Logistics and procurement
Delivery capability and product availability in logistics ensured
At the end of 2020, Group logistics comprised the central logistics centre for installation and flushing systems and piping systems in Pfullendorf (DE) as well as a decentralised network of 13 European distribution sites for bathroom products.
In the reporting year, logistics at Geberit was also faced with major challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the outstanding commitment and flexibility of the employees, it was nonetheless largely possible to ensure delivery capability and product availability around the world and also compensate for the partly significant volume fluctuations.
Further standardisation in ceramics logistics
The integration of the ceramics business into Group logistics was completed back in 2019. Nonetheless, it was possible to further standardise processes in ceramics logistics in the reporting year thanks to the Geberit Logistics Operation System (GLOS) – a system used for the continuous improvement of business processes.
Implementation of the OneERP project – where the IT systems and processes are adjusted to the Group ERP standard – also continued successfully. In this context, preparations for the introduction of the Group-wide SAP ERP system in Italy progressed so well during the reporting year that it was ready for operation from 1 January 2021. In 2021, the aim is to prepare further sites for switching over to the SAP EWM storage management system. In Sweden and Finland, where the system was introduced back in 2019, further process improvements and increased overall productivity have been achieved.
Impacts of the brand switch
The streamlining of the brand portfolio (see the section on Customers), which was completed in 2020 with the brand switch in France, Italy and the Netherlands, also had a direct effect on logistics. As part of the brand switch, the inventories were adapted and numerous end user showrooms were also supplied with new ceramic appliances and furniture. Thanks to coordinated processes and smooth cooperation between production, logistics and sales, it was possible to ensure that bottlenecks did not occur in the markets at any time during the switchover process.
Synergies in transport management
Great importance is attached to central transport management as the interface between suppliers, production plants, wholesalers and transport service providers in order to enable cost- and resource-optimised transport solutions. Customers generally receive orders of Geberit sanitary technology products 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). Geberit’s key transport service providers are required to report regularly on reductions in energy consumption and emissions. Checks are also made regularly as to whether new, sustainable truck technologies can be used in logistics across the Geberit Group.
Compliance with Code of Conduct for Suppliers checked
The Corporate Purchasing department is responsible worldwide 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 business partners and suppliers are obligated to comply with comprehensive standards. This applies to quality, socially responsible and healthy working conditions as well as environmental protection and the commitment to fair business practices. The basis for 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. As of the end of the reporting year, a large majority of suppliers as measured in terms of purchasing volumes had signed the Code.
Corporate Purchasing and Sustainability jointly ensure that the standards found in the Code of Conduct are upheld by conducting regular EHS (Environment, Health and Safety) audits. The number of audits made and their content are selected with the help of a risk matrix. The goal of these audits is to also check compliance with the respective national legislation and regulations in the areas of environmental protection and occupational health and safety, plus compliance with local regulations in terms of salary payment, the payment of health insurance premiums and pension contributions by the employer, and regulations concerning working hours and overtime. The audits are carried out by an independent service provider. Appropriate measures are initiated where required. During the reporting year, five external audits on EHS were carried out at suppliers in the area of procurement.
Supplier integrity line
Introduced in 2017, the Supplier Integrity Line from Geberit 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 hotline is free of charge for users and is operated by an independent service company in a total of eleven languages. Violations can also be reported online via an external URL. No violations of the guidelines set out in the Code of Conduct for Suppliers were reported in 2020.