We are entering an era where it is becoming possible to detect supply chain risks much more quickly. A case in point is offered by AGCO. AGCO AGCO +1.96% is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of a wide range of agricultural equipment. In a discussion with AGCO’s Jan Theissen, Director of Strategy and Methods, and Jake Stone, Manager of Supply Chain Risk and Contract Management, I learned about this public, Atlanta headquartered corporation’s journey to improve their sourcing and supply base risk management capabilities.
AGCO’s products are marketed under a number of well-known brands, including Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson and Valtra. The manufacture and assembly of their products occurs at 34 locations worldwide and historically each of these brands was managed as a separate supply chain. Further, because the company had grown by acquisition, these different supply chains used more than 10 different enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for direct sourcing.
Beginning in 2012, Mr. Theissen, a newly appointed procurement leader, led a transformation of the sourcing organization. AGCO moved from a fragmented and decentralized procurement to a centralized commodity management structure in order to better leverage buying synergies and increase the overall maturity level of this organization. Implementation of standardized roles and responsibilities, and global policies and procedures, were supported by an extensive change management program. The company formed a School of Purchasing to further develop the capabilities of the organization.
The risks associated with sourcing became part of each category manager’s job; these managers became responsible for supplier risk management, not just savings. Mr. Stone was brought into establish new, systems, processes and capabilities to manage procurement risk. One thing Mr. Stone put in place was a clear communication and escalation process to deal with risks once detected.