Rising prices and the shortage of materials affect everyone in society, including us. This has resulted in a change of focus at our purchasing department, with Peter Sjogren at the lead. A lot of work is being done to find materials from other suppliers and to find alternatives that can replace the components we do not receive in order to deliver to our customers on time.
Throughout the pandemic, we have had many projects in progress and have not had any major problems. Of course, we felt the price increases, but there was so much material in stock that there was no concern about receiving the components we needed.
– Now the problem of the shortage of materials has increased enormously. A colleague told me that he had ordered a product and was given a delivery time of 23/8. When he read more carefully, it was 23/8 2023, says Peter Sjogren, Purchasing Manager.
The extremely long lead times are the result of this, as it becomes more difficult to deliver to our customers on time.”
Borrow and look at other suppliers
To solve the problem, Peter tells us that if they are to deliver a cabinet and do not have any component, they can borrow it from another cabinet.
– If we can borrow components to test the cabinet, we can then deliver it and supplement it with the products that are missing as soon as we receive them. It's a puzzle getting it together.
Peter and his colleagues are also working intensively to find what we are missing with suppliers other than those with whom we have agreements.
– The problem is that prices are then way higher, since we have discounts with the suppliers whom have agreements with. But we want to save our customers, even if that means it's more expensive for us.
Although we have long-term agreements with our suppliers, their prices are also increasing.” Peter fears that price increases may become even more severe in the future.
– Especially when you look at petrol and diesel, those prices are quite painful.
Close cooperation with our project managers
Our suppliers understand the position we are in and try to help us find replacement products that work just as well as the products we are missing.
We look at whether we can replace materials with extremely long delivery times with materials we can be supplied with quicker. We ask our project managers to look at whether what we want to replace with has the same function.
In addition to hunting for materials, the purchasing department is working to ensure that we have an up-to-date system so that project managers always have the right information.
The challenge improves the organisation
Although we are now facing challenges and have had some refocus, Peter is convinced that the situation will lead to an improvement in the future.
– We learn a lot, find new routines and now review our inventory to see if there are some components that we can have more of in stock in the future.