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HELLER Suppliers Day: Award-winning performance and innovation

The HELLER Suppliers Days have one common goal worldwide: showing appreciation for suppliers whilst motivating them for the future. In the long term, the aim is to build and optimise a versatile and strategically important network of suppliers supporting the international production network. In 2013, HELLER took the first step towards this goal by launching the S.T.E.P. (Strategic Together Evolution Partnership) development programme. In June 2015, the award for Best Performance was presented for the second time along with the first awarding of a prize for Best Innovation. Among the approx. 100 guests invited, the companies RISTON Werkzeug GmbH based in Fellbach andHYDAC International GmbH from Sulzbach were the prize winners.

The Award Winners

HELLER and the winners (from left): Stephan Schnaedter (HELLER), Dr. Alexander Dieter (HYDAC, Best Innovation), Armin Rohn (RISTON, Best Performance) and Harald Grohmann (HYDAC, Best Innovation)

More on this later. The launch of HELLER's global development programme has turned out to be a success. In 2014, HELLER started awarding a prize to its best suppliers. Basically, the award’s intention is to recognise supplier loyalty. According to Stephan Schnaedter, Head of Purchasing and Logistics at HELLER, supplier loyalty increased by 4 percentage points, from 86 to 90 percent, throughout last year: “One of the key points of our development programme is fast and on-schedule delivery to our assembly workshops. To ensure this, we need the right partners. In the past, the companies invited to our HELLER Suppliers Day 2015 achieved a delivery performance of 90 percent or more.”

The strategic goals of the programme rest on four cornerstones. The first two are cost reduction and the competitive situation within a specific product group. Due to the small quantities produced, attention to cost is crucial in machine building, especially product design. At the same time, it is vital to respond quickly and flexibly to market changes and customer requirements. The second cornerstone is short delivery time, followed by adherence to schedules. Last but not least is global positioning with efficient processes. The foundations for this are material provisioning to the HELLER production locations worldwide and part availability for global service.

Premium high-end products to the benefit of the user

In 2015, HELLER decided to award two prizes during the Suppliers Day: one prize for Best Performance and another for Best Innovation. This year, HELLER again made a clear commitment to its European suppliers. It shows that the required quality and delivery flexibility cannot be found in low-wage countries. Yet, these factors are elementary to responding quickly and remaining cutting-edge in terms of technology.

The prize for Best Performance went to RISTON based in Fellbach, Germany. The company succeeded in implementing the four cornerstones of the strategic goals in a sustainable way. Additionally, RISTON developed an innovative joining technology, allowing to reduce costs in that area by up to 50 percent.

To Armin Rohn, Managing Director of RISTON Werkzeug GmbH, the award means a lot for various reasons: “Our company employs 30 highly qualified and committed staff working as a team who have played a significant role in this success. Until two years ago, I managed the company RISTON together with my father, whose favourite customer has always been HELLER. Besides, we have been working with HELLER for 20 years. Receiving an award after such a long time makes us proud and at the same time provides additional motivation for our staff.”

The award for Best Innovation went to HYDAC International based in Sulzbach/Saar, Germany. HELLER awards this innovation prize to suppliers who have contributed to the enhancement of the machining centres with their good ideas.

With a specially developed compressor cooling system to which cold water is added, HYDAC succeeded in achieving energy savings of more than 30 percent. Dr. Alexander Dieter, Managing Director of HYDAC International, likes this prize best and finds it a great motivation: “Saving energy has been in the focus for some time now. And we are not talking about reductions of a few percent. In order to distinguish yourself from others you need to provide savings between 20 and 30 percent. We succeeded in achieving just that, also because until then there had been no system similar to the one we developed available on the market.”

The resulting realisation of cost benefits, product optimisation, new developments and strong supplier relations also benefit the customers of HELLER. Together with delivery reliability, these aspects result in premium high-end products, increasing the user's competitiveness.


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