Veja também nosso
Olga Y. Mafra, Frida Eidelman,
Andreza Starling, Carlos Feu Alvim e José Fantine
Several successful cases of enterprises that reached the technological vanguard and their operation model relative to supply chain are presented. Petrobras and Embraer are typical Brazilian examples and they corroborate the idea that forefront industries need the development of local suppliers in order to maintain their competitiveness or to propitiate their development. At the international ambit the models of Airbus, Boeing and Toyota are presented.
Key words: Supply chain services, Petrobras, Embraer, Airbus, Boeing, Vale, Toyota
I - BASIC IDEAS ABOUT SUPPLY CHAIN
Brazil is preparing itself to stimulate its industrial sector and the government is cogitating how to create markets for national products without reducing competitiveness. For this purpose there are the Plano de Aceleração do Crescimento – PAC (Plan for Accelerating Growth) and the Plano Brasil Maior (Bigger Brazil Plan) that bring incentives and define actions to foster national growth. In the oil area, the new Petrobras management intends to reinforce the Programa de Mobilização da Indústria Nacional de Petróleo e Gás – PROMINP (Program for the Mobilization of the National Oil and Gas Industry) creating better conditions so that its investments program may serve the national growth objective. In this context, it is crucial to study the local supply chains and the mechanisms that might help the present national path.
In the last years several articles on the subject were published, mainly by big enterprises and experts, about the structuring of models aiming at improving the action of a supply chain (ref 1). The specialization of the enterprises’ final products and the complexity of the necessary inputs and services have influenced the organization of enterprises leading to a value increase of the content of its industrial acquisitions so that the management theme related to a supply chain acquired a strategic character.
The objective of the present article is to learn what is applicable to a supply chain of leading enterprises in technological vanguard activities in Brazil where industry needs to increase its organizational and technological plateaus in order to attend these activities. Petrobras and Embraer are typical cases but there is an universe of situations where the advanced technology industries need the development of local suppliers in order to maintain its competitiveness or to propitiate its development.
The intensification of competitiveness among big industries makes it necessary the reformulation of their organization aiming at competitiveness. The enterprises try to consolidate themselves in the market through specialization and competence and they satisfy their peripheral needs by acquiring goods and services from other enterprises that constitute their supply chain. This strategy has enhanced the importance of suppliers in the performance of enterprises involving not only reduction costs but also access to technology and knowledge. Since many entities advance in this field the question becomes dynamic and critical and to remain in the same model can be considered to accept obsolescence albeit invisible.
The acquisition of highly specialized goods and services can bring to the buying enterprise the acquisition of special products and of competence from suppliers, that is, the enterprise takes on the role of promoter of the development and fabrication of a determined product in which it is highly interested. Therefore the quality and the price to the consumer of what an enterprise produces does not depend only on its individual effectiveness and efficiency but it depends much on the competence, resources and activities of their suppliers and the way an enterprises has access to, explores and articulates its relationship with its suppliers.
The management of the supplier chain has to deal with high complexity and variability. On the other hand, it keeps growing the number of suppliers with which it has to relate to obtain products and services it needs and this increases the complexity of managing these relationships.
The APICS (The Association for Operations Management – Advanced Productivity, Innovation and Competitive Success) dictionary (ref 2) defines the Management of Supplier Chain as the “project, planning, execution, control and monitoring the activities of the supplier chain with the objective of creating a net value, construct a competitive infrastructure, having a world logistic action, synchronize the supply and demand and measure the global performance.”
The management of a supply chain must focus on the following problems (ref 3):
Considering the technological progress, the complexity of demands and the involved innovation costs, the Technological and Innovation Management should be added since individually the suppliers would not be able to develop technologies on which the system depends. So, it is fundamental the creation of technological nucleuses by subject of interest congregating the different players from the academic, entrepreneurial and public fields 
To maintain a supplier network means to maintain the management and coordination of materials and equipment, exchange of information and funds through the supplier network and more recently, a growing technological development.
