Bombardier wants to cut its inventory from two months to two weeks © Bombardier
Bombardier wants to cut its inventory from two months to two weeks © Bombardier

Bombardier brings together procurement and supply chain teams

11 October 2018

Aerospace and transportation company Bombardier has brought together its procurement and supply chain functions to maximise efficiencies and work more effectively end-to-end, its CPO told ProcureCon Europe.

Speaking at the conference in Prague, Benedict Lannoye said that until a couple of years ago, supply chain was not visible, with staff being “hidden” in project management, procurement or operations.

“We have created a more united, stronger team: procurement and supply chain,” he said. “It’s about delivering the complete stream of the value chain. Thinking about procurement and supply chain, there’s a lot that can go wrong if you don’t organise properly.”

Lannoye said Bombardier had defined procurement as “the upfront part of the process: sourcing and deals”, while supply chain was “the moment you bring parts to a site or a customer.”

“We recognised we needed to bring the two teams very closely together to guarantee strong performance to our end customers,” he added.

Benefits of working more cohesively included a focus on lean materials flows, trying to deliver parts directly to production sites to cut down warehouse use, for example. Lannoye said that Bombardier’s warehouses used to hold 12 weeks’ worth of inventory, which has now been brought down to two months. The target is two weeks. 

The purchasing and supply management team has also been working on mapping transportation flows, using a digital solution for integrated planning, outsourcing the running of warehouses and consolidating the supply base. 

Lannoye said that Bombardier currently had 10,000 suppliers, with 50% of spend going to the top 100. His aim is to reduce this to fewer than 2,000 suppliers, with 80% spend in the top 100.

“I want to zoom in on the bigger suppliers,” he said.

He added that analysis revealed the saving potential of the new model as 20%, but that it would take one or two years to get all of the company’s 61 engineering and productions sites on board.

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