Itema Purchasing: a quality guarantee
Following the awards won in 2016 by the Itema Product Development & Innovation (PD&I) and Legal Departments (respectively, the Italian Mechatronics Award and Top Legal Corporate Counsel Award as Best Emerging Legal Department) another important recognition was recently assigned to Itema.
In fact, the Itema Purchasing Department received a double award during the third edition of “The Procurement Awards 2018”, the Italian competition created to recognize large and medium size companies’ purchasing teams able to distinguish themselves by carrying on added-value projects in terms of cooperation, innovation, sustainability.
During the award ceremony, held on the 10th of May at Palazzo Litta in Milan, the Itema Purchasing Team was awarded in the “Best Negotiating Practice” category and received the “Purchasing People Special Award”, assigned by the audience during the event to the best project among the contest’s finalists.
The Itema project “Top Suppliers: Partnership for Success” stood out among all other finalists’ presentations for promoting a negotiating strategy that fully enhances the collaboration between Suppliers and Customers, with the ultimate goal of establishing a commercial synergy for mutual success.
The project’s successful achievements are actually well known in Itema. Implemented in 2017 – when it was launched in an exclusive event held at the Itema headquarters in Italy that involved the top 60 suppliers, including providers of components, logistics and freight forwarders – the Itema innovative purchasing strategy already proved its merits by contributing to the substantial optimization of the commercial and productive flow.
At Itema, everything we do is based upon the unique-in-the-industry QRP – Quality, Reliability, Performance – Certification our promise that, by providing to our weaving machines a 2-year warranty, guarantees our commitment to keep improving the quality level of our products, through the effective implementation of advanced processes in designing, developing, manufacturing and delivering, with a real time after-sales assistance to our Customers. To deliver on our promise, we work closely with our entire supply chain network to ensure each and every supplier’s full alignment, respect and compliance with our stringent quality requirements and our values and work ethics.
Itema introduced a Top Suppliers selection and rating process based on extensive and meticulous analysis of a set of key performance indicators. If quality, reliability, performance and excellence are the features that distinguish every single Itema weaving machine, then we believe this should also be reflected in every component and mirrored by our suppliers’ products and operations.
Itema’s procurement policy succeeded in establishing a peer-to-peer relationship with our Top Suppliers, based on mutual trust and cooperation, that further enhances the commercial relationship longevity and encourages our partners to set increasingly higher standards with the ultimate shared goal to provide our Customers with best-in-class weaving solutions.
The Itema Purchasing Department constantly audits and monitors costs of supply, looking for new technologies and solutions that can avoid unnecessary expenses. Embracing the entire process, from accessories and components supply to manufacturing, passing through distribution and usage by the final Customer, the Itema Purchasing team is actively involved in all the Company’s activities.
We strongly believe that innovation and technological advancements are the pillars of a continuous improvement process, aimed at satisfying even the most demanding Customers by providing the highest quality products at the most favorable price. For this reason, the Itema’s procurement policy directly involves suppliers since the very initial stage of product development and R&D, design, testing, marketing and sale processes, with the overall goal of creating win-win synergies to optimize every business process. The traditional role of our suppliers has clearly evolved over the years; we no longer require merely material providers, but fully engaged partners.
Timeliness and flexibility in delivery, with no compromises in terms of quality and legal compliancy, are among the most valued guidelines when choosing our suppliers. The Itema Purchasing Department keeps records of all these factors through the accurate Itema’s Vendor Rating system.
The implementation of this strategy led to tangible benefits for Itema as well as for our Customers and suppliers.
First of all, strategic commercial agreements determined a valuable and significant economic advantage for our Customers, thus resulting in shared growth for Itema and its suppliers.
Secondly, the development of a lean and simplified purchasing process, characterized by advanced negotiations and refined pricing policies, ensured to the commercial department a wider degree of flexibility when handling specific market trends.
As an example, one need only think to the recent and sudden increase in raw materials prices (e.g. aluminum, steel and cast iron) which negatively impacted on companies operating in the mechatronic industry. Nevertheless, Itema results are moving in the opposite direction compared to this trend, which is made possible also thanks to this strategy of support, engagement and cooperation with our suppliers.
Last, but not least, due to the constant information flow and tireless pursuit of higher performance solutions possible thanks to the direct suppliers’ involvement in the Itema development phase, reliability and excellence are always granted to our Customers.
The biggest – and not obvious – achievement of the Itema Purchasing Department is the ability to build much more than a simple commercial strategy which goes beyond the basic goal of cost savings. In fact, our Top Suppliers share a sense of belonging not only to Itema, but to a wider community of companies that have access in the same transparent way to content and information about Itema’s future developments. They work, invest and innovate together for the achievement of common objectives. Every single member of this community plays a fundamental role in providing Itema’s Customers with the best weaving solutions on the market and in co-creating an eco-system of mutual growth and success.