Siemens invited its suppliers to exchange experiences once again with SupplyOn following last year’s successful premiere. The 26th of June saw over 60 participants gather in Freising to advance the digitization of supply chains.
Ecosystems thrive on feedback
Siemens Program Manager Digitization Thomas Holzner was looking forward to the exchange: “I am very pleased that we are now able to continue this exchange with our most important partners, suppliers, our premium partner SupplyOn and our Siemens colleagues. We are all part of the digital ecosystem. Our ability to improve depends on feedback – this is the only way to do so.”
Siemens uses 42 different ERP systems across 9 divisions, 35 business units, and 220 factories. These figures illustrate the complexity of digitizing Siemens’ supply chain: The company works with 90,000 major Siemens Lieferant.
The digitization process has made significant progress despite these challenges, according to Thomas Holzner. As the internal push-concept has long since changed into a pull-concept: interest and participation in the project are growing steadily. The main reason for this is due to the advantages that come with digitizing processes: Since technical drawing data and other relevant information can also be exchanged via SupplyOn, a clear version management is created automatically – so far one of the biggest challenges in day-to-day cooperation with suppliers.
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He is particularly concerned about the entire process being digitized. The digital process starts with the digital purchase order, closely followed by the digital confirmation, and culminates with the digital invoice. His reference to the latter does not mean PDF invoices sent via email, since some suppliers still send them. Instead, he plans to charge suppliers a “cause-based processing fee” for PDF invoices in the future, in an effort to further digitize invoices..
Ecosystems in the industrial sector are becoming more important
Marcus Quicken also emphasized how important it is for digitization to gain momentum. His extensive experience with other customers has taught him that things often move too slowly. The automotive industry, with its slogan “Go digital or go home,” is a prime example.
This is precisely why Markus Quicken finds the suppliers’ day so important: it provides an ideal opportunity to discuss how added value is created and gives Markus Quicken an ideal forum for obtaining feedback on how to further optimize its use.
In terms of competitiveness, ecosystems such as SupplyOn will play an increasingly important role in the future. I have found that individual portals, particularly when it comes to supplier acceptance, do not provide the required solution.
Purchase to Pay (P2P) is generally the foundation on which other processes are built and deliver added value, such as the serialization initiative in the railway sector. According to Markus Quicken, it’s ultimately about ensuring maximum supply reliability with high part quality and low inventory. Due to the documented and verifiable nature of the process, the method also becomes compli