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Rub­ber and plas­tic prod­ucts in sup­ply chain man­age­ment —

what you need to know

09.02.2022  | Christoph Gähler

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Sup­ply chain man­age­ment aims to plan, con­trol and opti­mize mate­r­i­al and infor­ma­tion flows with­in a val­ue chain. In the case of rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents, there are numer­ous points to be set in this con­text, from the selec­tion of suit­able raw mate­ri­als, mate­r­i­al mix­tures, sup­pli­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es to the intel­li­gent tim­ing of logis­tics and pro­duc­tion processes.

In this arti­cle, we have sum­ma­rized for you the most impor­tant aspects that you should con­sid­er in sup­ply chain man­age­ment with regard to rub­ber and plas­tic prod­ucts. The infor­ma­tion will help you to avoid typ­i­cal prob­lems. At the same time, you will find many tips that you can use to mit­i­gate the neg­a­tive effects of local and glob­al crises — for exam­ple, short­ages of raw mate­ri­als as well as sup­ply bot­tle­necks. This makes it eas­i­er for you to ensure your sup­ply security.

What chal­lenges do rub­ber and plas­tic prod­ucts pose for sup­ply chain management?

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Glob­al Sourcing

In times of glob­al­ly orga­nized val­ue cre­ation, it is more impor­tant than ever to have a reli­able pro­cure­ment net­work. This net­work must enable your com­pa­ny to respond quick­ly and flex­i­bly to chang­ing needs with­in the sup­ply chain. When deal­ing with rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents, this presents sev­er­al chal­lenges for which you need to find solutions:

Choos­ing the right sourc­ing strat­e­gy has become more complex.

Until a few years ago, most com­pa­nies were large­ly price-dri­ven in their pro­cure­ment of rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents. If sev­er­al sup­pli­ers offered goods of com­pa­ra­ble qual­i­ty, expe­ri­ence showed that pur­chas­ing always opt­ed for the cheap­er sup­pli­er. Due to low­er labor costs, sourc­ing from Asia has there­fore become stan­dard in many industries.

How­ev­er, pure­ly price-dri­ven glob­al pro­cure­ment can lead to incal­cu­la­ble fol­low-up costs in times of cri­sis. In trans­porta­tion, for exam­ple, there are numer­ous start­ing points for unfore­seen events (cat­a­stro­phes, con­gest­ed ports, etc.) and geopo­lit­i­cal risk fac­tors (bor­der clo­sures, sea block­ades, puni­tive tar­iffs, etc.), which can sig­nif­i­cant­ly delay the deliv­ery of goods. In addi­tion, long trans­port dis­tances make it dif­fi­cult to achieve sus­tain­abil­i­ty goals such as reduc­ing CO2 emis­sions. The extent to which for­eign sup­pli­ers are prefer­able to local sup­pli­ers must there­fore be care­ful­ly weighed up.

Many raw mate­ri­als are cur­rent­ly dif­fi­cult to obtain

Since sum­mer 2021, most indus­tri­al­ized coun­tries have been expe­ri­enc­ing an eco­nom­ic upswing. The num­ber of new­ly reg­is­tered coro­na dis­eases has decreased, at least tem­porar­i­ly. To this end, pre­vi­ous pan­dem­ic expe­ri­ence has estab­lished process­es that enable man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies to man­age coro­na-relat­ed impair­ments more effectively.

Accord­ing­ly, demand for raw mate­ri­als and sup­plies has risen sharply. As a result, some resources (such as chem­i­cal pre­cur­sors and plas­tics) are cur­rent­ly almost unavail­able. This sit­u­a­tion is par­tic­u­lar­ly affect­ing pro­duc­ers who have so far pur­chased rub­ber and plas­tic prod­ucts from indi­vid­ual suppliers.

