Future of Supply

As a supply chain and procurement professional, Stefan Löffler occupies a key position in many companies. In the current crisis, some of the problems here are due to the globalisation strategies of the past. How can this be countered in the future? Five questions to Stefan Löffler.

What do you stand for, Mr Löffler? What are the tasks you are entrusted with?

Stefan Löffler: I stand for fast, precise analysis and prompt improvement of the current situation. The main tasks are to ensure the supply of materials in the production plants while at the same time implementing material cost reductions. At the customer’s request, restructuring and migration of the purchasing and/or SCM areas into an efficient, process-oriented organisation.

Do you use a special methodology? What makes this approach particularly successful?

Stefan Löffler: For some years now, I have been using the so-called “Purchasing Chessboard”, a modern method of procurement optimisation developed by A.T. Kearney and proven many times over. The basis is the presentation of dependencies between suppliers and customers. By answering 11 simple standard questions per supplier, the “Purchasing Chessboard” results in target-oriented key topics with concrete measures to reduce dependencies and thus cost and default risks. In addition, these concrete measures form the basis for the entire procurement strategy, both from a global and local perspective, and are thus an important component of supply chain risk management.

What challenges are you facing in the current crisis? How are companies dealing with them?

In future, reliable supply security must be on an equal footing with high quality and reasonable costs!

Stefan Löffler

Stefan Löffler: Maintaining solution-oriented communication between the company and its customers and suppliers is a particular challenge, especially in stressful situations.  In addition, the situational necessities of each production site must be taken into account. The preparation and presentation of this information, up to the derivation of suitable ad hoc measures and their implementation must be carried out on a daily basis. With deliberately short team meetings, stand-ups, where the status is compiled and measures are addressed in a structured way, procurement can be optimally controlled and consistently developed even in times of crisis.

What are the main tasks for procurement and supply chain management in crisis management? Will there be focal points?

Stefan Löffler: The correct and decisive information must flow. Then a clear picture of the relevant, local material availability will emerge. The scope of communication must extend from the end customer, through the company’s own production to all subcontractors – and in real time. In order to implement this successfully, a competent and powerful team must be put together and instructed. For this purpose I establish easily understandable and applicable processes and set up the necessary digital infrastructure.

You are a member of the proINject – Council of Experts. What are the benefits of this cooperation for you personally and your customers?

Stefan Löffler: Working together with colleagues enables a quick but highly competent view beyond the boundaries of one’s own field of expertise and thus a more comprehensive view of the entire optimisation potential in the company. Be it with regard to processes, employees or products: We in the Council of Experts consider the entire value chain. And it is simply fun to work with excellent professionals.

Photo: A. Mauer
Stefan Löffler
The graduate mechanical and communications electronics engineer applies his experience in optimising manufacturing costs in procurement and the supply chain in a targeted manner. For more than 25 years, he has been using his diverse knowledge of the industry to implement more efficient organisations and processes with customers using his methodical knowledge.

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