Supply chain tuned for the future
Text Mikko Sammasmaa
Photos Tero Takalo-Eskola
Text Mikko Sammasmaa
Photos Tero Takalo-Eskola
Sammet's business is project-based and manufacturing of Clean Flow dampers is sourced from a network of trusted manufacturing partners. Components such as actuators and limit switches come from the leading manufacturers in the industry. With a high volume of components moving around in every project, managing the whole chain is no small task. In this story, Procurement Manager Juuso Metsälä explains how Sammet has solved the complex equation for the benefit of customer.
Metsälä, 28, has already spent several years working for Sammet. He is responsible for both the manufacturing of dampers and management of the supply chain for all necessary components. His varied work includes tendering, ordering and monitoring deliveries. Close cooperation with key suppliers includes negotiating annual contracts, maintaining stocks and implementing development projects. In addition to Metsälä, there is a logistics manager and a procurement assistant working in the same team. Of course, close cooperation with other Sammet teams such as sales, quality and engineering is also essential.
Sourcing is a critical success factor for Sammet's business. - When all manufacturing is purchased from partners, procurement plays a crucial role in both the price of the product and Sammet's ability to deliver projects on time. The most important objective is to ensure that our customers receive our products and services exactly as ordered, Metsälä sums up. - This may sound obvious, but today's business environment is very different from just five years ago.
Rapid changes in the market have kept corporate procurement departments on their toes. The impact that pandemic had on the availability of materials and components was significant, and over the past year the war in Ukraine has created yet another economic uncertainty with material prices rising. At this point, longer-term effects are still unclear. However, Sammet's chosen strategy remains to ensure smooth customer deliveries in all circumstances.
“The most important objective is to ensure that our customers receive our products and services exactly as ordered.”
According to Metsälä, succesfull supply management is the sum of many actions. Close contact with suppliers, continuous development of systems, anticipation of future needs, stocking of key components and capacity reservations in advance all build close partnership within the supply network. - Years of experience and cooperation have made our current manufacturing partners very well suited to us, and we will continue to focus on a close and genuine partnership. Both the customer and Sammet benefit from having an experienced and reliable network with in-depth knowledge of the products.
When the relationship between Sammet and the supplier is based on mutual trust, the motivated network will always use its best skills to find the optimal solutions. In the search for best cost-efficiency, haggling alone does not build a sustainable business. The best price competitiveness comes from the same recipe as quality and reliability of supply: cooperation, where each actor in the chain can genuinely contribute to the outcome.
For practical reasons, Sammet’s manufacturing network includes different kinds of players.
- Sammet's products can be of very different sizes. Sometimes the project involves small manual flaps, sometimes gigantic disc dampers over four metres wide. For us, it's good to have different types of manufacturing partners who can specialise in certain products and materials. Of course, it is also useful from a risk management point of view that a single partner can manufacture as many different types of products as possible, Metsälä concludes.
Sammet values personal relationships. - In addition to actual manufacturing, our partners are actively involved in product development and quality assurance. Good cooperation has a positive effect on the whole business, Metsälä sums up. - Through long-term cooperation and agreements, Sammet is committed to its key suppliers and, in return, the suppliers are committed to, for example, stocking components for Sammet's future needs. This ensures that the benefits of cooperation are passed on directly to the end customer.
Sammet's sourcing machine is fine-tuned to meet a wide range of challenges, including unexpected ones, and close sourcing cooperation is an active, strategic choice for the company. Metsälä is optimistic about the future. - In a small company, tasks are varied and you get to do a wide range of things. My personal goal is to increase the understanding of the importance of procurement within the company and to continue the development of ERP system, says Metsälä, and adds: Hopefully, the global situation will also stabilise and we will once again have a safer, more predictable world.
Juuso Metsälä, age 28
Sammet’s supply chain management