Deliv­ery delays com­pli­cate planning

Due to the high demand for raw mate­ri­als, many sup­pli­ers are cur­rent­ly unable to guar­an­tee fixed deliv­ery times. In addi­tion, coro­na-relat­ed trans­port restric­tions reg­u­lar­ly cause delays that neg­a­tive­ly impact the entire sup­ply chain — and in the worst case, pro­duc­tion plan­ning. Although it is pos­si­ble to order goods with longer lead times, this requires suf­fi­cient stor­age capac­i­ty, which in turn entails high­er costs. In addi­tion, short-term sup­ply bot­tle­necks can­not be elim­i­nat­ed in this way.

Unsuit­able tech­ni­cal solu­tions for rub­ber and plas­tic delay processes

In some cas­es, rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents are not giv­en high pri­or­i­ty in the design process. In addi­tion, many devel­op­ment teams lack know-how in deal­ing with both mate­ri­als, so that expe­ri­ence from met­al pro­cess­ing is trans­ferred to mate­r­i­al groups made of rub­ber or plas­tic. This reg­u­lar­ly leads to prob­lems in prac­tice, as many of the man­u­fac­tur­ing process­es used in the rub­ber and plas­tics sec­tor (e.g. injec­tion mold­ing, press­ing, extru­sion) are not com­mon when deal­ing with met­al. Design draw­ings there­fore often have to be adapt­ed sub­se­quent­ly (e.g. due to geome­tries that can­not be imple­ment­ed), which in turn has an impact on sup­pli­er man­age­ment planning.

Price sta­bil­i­ty is hard­ly achiev­able at present

Achiev­ing a sta­ble price in the pro­cure­ment of rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents has always been a chal­lenge for pur­chas­ing. The pan­dem­ic has even exac­er­bat­ed the sit­u­a­tion: due to fluc­tu­at­ing demand, prices for raw mate­ri­als and input mate­ri­als vary con­sid­er­ably. Con­se­quent­ly, this also reduces the plan­ning reli­a­bil­i­ty of man­u­fac­tur­ing companies.

How can you make your sup­ply chain more cri­sis-proof and robust?

The Coro­na pan­dem­ic ruth­less­ly exposed how frag­ile glob­al­ly ram­i­fied sup­ply chains are in times of cri­sis. The fact that glob­al sup­ply chains are sus­cep­ti­ble to dis­rup­tions is noth­ing new. How­ev­er, the con­se­quences in the event of an emer­gency have become clear for the first time since the virus spread with such intensity.

Coro­na acts like an accel­er­ant in sup­ply chain man­age­ment, exac­er­bat­ing exist­ing chal­lenges. In the rub­ber and plas­tics sec­tor, how­ev­er, there are a num­ber of mea­sures you can take to ensure your sup­ply secu­ri­ty in the short and long term.

Tip 1: Rely more on local suppliers

The mon­e­tary ben­e­fits com­pa­nies expect from glob­al sourc­ing can quick­ly be negat­ed by deliv­ery delays. In addi­tion, long trans­port routes make it more dif­fi­cult to achieve cli­mate pro­tec­tion goals and improve your own glob­al foot­print. It there­fore makes sense to rethink pro­cure­ment strate­gies, espe­cial­ly in times of cri­sis.
In man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies, the focus is cur­rent­ly shift­ing back to Euro­pean sup­pli­ers. There are sev­er­al rea­sons for this:

Local sup­pli­ers are not fun­da­men­tal­ly more pro­fes­sion­al than their inter­na­tion­al com­peti­tors. Even out­side the Euro­pean Union, there are rub­ber, plas­tic and tool pro­duc­ers offer­ing high-qual­i­ty goods as well as brand­ed prod­ucts from large cor­po­ra­tions. In the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, how­ev­er, sup­pli­ers from Ger­many and Europe can offer their cus­tomers advan­tages that can help solve cri­sis-relat­ed prob­lems more quick­ly or avoid them altogether. 

