Purchasing and Materials Management

Purchasing is a shared service provided by the HHLA Group’s management holding company in Hamburg. Important objectives are pooling and harmonising purchasing processes to meet internal customers’ requirements in terms of service and performance as far as possible. The purchasing team focuses on standardising the supplier base to ensure that capital goods, raw materials, consumables, supplies, services and other products are provided reliably and on time, taking aspects such as cost, quality and sustainability into account. Market developments relating to new technologies, innovations and the service performance of specific suppliers are considered in close cooperation with the operations and technology departments.

Purchasing actively supports the review and adjustment of the Group’s requirements and guidelines and their mandatory fulfilment in relation to purchasing processes. All employees in the purchasing team are obliged to uphold HHLA’s code of conduct. The compliance rate and purchase requisition rate are among the many methods used to monitor adherence to these requirements. The compliance rate measures the proportion of procurement orders handled by central purchasing. In 2015 the compliance rate stood at 95 % (previous year: 94 %). The purchase requisition rate indicates the ratio of requisitions entered and authorised via the SAP enterprise resource planning system in compliance with regulations. In 2015, it stood at 99.7 % (previous year: 99.2 %). The automation of purchasing processes to create efficient, transparent and uniform workflows remained a key objective for procurement in 2015. In the reporting period, approximately 13 % of all purchasing processes were handled fully automatically by means of e-procurement systems.

The Group is deliberately diversifying its procurement activities and optimising its supplier base. As a result, there were no significant dependencies on individual suppliers in the 2015 financial year, as in the previous year, neither at Group nor at segment level. There were also no supply shortages during the reporting period. In 2015, equipment and energy accounted for around 47 % of the Group-wide procurement volume, while construction accounted for 23 %, MRO (maintenance, repairs and operations) for 11 % and information technology (IT) for 19 %.

Taking competition law into account, systematic steps are being taken to enhance the way in which suppliers are involved in the development and optimisation of products, facilities and processes from a strategic and collaborative viewpoint. The aim is to safeguard the on-time completion of development and modernisation projects and the associated timely procurement of capital equipment, supplies and replacement parts. The focus here is on analysing and evaluating relationships with suppliers in terms of their reliability, quality, innovative strength, cost structures, economic stability and compliance. An IT-based supplier management system will be implemented in 2016 to support this process. Suppliers register on an internet portal, which uses questionnaires to cover topics such as occupational safety, sustainability and compliance. All content is coordinated with both the purchasing team and the relevant departments. The data entered will be evaluated internally. Certain criteria may result in suppliers being excluded. This includes entries in a corruption register, pending insolvency proceedings, not paying minimum wages or operational restrictions (lack of certain licences, etc.).

Supplier registration is mandatory for all suppliers contacting HHLA for the first time as part of bidding processes, market enquiries or on their own initiative. Suppliers already listed in the company’s own pool will be asked to complete the registration process successively. The need to register will be prioritised according to the supplier’s strategic relevance in terms of revenue, market and/or product and service range in the respective purchase areas.

Downstream supplier management thus allows continual internal evaluation. These strategic suppliers are evaluated annually by the internal customers and departments. The evaluations include experience on first contact. Project procurement and flow are also evaluated and documented. The content and scope of the evaluation criteria are regularly reviewed and adapted according to legal requirements, corporate guidelines and rules, and importance for service performance.