Aligning approaches to Corporate Responsibility at the second KLiNGEL Group Vendor Day

In the first week of August, Otto International teams and stakeholders again met online with representatives from our vendor base, as well as associates from the KLiNGEL Group to provide updates and share information. The main topic of this Second KLiNGEL Group Vendor Day was Corporate Responsibility (CR), with the Group presenting its new strategy, aligned with our own, to the suppliers in our vendor base that they work with.

KLiNGEL Group Vendor Day Cover

Building on the success of the first Vendor Day, OI and KLiNGEL Group management once again virtually presented on and discussed various topics with over 100 of our partnered vendors from Europe and Asia, joined by relevant OI teams situated across the globe. The day began with Marcel Turhan, OI’s Key Account Manager for KLiNGEL, and Christian Hellmund, KLiNGEL Groups’s Senior Vice President for Sourcing and Procurement, welcoming the over 130 participants to the event.

The introductions were followed by a business update from Roland van Os, OI’s Chief Commercial Officer. Roland reviewed the impact of the high inflation rate in Europe on both consumer confidence as well as pricing in the supply chain. For Roland, the solution is to continue collaborating: “We are expecting a challenging time ahead and strong partnership between [KLiNGEL], Otto International and our vendors is very important to retain and maintain successful business operations. Even with these challenges we must still focus on developing tomorrow’s supply chain solutions.”

After a business update from KLiNGEL, the key topic, CR, was introduced by OI’s Chief Quality & Compliance Officer Thea Hoffmann. Katja Hezter, KLiNGEL Group’s Head of Corporate Responsibility then shared their holistic CR Strategy. It is comprised of specific goals and timelines that consider all aspects of the supply chain, from who is making the products, to how they are being made and with what materials. It also considers the process’ overall impact on climate change. Most importantly, the strategy aligns with OI’s own, underscoring our mutual commitment to working together with our vendors and each other to make a positive impact.

Katja had the following to say about the day: “I very much appreciated this specific Vendor Day for its opportunity to share our vision with all parties that are needed to turn it into a reality. We all pursue similar objectives – we want to continue being transparent and have a constant exchange on our way forward to ensure close alignment with all our partners along the supply chain.”

CR is part of OI’s DNA, and “this last Vendor Day demonstrated well how crucial Corporate Responsibility is to Otto International,” adds Thea. “Despite supply chain issues, sustainable solutions remain a priority for us. I am also proud that we can collaborate so well with our customers and suppliers and that we aim to achieve the same common goals in sustainability. I was very glad to take part in this event.”

According to its two facilitators, OI’s second KLiNGEL Group Vendor Day was a success because, like the first event, it provided a space for all stakeholders to discuss updates, ideas and opinions. Marcel believes that “such events are essential to share strategies with partners, have discussions at an eye level and work together on solutions for existing and upcoming challenges.” He is confident that “the trusting and partner-like collaboration between [KLiNGEL], OI, and our vendors will continue to be one of the keys to success.”

Marcel Turhan and Christian Hellmund presenting at the Second KLiNGEL Group Vendor Day

Marcel and Christian presenting

Christian agrees, appreciating this Vendor Day, and actively anticipating the next: “This Vendor Day was again a great event. The many valuable questions and comments from so many participants in both Europe and Asia in such an open atmosphere showed that our mutual understanding continues to grow. I am already looking forward to our next get together to share and maybe celebrate the progress that everyone has hopefully made!”

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