Tip 2: Rethink your pur­chas­ing strategies

Com­pa­nies that rely on a just-in-time pur­chas­ing strat­e­gy keep their inven­to­ries con­tin­u­ous­ly at a low lev­el. How­ev­er, pre­cise­ly planned indi­vid­ual orders are par­tic­u­lar­ly vul­ner­a­ble to price increas­es and dis­rup­tions in times of cri­sis. If a deliv­ery does not arrive on time, this quick­ly affects the company’s pro­duc­tion and deliv­ery capa­bil­i­ty — and thus the sat­is­fac­tion of its customers.

One way to pro­tect against sup­ply bot­tle­necks and price explo­sions is to con­clude frame­work con­tracts with strate­gi­cal­ly impor­tant sup­pli­ers. These pro­vide a high degree of plan­ning secu­ri­ty, as you define togeth­er with your sup­pli­er which orders must be placed in the com­ing months and on which dates. This is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant for spe­cif­ic rub­ber and plas­tic com­pounds, because sup­pli­ers do not have these prod­ucts in stock as stan­dard. In addi­tion, the nego­ti­a­tion and orga­ni­za­tion­al effort (and thus the process costs) is sig­nif­i­cant­ly low­er com­pared with indi­vid­ual orders, as you do not have to nego­ti­ate new con­di­tions for each indi­vid­ual delivery.

At the same time, you ben­e­fit from finan­cial advan­tages with frame­work agree­ments. On the one hand, they offer greater price sta­bil­i­ty, since the pur­chase price for the goods ordered is fixed with the sup­pli­er and is not sub­ject to fluc­tu­a­tions (apart from con­trac­tu­al­ly agreed excep­tions). On the oth­er hand, the pur­chase of large quan­ti­ties of goods cre­ates scal­ing effects that you can pass on to your cus­tomers. If your pro­duc­tion can process the entire order in one piece, for exam­ple, the set­up costs of the machines and equip­ment involved and the costs for project man­age­ment are reduced.

Tip 3: Build a lean, strate­gic sup­pli­er network

When build­ing your pro­cure­ment net­work for rub­ber and plas­tic prod­ucts, you need to weigh two options: 

For rub­ber and plas­tic prod­ucts, the most effec­tive solu­tion is often a com­pro­mise. Some sup­pli­ers have a dense net­work of sub-sup­pli­ers them­selves and can out­source tasks as need­ed. The coor­di­na­tion effort required by a large num­ber of sup­pli­ers can accord­ing­ly be out­sourced to such pro­duc­tion part­ners. At the same time, there may be finan­cial advan­tages, as the sup­pli­er may be able to achieve economies of scale with its sub-sup­pli­ers. In oth­er words, you ben­e­fit from the advan­tages of sup­pli­er con­sol­i­da­tion with­out suf­fer­ing the full extent of its disadvantages.

Tip 4: Get sup­pli­ers on board for new developments

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Test lab­o­ra­to­ry of the JÄGER Group

Rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents are often neglect­ed in design. At the same time, devel­op­ment teams usu­al­ly lack the nec­es­sary expe­ri­ence in deal­ing with these mate­ri­als. As a result, man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies often con­front their sup­pli­ers with design spec­i­fi­ca­tions that can­not be pro­duced in the intend­ed form. In addi­tion, the lack of exper­tise means that poten­tial for improve­ment, which could be exploit­ed by the design depart­ment with the appro­pri­ate know-how in terms of mate­r­i­al selec­tion and design, remains unused.

To avoid addi­tion­al devel­op­ment loops and to design rub­ber or plas­tic com­po­nents ready for pro­duc­tion on the planned date, you should work with a spe­cial­ized devel­op­ment part­ner as ear­ly as pos­si­ble. Ide­al­ly, you should inte­grate their experts into your team in the ear­ly phas­es of the project. The ear­li­er you pro­vide your sup­pli­er with all the rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion about your devel­op­ment project in the form of a spec­i­fi­ca­tion sheet and dis­cuss it with mate­r­i­al spe­cial­ists, the more effi­cient the devel­op­ment process will be.

