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March 19, 2024

TE Connectivity and Supply Chain Sustainability

With twin goals of achieving science-based targets for Scope 3, AND saving millions of dollars annually, TE Connectivity sees a common solution using aPriori to reduce scrap at their suppliers.
Sylwia Lambert is an expert on supply chain sustainability
Sylwia Lambert, Director, COE Procurement – Cost Analytics, TE Connectivity


Supply Chain and Sustainability

Sourcing and procurement practices are changing. It has always been the role of procurement teams to optimize supply chain management for cost savings. More recently, sourcing is also needed to forecast disruptions in global supply chains, because global instability and scarcity of raw materials have made supply chain management more uncertain in recent years. Now layer on supply chain sustainability. Many manufacturing organizations today have sustainability goals with target KPIs for everything from the carbon footprint of raw materials to the carbon emissions of manufacturing processes, to even the use of renewable energies. A sustainable supply chain takes into account the environmental impact of all links in the chain, with metrics that are traceable, auditable, and improvable.

Procurement Specialists Can Improve Environmental Impact

Today, I’m talking to a procurement specialist who says that many of the same models we’ve used to improve profitability in the supply chain can also help us in our sustainability initiatives to empower partnerships between buyers and suppliers so that they both can improve environmental performance. Sylwia Lambert is the Director of COE Procurement – Cost Analytics at TE Connectivity, a global manufacturer of electrical components and electronic parts. Sylwia Lambert has experience spearheading both supply chain cost savings efforts and supply chain sustainability efforts at TE Connectivity. We spoke to Sylwia Lambert coming off of her presentation at the Manufacturing Insights Conference, where she described how her team at TE Connectivity tracks, predicts, and improves both cost and sustainability in their supply chain using aPriori.

Leah Archibald: What was it that brought you to look for a solution like aPriori?

Sylwia Lambert: TE Connectivity is a huge corporation. We have 10 different business units across all the segments, and the cost analytics team sits in corporate. We only have four team members dedicated to cost engineering. As you can imagine, the requests come in, and we only have a certain amount of capacity. So I was really looking for a tool that would increase our efficiency and allow us to find opportunities faster to make those teams more efficient and get savings quicker.

Leah Archibald: Tell me about your role at TE Connectivity and what you’re looking to do specifically in your job.

Sylwia Lambert: In my team, I want to bring big impact to TE on a global scale. We’re looking to save millions of dollars annually – I can’t say the target – but what we’re doing is enabling our buyers and sourcing managers to utilize facts and data in order to have mindful conversations with our suppliers to drive costs down, but also determine what a fair price is for our products that they’re manufacturing.

Leah Archibald: And how have you seen the supplier relationship change over the past tumultuous few years?

Sylwia Lambert: Oh, it’s drastically different. Every day is a surprise, quite honestly, and it just depends on what supplier we’re talking to and what division it is. Some relationships are good, some are more difficult, but we’re trying to really leverage our strategic suppliers and make those relationships better by finding win-win solutions with aPriori, with process improvements at their plant. So we’re trying to really leverage the data that we have, but then also meet our cost targets and our sustainability targets in that.

Leah Archibald: When you’re putting together the strategy of how to get the right price from the supplier, what information are you trying to find out?

What Do You Need to Know to Get the Best Price from a Supplier?

Sylwia Lambert: It’s really understanding what their cost transparency is. To get the best price, we need manufacturing transparency. We need to know where they’re inefficient. Because if we understand where they’re inefficient, we can support them with our supplier development team to improve their processes. So they get improvement on their scrap, and we get cost reduction. It should be more of like a win-win situation, versus us just telling them, “Give us 10% down now.” Having the facts bolsters that conversation.

Leah Archibald: A lot of companies in addition to looking at should cost, are starting to look at Should Carbon. Are you looking towards sustainability and accurate data on that?

Sylwia Lambert: Yes. We’ve started to do some science-based targets for Scope Three and sustainability as a company. As part of that initiative, my team has some metrics included to reduce. What I mentioned with the process improvement at our suppliers, that’s where I see a very easy and quick link to sustainability. If we’re reducing the waste or the scrap at our suppliers, that means that we’re not putting more material into the world, and we’re naturally not only reducing cost, but we’re also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. So to me, there’s a clear link between those two items.

Leah Archibald: We’re past the stage where we can just look at the material in the product and say, “that’s the carbon footprint.” Now we need some real hard numbers to talk about waste.

Sylwia Lambert: Yes, exactly. And that’s where aPriori helps us with that process. We were doing it manually, where a tech was going to one of our suppliers and going part by part recording how much resin was going through the process. Now with aPriori, we already have that baseline pretty quickly.

Leah Archibald: That’s fantastic. Thank you so much for talking to me today. It has been a real pleasure.

Sylwia Lambert: Thank you for having me.

watch the full TE Connectivity presentation

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