Customer and Supplier Management

WACKER provides products and services that benefit its customers. Satisfied customers are the basis of our success. To steadily increase their satisfaction, we are in constant dialogue with not only customers, but also suppliers and logistics providers.

SMART is the name of our customer management system that helps us maintain our customer relationships. SMART contains customer profiles and all other relevant information about customers. This ensures optimum customer support. The system supports Sales, for example, with correspondence and with complaints processing. Every complaint is entered into SMART and systematically tracked until our final reply has been sent to the customer. Standardized measures, some of which are initiated automatically, ensure that the affected customer and associated team are always kept up to date on the complaint status. This helps us to enhance processes, and stops errors from recurring.

WACKER offers existing and prospective customers a further service: the WACKER Infoline. Specialists provide advice on products and related applications by phone or email. If someone asks a question, they get initial feedback within eight hours and a detailed answer within 48 hours.

We regularly solicit feedback from our customers about the quality of our products and services. WACKER POLYSILICON, for example, conducts annual customer surveys. The Siltronic business division analyzes the supplier evaluations which its major customers conduct each year. The surveys and comparative analyses have repeatedly confirmed WACKER’s excellent reputation over the years.

WACKER customers break down into three groups: global key accounts, customers, and distributors. Global key accounts are customers of special strategic and high economic significance for WACKER. We currently have some 40 global key accounts with whom we generated around 25 percent of our 2014 revenue in the chemical divisions (WACKER SILICONES, WACKER POLYMERS and WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS). Over 55 percent of our chemical-related revenue was from our approximately 8,000 other active customer relationships and around 20 percent from distributors.

Our supplier management team is another area that focuses on sustainability. Our suppliers number approximately 11,500 (10,500 in the Technical Procurement & Logistics department and 1,000 in Raw Materials Procurement). Over 80 percent of our suppliers are headquartered in a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD has 34 member countries that are dedicated to the economic and social wellbeing of people around the world. We expect our suppliers to observe the principles of the UN’s Global Compact and the Responsible Care® initiative. This constitutes part of our general terms of procurement. If we discern violations of these principles during the course of our collaboration, we discuss our observations with the supplier in question and demand improvements.

We expect our suppliers to have a management system that meets the requirements of ISO 9001 (quality) or comparable specifications such as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). Furthermore, we require our industrial suppliers to be certified to ISO 14001 (environmental protection). Our complaints management system enables us to improve processes at short notice. Our key suppliers’ performance is entered into an evaluation which we discuss with them collaboratively. WACKER honors the best suppliers and shippers at the annual Supplier and Logistics Days held by Technical Procurement & Logistics (TPL).

Systematic review of supplier risks is an important tool at WACKER for correctly evaluating our supplier relationships and adapting our procurement strategies accordingly. In the reporting period, reviews were conducted using analyses from rating agencies, our own supplier assessments and, increasingly, direct contact with our partners. In 2013 and 2014, Technical Procurement reviewed 438 suppliers. Key criteria, whose examination depends on the specific procurement segment, include quality, risk in the event of non-delivery, availability and dependency, intellectual property protection and a supplier’s financial stability.

For many years now, WACKER’s Siltronic subsidiary has been deploying its own risk management system for suppliers as a way of securing deliveries and services in the long term. Suppliers are assessed by criteria such as quality, delivery reliability and solvency. The system then categorizes them according to risk. Where there is a substantial risk that criteria will not be met, countermeasures are promptly taken.

WACKER desires to strengthen its commitment to sustainable business practices in the supply chain. To this end, the company joined the chemical industry’s “Together for Sustainability” (TfS) initiative in January 2015. Established in 2011, the organization aims at developing a global program for responsible procurement of goods and services and improving the ecological and social standards of suppliers.