itself as a digital pioneer in supply chain management and procurement.

 

Staying ahead of the curve with scoutbee

In fact, SEW has been a trailblazer in disrupting legacy workflows for years. With their initiative “Procurement 360° – see the big picture,” the company focuses on a number of different pillars, from maintaining healthy supply chains to digitizing and standardizing purchasing processes on a global scale.

With scoutbee, SEW could achieve both. Scouting new suppliers for 3 different product categories (battery systems, drives for automated guided vehicles and metal parts for roller bearings), the drive manufacturer wanted to pressure test what scoutbee’s AI was capable of doing.

"With scoutbee we have the possibility to find new suppliers globally in a very efficient way. In particular, scoutbee has enabled us to analyze procurement markets for product groups that have emerged from new business areas with great efficiency. The quantity, but especially the quality, of the results were impressive and supported the purchasing department in its role as value creator at SEW"

Klaus Binder - Teamlead Purchasing Projects & Innovations at SEW

“With scoutbee we have the possibility to find new suppliers globally in a very efficient way. In particular, scoutbee has enabled us to analyze procurement markets for product groups that have emerged from new business areas with great efficiency. The quantity, but especially the quality, of the results were impressive and supported the purchasing department in its role as value creator at SEW” said Klaus Binder, Teamlead Purchasing Projects & Innovations at SEW.

Delivering high quality results in no time

Within only a couple weeks, scoutbee’s AI-driven supplier discovery suite had provided multiple suppliers for each product category. In the case of the battery systems, scoutbee was able to identify 1885 potential suppliers for the requested material. After a first validation based on SEW’s criteria, scoutbee provided a longlist of 62 suppliers that catered to the company’s needs. SEW asked 11 suppliers to provide RFI feedback, and in the end, onboarded 6 of those suppliers for negotiations in just a couple of weeks from start to end of the project.

As SEW had single-sourced this product previously, the scoutbee solution delivered upon both the company’s efforts to digitize and to massively improve supply resilience and purchasing processes. “It was impressive how fast scoutbee managed to scout a staggering amount of suppliers. The results were very well displayed. That way we could choose the best suppliers together with the purchasing team to decide on a reliable second source,” said Dr. Markus Wöppermann, lead technologist for tribology and sealing systems at SEW.

Transforming procurement with scoutbee’s technology

On average, SEW was able to scout 12 times more potential suppliers than through manual scouting, with project resources being reduced by roughly 75%. As a result, it comes as no surprise that SEW wants to continue scouting suppliers with scoutbee – not only to evolve procurement into the business opportunity it can become, but also establish purchasing as a collaborative process between SEW’s departments. Angelika Bittner continues, “Achieving the mindset of procurement as a value driver and interface manager is something that has been emphasized and developed for years. That’s what has motivated us to test these new technologies.”

Case Study

SEW Eurodrive

Download our SEW Eurodrive PDF.

Download PDF