Tip 5: Inte­grate sup­pli­ers into your processes

The Coro­na cri­sis showed how impor­tant close coop­er­a­tion between cus­tomer and sup­pli­er can be in an emer­gency. Com­pa­nies that inte­grat­ed their sup­pli­ers into their own process chain in a mean­ing­ful way were able to respond more quick­ly to delays and out­ages, for exam­ple. In many cas­es, this at least mit­i­gat­ed the effects of the pandemic.

You lay the foun­da­tion for inte­grat­ing your sup­pli­ers at the IT lev­el. Instead of for­ward­ing orders and infor­ma­tion to your sup­pli­ers via e‑mail, you should net­work them with your IT land­scape. This makes it pos­si­ble to exchange all nec­es­sary infor­ma­tion (orders, deliv­ery bills, invoic­es, requests, etc.) digitally.

There are numer­ous advan­tages to be gained from such a con­nec­tion: With the help of an EDI con­nec­tion, you can, for exam­ple, cre­ate a dynam­ic pre­view of your goods require­ments for the com­ing months so that your sup­pli­er can pre­pare pro­duc­tion orders and deliv­er­ies in good time. Alter­na­tive­ly, you can net­work your ERP sys­tem with that of the sup­pli­er. This makes it pos­si­ble, among oth­er things, to auto­mat­i­cal­ly trig­ger pur­chase orders based on your goods require­ments (or your inven­to­ry). Func­tion­al­ly, this solu­tion cor­re­sponds to an EDI con­nec­tion, but there are no costs for set­ting up an EDI server.

It is also worth­while in logis­tics if you inte­grate sup­pli­ers into your process­es. This reduces fric­tion loss­es and ensures that mate­ri­als and com­po­nents arrive at the right place at the right time. One exam­ple of this is order pick­ing. If your sup­pli­er deliv­ers the ordered rub­ber or plas­tic com­po­nent in pack­ag­ing units that cor­re­spond to your planned con­sump­tion, your ware­house staff will save a lot of effort because they will need less time to decant and sort the deliv­ery. The box­es can be tak­en direct­ly from the pal­let and processed fur­ther. At the same time, you save a not incon­sid­er­able amount of pack­ag­ing waste.

Tip 6: Strive for a part­ner­ship with suppliers

In sup­ply chain man­age­ment, high respon­sive­ness and flex­i­bil­i­ty are key suc­cess fac­tors. These are eas­i­er to achieve if you focus on long-term coop­er­a­tion with your sup­pli­ers, which is char­ac­ter­ized by open­ness and trust.

On the basis of such a foun­da­tion, agree­ments between cus­tomer and sup­pli­er are faster and less com­pli­cat­ed. Prob­lems can be resolved more eas­i­ly if both sides know each oth­er per­son­al­ly. In the event of deliv­ery delays, for exam­ple, it is more prac­ti­cal to con­tact a long-stand­ing busi­ness part­ner by phone instead of con­tact­ing cus­tomer ser­vice by e‑mail. In addi­tion, cross-com­pa­ny col­lab­o­ra­tion runs more smooth­ly with long-stand­ing part­ners. Con­flicts that are the result of dif­fer­ing goals and expec­ta­tions arise much less fre­quent­ly in such cas­es. In addi­tion, both sides can antic­i­pate prob­lems in many cas­es because they know how con­tact per­sons will react in cer­tain situations.

Last but not least, long-term col­lab­o­ra­tion with sup­pli­ers brings you finan­cial ben­e­fits. On the one hand, there are no process costs for research, con­tract nego­ti­a­tions, and sup­pli­er qual­i­fi­ca­tion, which take a cer­tain amount of time to pay off in the case of new part­ners. On the oth­er hand, sup­pli­ers often offer low­er prices for long-term exist­ing cus­tomers. After all, they have an inter­est in the con­tin­u­a­tion of the partnership.

