Logistics and procurement

Continued integration of ceramics logistics into Group logistics

At the end of 2017, Group logistics comprised the central logistics centre for sanitary and piping systems in Pfullendorf (DE) as well as a decentralised network of 14 European distribution sites for the ceramics business.

The integration of the ceramics business into Group logistics continued in 2017. The Geberit Logistics Operation System (G-LOS) was successfully introduced. G-LOS is the standard system for logistics used to continuously improve business processes. This system is used by all employees in logistics and aims to bring about a sustained increase in competitiveness.

In connection with the OneERP project, the storage management system SAP EWM – which had been introduced at the Pfullendorf site in 2016 – was also launched in Poland in December 2017. It is planned to also introduce the new system at other logistics sites.

Commissioning of the expanded logistics centre

The logistics centre in Pfullendorf is the hub for products from Geberit’s Sanitary Systems and Piping Systems areas. With a view to future growth and the continued optimisation of existing logistics processes, the decision was made in 2014 to further expand the capacities of this centre. The commissioning of the new buildings and infrastructures, which also include a storage area for long goods (i.e. pipes of up to six metres in length), was carried out as planned in the first quarter of 2017. Geberit was able to keep within the investment budget of EUR 40 million that was set for the expansion.

The distribution of the Mapress piping range, which had been operated separately at the production site in Langenfeld (DE) to date, was therefore relocated to Pfullendorf in the second quarter of 2017. As a result, the global distribution of Geberit’s sanitary technology is now coordinated in Pfullendorf and handled there for all markets.

Man and technology work hand in hand in the new logistics centre. Touchscreens, glove scanners, integrated voice control systems and built-in lift tables as well as lifting devices make the work efficient, safe and ergonomic. The new building brought about a further optimisation of logistics processes, with the use of modern conveyor technology and automated workflows perfectly complementing the flexible logistics system.

Transport management synergies used

Great importance is attached to central transport management as the interface between plants, markets and transport service providers in order to enable cost- and resource-optimised transport solutions. By integrating the Mapress range into the logistics center in Pfullendorf, customers now receive their entire sanitary technology order in a single truck delivery. This not only reduces the number of empty kilometres, it also increases truck capacity utilisation and reduces CO2 emissions (see also Strategy Green Logistics). Furthermore, Geberit’s key transport service providers are required to report regularly on reductions in energy consumption and emissions. In the reporting year, the implementation of Geberit processes and standards also continued in relation to transport service providers for ceramic products and bathroom furniture.

Globally active Corporate Purchasing department

Structured like a network, the Corporate Purchasing department is responsible worldwide (except in the USA) for procuring raw materials, semi-finished and finished products, commercial products, and services. Besides minimising risks of downtime as well as costs, the primary purpose of comprehensive supplier management is to safeguard supplies.

All the Geberit Group’s business partners and suppliers are obligated to comply with comprehensive standards. This applies to quality, socially responsible and healthy working conditions, environmental protection and the commitment to fair business practices. The basis for the cooperation is the Code of Conduct for Suppliers. This Code is aligned with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and is available in 15 languages. By the end of the reporting year, 1,379 suppliers had signed the Code. This represents over 90% of the Geberit Group’s purchasing volume.

Supplier Integrity Line launched

The “Supplier Integrity Line”, which was launched in May 2017, allows suppliers to anonymously report any violations of the guidelines set out in the Code of Conduct for Suppliers by Geberit employees and by competitors. The free hotline is operated by an independent service company and is available in a total of eleven languages. Violations can also be reported online at any time via an external URL. In 2017, one case that was deemed significant was reported. Appropriate steps are being taken to investigate this matter.

EHS audits carried out

During the reporting year, four EHS (Environmental, Health and Safety) audits were carried out in the area of procurement. The goal of these audits was to check compliance with the respective national legislation and regulations in the areas of environmental protection and occupational health and safety. The audits were carried out by an independent third-party company.