At the Beginning of December, teams and stakeholders from Otto International met online with representatives of our vendor base and associates from the KLiNGEL Group, one of our key customers.
At the KLiNGEL Group Vendor Day, KLiNGEL and OI management presented and participated in discussions with over 100 of our partnered vendors from Europe and Asia, along with all relevant OI teams from across the globe. The event was held virtually due to the continuing circumstances with COVID-19.
The Day began with OI providing updates on the status of our business and many of our customer-oriented projects. These included overviews on our digitalisation initiatives, as well as new sustainability goals and transparency and traceability concepts that we are beginning to implement. In our constant effort to digitise the entire value chain to make it as efficient as possible, we continue to invest in new systems. Vendors were particularly interested in the updates relating to OI’s 3D product development and virtual fitting strategy, and its potential to significantly minimise the environmental impact of our mutual business operations.
To conclude, OI CEO Michael Dumke presented on the current challenges facing the global supply chain. His presentation was able to provide insights and information that were new to many of the vendors present because of its comprehensive geographic scope.
Michael shared how happy he was with the day’s outcomes: “This Vendor Day was our first ever global event with KLiNGEL, and I think we achieved what we had set out to do. Since no one is travelling, such days are now crucial for the exchange of information and ideas between key stakeholders. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to share our perspective and that KLiNGEL was equally transparent with us. It is important that we continue this dialogue, and as a next step we should plan more detailed discussions on a product group level.”
Most of the KLiNGEL Group Vendor Day, however, was dedicated to KLiNGEL. After OI’s update Christian Hellmund, KLiNGEL Group senior vice president and his team shared how they had tackled key areas and that they were on the right track to become even more successful. They mentioned that understanding the problems that each stakeholder encounters, and trying to find solutions together, is absolutely necessary.
Hellmund stressed the importance of strong relationships in order to master the complex difficulties currently experienced in the supply chain. “It sounds like a well-known repetition, but the pandemic in particular has shown the importance of an even closer connection between strategic partners and the use of sustainable and digital business practices today and in the future.”
The Day concluded with a lively and encouraging Q&A session. Suppliers asked a variety of questions which demonstrated their interest and desire to collaborate in order to overcome the obstacles the industry currently faces. The vendors were thankful to have the opportunity to discuss topics with KLiNGEL management, to understand directly from them the brand’s business model and how they would like to cooperate.
To summarise the essence of this year’s KLiNGEL Group Vendor Day, Marcel Turhan, our Key Account Manger for KLiNGEL shared that “We can only be successful together as a team. And the team consists of the KLiNGEL Group, OI and the vendors. If one part of this team does not contribute, than none of us can truly succeed.”