Tip 7: Keep an eye on the com­mod­i­ty markets

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Overview of a cal­cu­la­tion curve

In the rub­ber and plas­tics sec­tor in par­tic­u­lar, you should con­stant­ly mon­i­tor devel­op­ments on the raw mate­ri­als mar­ket. Sup­ply prob­lems with cer­tain resources and mate­ri­als are usu­al­ly the result of devel­op­ments that experts can pre­dict quite pre­cise­ly. If you rec­og­nize these devel­op­ments, it will be eas­i­er for you to take coun­ter­mea­sures in good time.

If you lack the resources or exper­tise to mon­i­tor the raw mate­r­i­al mar­kets, it is worth­while to exchange infor­ma­tion with rub­ber and plas­tics sup­pli­ers. They have been deal­ing with devel­op­ments on the mar­ket for years and, if nec­es­sary, can quick­ly pro­vide infor­ma­tion on which alter­na­tive raw mate­ri­als with com­pa­ra­ble prop­er­ties are cur­rent­ly avail­able. At the same time, you can obtain fore­casts from sup­pli­ers about expect­ed price devel­op­ments and restric­tions, e.g. if cer­tain mate­ri­als are banned due to polit­i­cal decisions.

Tip 8: Use alter­na­tive blends

Espe­cial­ly in times of cri­sis, it is advan­ta­geous not to be depen­dent on the avail­abil­i­ty of cer­tain raw mate­ri­als. Your com­pa­ny can achieve this flex­i­bil­i­ty by order­ing alter­na­tive mate­r­i­al blends with com­pa­ra­ble prop­er­ties for its rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents. This does lead to high­er costs, as these com­pounds have to be designed and test­ed. In return, you can fall back on alter­na­tive raw mate­ri­als in an emer­gency and ensure your sup­ply secu­ri­ty even if resources are tem­porar­i­ly unavailable.

The search for alter­na­tive mate­ri­als is worth­while not only for new devel­op­ments, but also for exist­ing prod­ucts. This is not just about your sup­ply secu­ri­ty. Since mate­ri­als man­age­ment is con­stant­ly evolv­ing, old­er prod­ucts often reveal poten­tial for improve­ment, which you can use to opti­mize your car­bon foot­print, among oth­er things. There are also often oppor­tu­ni­ties to change the design of the com­po­nent and reduce weight or increase func­tion­al­i­ty by adapt­ing the mate­r­i­al. Mate­r­i­al costs and the ser­vice life of the mold­ed part can some­times be sig­nif­i­cant­ly improved by such changes.

Tip 

Sub­sti­tut­ing raw mate­ri­als and devel­op­ing alter­na­tive mate­ri­als is not pos­si­ble in the short term in every indus­try. For exam­ple, mate­ri­als in the food or med­ical tech­nol­o­gy indus­tries have to go through com­plex approval process­es before they are released for pro­duc­tion. If this is also the case in your com­pa­ny, you need to plan suf­fi­cient­ly ahead. How­ev­er, with a view to future crises, this pro­ce­dure may also be worth­while in your case. 

Tip 9: Opti­mize mold shop planning

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Pro­duc­tion of a tool

In injec­tion mold­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing projects — whether for rub­ber or plas­tic com­po­nents — mold mak­ing is one of the most com­plex, time-con­sum­ing tasks. Injec­tion molds are pre­ci­sion tools that must be indi­vid­u­al­ly man­u­fac­tured, test­ed and approved for each new order. Numer­ous sources of error lurk here, which can delay projects and impair down­stream process­es in the sup­ply chain.

