Basic conditions for long-term partnership

Our success in markets around the world and our customer satisfaction depend to a particular degree on the upstream services provided by our global suppliers.

Streamlined processes with our suppliers are the key to maximizing efficiency and quality at every stage in the supply chain, right through to our customers.

We attach great importance to the open sharing of information and a willingness to work closely with our partners.

As a basic prerequisite for long-term supply relationships, we expect uninterrupted and flexible supplies of a consistently high standard at competitive prices.

We also expect:

Cost transparency – establishing target prices – production concepts

The target prices that we calculate based on optimum design, production, logistics, quality and management structures constitute an important pricing tool. These calculations are completely separate from existing structures (target costing). As well as cost-effective design and production concepts, our optimization measures also include appropriate machinery and processes together with the basic principles of lean production and total quality management.

The purpose of establishing target purchase prices is to achieve cost transparency. In open dialogue with our suppliers, our aim is to eliminate the cost drivers emanating from Rittal and our suppliers and achieve optimum cost levels. To do so, our suppliers need to be willing and able to openly discuss existing and possible cost structures as a team and to create new structures. We, in turn, are willing to enter into long-term partnerships with our suppliers.

We want our suppliers to make a profit while charging globally competitive prices.

Sustainable quality – stringent quality planning – continuous quality improvement – long-term reliability

We involve our suppliers at an early stage through partnership and cooperation and by setting target purchase prices. This enables them to work actively towards achieving zero-error quality.

To do so, we need top-class suppliers, or suppliers that have the potential to reach this standard. It’s about more than just fault detection – we also expect preventative measures to safeguard quality assurance right from the start of series production. Advance quality planning that includes design and process FMEAs, test and inspection planning (for FAI tests) and prototype samples is therefore a must for our suppliers. In this way, any weaknesses can be identified early on.

Quality improvement is an ongoing process which plays an important role in reducing the costs associated with sub-standard services for both suppliers and Rittal.

We are aiming for optimum quality in the production chain. With this in mind, we consult our suppliers and coordinate with them to avoid repeat testing.

Quality assurance agreements therefore eliminate the need for incoming goods inspections at Rittal.

The exceptional reliability and error-free delivery of our suppliers enable us to reduce stock across the entire logistics chain and introduce new logistics concepts.

Early supplier involvement – simultaneous engineering – development team – project management – cost management

Through simultaneous engineering, we involve our suppliers in our product development process from as early as the concept development stage. The purpose of early supplier involvement is to work together as a team to develop products, thus maximizing capacities and avoiding the duplication of work.

Our suppliers are part of our development team – they provide their expert knowledge and are involved in detailed design and sample development right through to the pilot run. In return, we share our experience in system integration and field usage. By entering into long-term agreements, we involve our development suppliers in series production, thus ensuring a comprehensive exchange of know-how.

This new approach to development collaboration relies on the consistent use of single sourcing. We define the “strategic suppliers” we want to collaborate with to shape the future for our component groups. Our assessment is based not only on cost, but also performance in the areas of quality, development, logistics and innovation. We aspire to partnerships based on mutual accountability, openness and honesty.

Through early supplier involvement, we hope to streamline development times and significantly reduce material costs. To achieve this, we need the right supplier structures. Our supply partners must be able to offer us more cost-efficient developments with process-compatible procedures and tolerances. Together we want to create the basis for optimum cost structures in order to meet the target prices specified by our customers.

Optimization of: stock levels – flow of goods – flow of information

Rittal’s production structures require increased flexibility in our suppliers’ production processes and purchasing logistics. We seek to optimize our production supply procedures using just-in-time delivery of parts by suppliers or vendor-managed inventory with parallel minimization of stock levels across the entire supply chain.

The detailed and rapid reconciliation of our customer orders with Rittal stocks and our suppliers’ production logistics provide the basis for this. Using this reconciliation and supported by our weekly supplier orders with a wide-reaching planning horizon, we aim to help our suppliers use their flexible production structures to further optimize batch sizes, and thus reduce stock levels.

At an organizational level, we want to use short decision-making paths between the supplier and Rittal to improve order planning in terms of volumes and delivery dates and to reduce administrative outlay for both sides.

Optimum conditions

  • Are familiar with process-oriented cooperation to DIN EN ISO 9000
  • Are certified to DIN EN-ISO, VDA or ISOTS
  • Accept our General Conditions of Purchase and the Quality Assurance Agreement
  • Constantly strive to optimize their own processes
  • Can offer technically sound and competitive services
  • Would welcome possible involvement in development processes
  • Can bring to the table their own technical expertise in terms of production and products
  • Are willing to become actively involved in the development of cost-effective solutions for production
  • Show a passion for innovation
  • Reliably meet delivery deadlines and comply with contract requirements
  • Meet deadlines and, above all, respond flexibly to our needs
  • Offer competitive services at internationally competitive terms
  • Consider our customers to be their customers
  • Are willing to sign supply contracts and confidentiality agreements
  • Are willing to continuously review and optimize the quality of communications and logistical cooperation
  • Are interested in a long-term partnership based on trust and willing to support/advise us as partners
  • Are environmentally aware and offer eco-friendly solutions


We are looking for suppliers in these commodity groups

We are responsible for global sourcing not just at Rittal, but at all companies in the Friedhelm Loh Group.