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Timo Hartmann is a Purchasing & Project Manager in the Group Purchasing department at NORMA Group. One part of his job involves implementing measures from the “Get on track” transformation program in his area of responsibility.
Timo, can you give us a quick overview of the main elements of “Get on track”? What is the significance of the program for you and your department?
The “Get on track” transformation program includes a variety of measures to increase NORMA Group’s flexibility and profitability. As part of the program, we want to make purchasing processes and procedures more efficient so that costs can be reduced in the long term.
How is the implementation of the program coming along?
In purchasing, we set clear targets for 2021 and beyond. The Corona pandemic, material shortages and high inflation have all been extremely challenging for the work we are trying to do. But our efforts have nevertheless paid off. In cooperation with other departments, we freed up important resources, thereby creating cross-functional synergies.
Cross-functional, what exactly does that mean?
Cross-functional means that we coordinate our respective activities with other departments in mind. We can illustrate this more clearly by taking a look at the further development of a product: First, there has to be an idea of how to improve the product and the associated process. To ensure that this is implemented as effectively as possible, colleagues must exchange information across functions and departments.
In this context, we ensure the optimal supply of materials through close exchange with our colleagues. Only when these points of coordination work together as seamlessly as possible can we as NORMA Group generate optimal output, both for the customer and for us as a company.
How exactly were potential savings identified?
We were incredibly thorough in our preparations and looked at everything from various perspectives to see where there could be new opportunities for us. Cross-functional projects, product cost analyses and savings from the standardization of internal requirements were identified as excellent ways of optimizing costs, as were the kinds of price negotiations that are typical of purchasing.
Did the issue of digitalization play an important role in the implementation of “Get on track”?
The core of our work is the implementation of the internal NORMA Store, which moves us forward in terms of efficiency, time savings and the establishment of global purchasing standards. The internal online store gives us a greater degree of transparency and makes it easier for us to identify potential savings. Far more important than that, of course, is that we are standardizing our purchasing processes with the introduction of the NORMA Store. We have also created catalogs with our suppliers and uploaded them bundled to the NORMA Store. By continuously analyzing the ordering behavior, we can identify further potential for optimization.