You can nei­ther short­en nor accel­er­ate the con­struc­tion of a new tool. Accord­ing­ly, you must allow suf­fi­cient time for this in the project plan­ning. It is a good idea to inte­grate a rub­ber or plas­tics man­u­fac­tur­er into the project as ear­ly as pos­si­ble in the devel­op­ment phase, as they have mate­r­i­al exper­tise and can con­tribute pos­i­tive impe­tus to your devel­op­ment project on the basis of their expe­ri­ence. Expe­ri­ence has shown that you can meet dead­lines more reli­ably in this way. In addi­tion, you can iden­ti­fy and elim­i­nate sources of error at an ear­ly stage.

If you have your tool man­u­fac­tured by an exter­nal part­ner, you must keep an eye on the asso­ci­at­ed logis­tics. Here, too, a price-dri­ven approach is cur­rent­ly not always the best deci­sion. In the case of inter­na­tion­al tool­mak­ers, for exam­ple, delays can quick­ly occur dur­ing trans­port, whether due to crises or bad weath­er. In addi­tion, cor­rec­tions are com­plex, as the faulty mold design may have to be trans­port­ed over thou­sands of kilometers.

Tip 10: Take care dur­ing trans­port and storage

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Stor­age racks in the logis­tics center

Rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents bring with them spe­cif­ic require­ments for trans­port and stor­age. If han­dled improp­er­ly, the some­times high­ly sen­si­tive com­po­nents can be dam­aged and thus become unus­able. This is anoth­er rea­son why sup­ply chains in the rub­ber and plas­tic sec­tor are more sus­cep­ti­ble to dis­rup­tions than is the case with oth­er components.

In the case of plas­tics, for exam­ple, nat­ur­al con­di­tion­ing can occur depend­ing on the mate­r­i­al. The plas­tic absorbs water at high­er tem­per­a­tures or humid­i­ty, and the item’s prop­er­ties change so that it can no longer be installed. Rub­ber com­pounds, on the oth­er hand, have a lim­it­ed shelf life and must be processed as quick­ly as pos­si­ble. The com­pound mate­r­i­al begins to age after about four weeks and los­es some of its prop­er­ties. You should also note that pre-vul­can­iza­tion can occur if you do not com­ply with the tem­per­a­ture spec­i­fi­ca­tions dur­ing transport.

To pre­vent these prob­lems, you should strict­ly adhere to the com­pound-spe­cif­ic spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the man­u­fac­tur­er (stor­age tem­per­a­tures, trans­port con­di­tions, etc.). So a close exchange with your sup­pli­er is also rec­om­mend­ed with regard to trans­port and stor­age. This makes it eas­i­er to coor­di­nate the process­es in your sup­ply chain. In addi­tion, it also makes sense in terms of logis­tics to main­tain redun­dan­cies in the sup­ply chain. If you have approved sev­er­al rub­ber com­pounds, you can react more flex­i­bly to disruptions.

To pre­vent cri­sis-relat­ed prob­lems, it may also make sense to re-eval­u­ate your inven­to­ry strat­e­gy. If you increase your safe­ty stock lev­els, your pro­duc­tion can tem­porar­i­ly com­pen­sate for deliv­ery short­falls, for exam­ple. It may also make sense to adjust your lot sizes. Instead of order­ing mate­r­i­al quan­ti­ties as need­ed at short inter­vals, you can place larg­er orders and keep some of the mate­r­i­al in stock.

Tip 11: Seek coop­er­a­tion with oth­er companies

In light of the cur­rent short­age of raw mate­ri­als, more and more man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies are turn­ing to bar­ter­ing with com­peti­tors. For this pur­pose, there are dig­i­tal trad­ing plat­forms where com­pa­nies can offer or search for resources. If your sup­pli­er can­not cur­rent­ly sup­ply a par­tic­u­lar raw mate­r­i­al and there is no alter­na­tive resource or blend avail­able, it makes sense to con­sid­er this option.

Tip 12: Build a sup­pli­er database.

