Volkswagen Group Procurement and partners take stock
- Board Member for Procurement Garcia Sanz: “An effective network is our key to success. We take our ‘Together 2025’ corporate strategy literally, also as regards cooperation with our partners.”
- Supplier network remains on course for growth: Nine new strategic partners joined the FAST Initiative in 2017. This takes the total to 64.
With the introduction of the FAST Initiative in 2015, the Volkswagen Group redefined the way it works with suppliers. The aim of the “Future Automotive Supply Tracks” Initiative (FAST) is to work together to implement technical innovations more quickly than before and to realize global vehicle projects even more efficiently and effectively. Two years after the initiative began, the Volkswagen Group and its key partners have made an initial positive assessment.
“After stepping up our working relationships just two years ago, we are now reaping the rewards. This new way of working together already has allowed concrete results which would not have been possible for both sides without FAST,” said Dr. Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Group responsible for Procurement.
The first successes are very impressive indeed. Taking into account customers’ wishes often means more technology but also more weight and therefore more CO2 emissions. Working together, the companies came up with ideas as to how to compensate for this additional weight in other areas, e.g. with a compact window unit for doors. As a result, additional technology in the vehicle will not have a detrimental effect for customers when it comes to fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. With regard to batteries – the key technology for e-mobility – a joint solution addressing the issues of range and costs was found. The Groups’ first electric vehicle based on the modular electrification toolkit (MEB), the Volkswagen I.D., will offer a range of up to 600 kilometers and cost around the same as a diesel Golf.
“An effective network is our key to success. And by that I mean a real network where we work as partners on an equal footing. We take our ‘Together 2025’ corporate strategy literally, also as regards cooperation with our partners. We focus on continuity in our working relationship and at the same time on our ability to reinvent ourselves. As a result we can not only embrace change in our industry together, but can also jointly shape it. This is how manufacturers and suppliers work together as partners. This is my vision of FAST,” added Garcia Sanz.
At the FAST Summit 2017, the annual partners’ meeting, a critical assessment took place in order to identify potential and also to check how the partnership can be further strengthened and improved in the future. The partners wish to have an even closer working relationship and to share ideas on an ongoing basis. They would like to see even more strategy dialogs – not only with contacts in procurement but also with other specialist departments. As far as speed is concerned, everyone agreed that speed is the key factor for success during a transformation phase.
The partner network remains on course for growth. In 2017, nine further companies qualified for the FAST Initiative. “We are pleased to have gained nine further competent partners in 2017. All 64 members are outstanding within their relevant sectors.”
All suppliers are regularly assessed on the basis of their innovation, strategic focus and performance in the partnership. The best partners qualify for the FAST Initiative. The selected partner companies are involved in the Group innovation cycles at an early stage. A dedicated innovation interface has been put in place for this purpose. In return, FAST suppliers contribute their own ideas during the pre-production phase for vehicles – much earlier than they did before. At the same time, the globalization strategies aim to achieve even closer cooperation in the production networks between Volkswagen and its partners in order to create further synergies and exploit these in the best way possible.
An interview with Dr. Garcia Sanz entitled “The best supplier network wins” can be found on the Group website.