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Wärtsilä brings supplier management to the next level

Wärtsilä’s supply chains comprises tens of thousands of suppliers in total. The Supplier Relationship Management tool created by Netum helps Wärtsilä to know its suppliers more accurately and to maintain a consistently high level of quality in marine and energy businesses.

Wärtsilä’s suppliers can be anything from global strategic development partners to local florists. A diverse supplier base requires strict quality control and risk management that is also adaptable to the different scopes of the suppliers, says Carl-Erik Sandström, General Manager at Central Supply Management.

– The requirements for our suppliers ultimately come from our customers. We need to constantly ensure that the quality of our supplier base stays high, occupational safety is carried out by our suppliers, the environment is taken into account in production and that human rights are monitored, says Sandström.

The tool where all relevant supplier-related information is collected, tracked and compared in a transparent and easy way was built by Netum. The ambitious project outcome is the new Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) platform, which was implemented globally in Wärtsilä during spring 2019.

The change in Supplier Relationship Management has been great. Data that was previously in different systems is now available in one place, regardless of supplier category. Information is no longer left in local files or emails of a single expert, but is available in the SRM tool. The aim has been to create a 360 view of each supplier. Supplier evaluation and benchmarking is easy and supplier relationship management more systematic and streamlined than before.

– One major benefit of the new SRM tool is the supplier self-service portal for supplier assessment input. Both supplier candidates and active suppliers provide information through online questionnaires that our experts can utilize in assessing the suppliers. We have an improved view of our suppliers, and on the other hand, they have a modern platform to communicate in our direction, says Sandström.

Managing supplier relations equally well as customer relations


Ilkka Marjava, Wärtsilä’s Development Manager, sees SRM first and foremost as a way of working. Wärtsilä wanted to bring the attitude of best possible customer relationship management into supplier relations as well. Unifying habits globally takes practice and time.

– We are harmonizing our way of managing our supplier base. This is paramount in a rapidly changing world. Our operations rely heavily on the reliability and seamlessness of the supply chain and visibility is crucial in this work, says Marjava.

The SRM tool is built on Salesforce and has an interface-based architecture. The ecosystem around the tool is extensive, but integrations with SAP and other systems have been handled so that the user sees only one system. With the help of analytics, the system notifies you if a specific risk criterion is not met or if something else warrants Wärtsilä’s attention. In the spirit of continuous development Wärtsilä is already envisioning the following application areas for the SRM tool.

– The 360 view would be complemented with external risk database information included in the supplier account. Knowledge of local natural disasters or changes in economic cycles would give our experts an even better overview of the supply chain, says Marjava.

Having also earlier experience of Wärtsilä’s procurement business development, Netum was a natural partner for developing the SRM tool. Particular praise goes to Netum’s ability to interpret Wärtsilä’s needs accurately.

– From day one, Netum had a clear vision of how our wishes could best be fulfilled. Over the course of this great project, Netum succeeded in interpreting the project requirements to a deeper level of detail than we expected. A good spirit of getting things done! says Marjava.

Cerion Solutions Oy, that nowadays belongs to Netum Group Plc, was responsible for the execution. Netum Group Plc purchased the entire share capital of Cerion Solutions Oy on 1 October 2021. Under the new organisational structure, the employees and operations of Cerion transferred to Netum Ltd on 1 October 2022, and Cerion Solutions Oy officially merged with Netum Ltd as of 31 January 2022.