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Net­work of diverse suppliers

Sup­ply chain man­age­ment is a com­plex process in which numer­ous com­pa­nies with­in a sup­ply chain coop­er­ate and depend on each oth­er. Accord­ing­ly, a robust sourc­ing strat­e­gy requires reli­able infor­ma­tion about all sup­pli­ers and sub-sup­pli­ers. For exam­ple, you should know how your part­ners’ pro­cure­ment and sup­ply process­es are struc­tured. In view of sus­tain­abil­i­ty require­ments, you also need infor­ma­tion on where your sup­pli­ers obtain resources. As an infor­ma­tion­al basis, it is advis­able to have a detailed sup­pli­er data­base that you update reg­u­lar­ly. Among oth­er things, this will cre­ate the ide­al con­di­tions for risk analy­ses in which you review your entire sup­ply chain.

Tip 13: Detailed sup­pli­er selection

The pre­req­ui­site for sta­ble sup­ply chain man­age­ment is a net­work of reli­able sup­pli­ers. Par­tic­u­lar­ly in the pro­cure­ment of rub­ber and plas­tic mate­ri­als and pre­cur­sors, sup­pli­er selec­tion is there­fore of high strate­gic importance.

In the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, a price-dri­ven approach to the selec­tion process is risky. Instead, the focus of your search should be on how you can make your sup­ply chain more cri­sis-proof. To do this, you need to sound out the mar­ket for rub­ber and plas­tics sup­pli­ers in detail, tak­ing into account not only costs but also aspects such as reli­a­bil­i­ty and quality.

To ensure that your sup­pli­er meets all rel­e­vant require­ments, you should eval­u­ate all can­di­dates accord­ing to mean­ing­ful cri­te­ria. In addi­tion to eco­nom­ic aspects, eco­log­i­cal and social fac­tors also play a role — key­word sus­tain­abil­i­ty. Cor­po­rate social respon­si­bil­i­ty goals, for exam­ple, are eas­i­est to meet with reli­able, trans­par­ent process­es and short sup­ply chain dis­tances. Ori­en­ta­tion is pro­vid­ed by inter­na­tion­al man­age­ment stan­dards such as ISO 14001, which defines the essen­tial require­ments for cor­po­rate envi­ron­men­tal management.

Jäger focus­es on sustainability

Jäger Gum­mi und Kunststoff’s offer­ings are based on a robust net­work of sub-sup­pli­ers, approx­i­mate­ly 96 per­cent of which are head­quar­tered with­in the Euro­pean Union (80 per­cent in Ger­many). Sus­tain­abil­i­ty plays a dom­i­nant role in this net­work. Thus, sup­pli­ers are select­ed based on their cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to the envi­ron­men­tal stan­dard DIN EN ISO 14001 as well as (ide­al­ly) DIN EN 50001. 

In sum­ma­ry

Fac­ing prob­lems proac­tive­ly and react­ing flex­i­bly to dis­rup­tions is becom­ing increas­ing­ly impor­tant in sup­ply chain man­age­ment. These capa­bil­i­ties require a range of mea­sures in rub­ber and plas­tic prod­ucts, from the care­ful selec­tion of reli­able sup­pli­ers to the close inte­gra­tion of all sup­ply chain part­ners into your process­es and systems.

You will achieve the best results by imple­ment­ing as many of the mea­sures pre­sent­ed here as pos­si­ble. In some areas, this may increase the effort required for your sup­pli­er man­age­ment. How­ev­er, the result is a robust, reli­able sup­ply net­work that you can main­tain even in the event of crises occur­ring at short notice.

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Mitarbeiter aus dem Vertrieb Christoph Gähler /blog/rubber-and-plastic-products-in-supply-chain-management-what-you-need-to-know/

Author: Christoph Gähler

Christoph Gäh­ler is a group leader in the inter­nal sales depart­ment at Jäger. With a degree in busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion (focus on sales and mar­ket­ing), he has been sup­port­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies in the pur­chas­ing of rub­ber and plas­tic com­po­nents since July 2017. 

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