The organizations have verified that they must be based on an effective supplier network in order to face competition in the global market. In Peter Drucker’s paradigms regarding new management (ref 4), this business interrelated concept goes beyond the limits of the enterprise and aims at organizing the complete business process through a valid network of multiple companies.
In the XXIth century many changes in the business environment have contributed to the development of networks of suppliers chain, Initially, as a consequence of globalization and proliferation of multinational companies, joint-ventures, strategic alliances and business partnerships, success factors were identified which complemented ancient practices. Later, technological changes and particularly the dramatic decrease of communication systems costs, which are a significant share of costs, have conducted to changes in the coordination mode among members of suppliers chain (ref 5). Many researchers admit that the structure of suppliers chain as a new form of management organization.
In general, this structure can be defined as “a group of semi-independent organizations, each one with its capacity, that collaborate to serve one or more markets with the purpose of reaching a specific objective for this collaboration” (ref 6).
Historically, the development of suppliers chain passed through the creation era, the integration era, the globalization era, the phase 1 specialization era (manufacture and external distribution), the phase 2 specialization era (management of the suppliers chain as a service) and supply chain management 2.0 (SCM 2.0). The term SCM 2.0 has been used to describe both the changes in the supply change itself and the evolution of processes, methods and management tools in this new “era”.
The integration of a supply chain of a particular business involves a task comprising buyers and suppliers, the combined development of a product and shared information. According to Lambert and Cooper (2000), to operate na integrated supply chain requires a continuous flow of information. It can also be added that it involves as a success critical factor the isolated or shared technological development. For example, Brazil has a deficit regarding medicaments chain: this area has a negative balance of 12 billion dollars. A way out was launched to gather some of the national generic medicaments enterprises to create a super Research Center that will cost R$ 400 million, part of which will be financed by BNDES (ref 7).
The components of a supply chain management identified by Lambert and Cooper (ref 1) are:
· Planning and Control;
· Task Structure;
· Organizational Structure;
· Information Flow Structure;
· Management Methods;
· Power and Leadership Structure;
· Reward and Risk Structure;
· Culture and Attitude.
It should be remembered that frequently the product or its components to be purchased are not available in the market and therefore they must be developed and so the supply enterprises must approach research institutions and foment organ in order to obtain the product desired by the buyer. In other occasions, the product is even available but only in the international market but then, if this is the policy of the buyer to get most of its input in the country it will be necessary to develop the product with the help of the supply chain.
It is presented in what follows different successful cases showing very complex enterprises and their operation models. It is imperative for everyone to understand these models and then find other ones, examine alternatives and try our own models.
II - SUPPLY CHAIN IN THE AVIATION INDUSTRIES
Airbus has created international supply chains and this has contributed to the success of its airplanes production line. More than 1,500 suppliers in more than 30 countries deliver to Airbus components, parts, systems and equipment (hardware) within the requested quality and term.
Airbus example is of particular interest for the present article because it was structured as a consortium to face the American aviation industry which, at the time of its establishment (together with Boeing and McDonnel Douglas) completely dominated the world market.
For the small- and medium-size enterprises the contact points are the first and second levels of Airbus.
In its website (ref 8) Airbus has a registration area for enterprises that want to become suppliers or that have technological innovations to propose. Whenever applicable the Airbus buying sector gets in touch with the registered suppliers.
Airbus has also a portal at the internet dedicated to its suppliers, called AirbusSupply that presents forecasts, detailed accounts and the most recent news, projects and tools. AirbusSupply is a privileged entry point for suppliers and it permits them to manage their performance, to exchange information about their products and identify new opportunities with agility. All this is essential to the continuous quality improvement which is the key for the continuous satisfaction of consumers.
The portal comprehends acquisition, supply chains, product development, airplane programs and customer service and represents the closest collaboration that ever existed among Airbus and its suppliers.
The objectives of AirbusSupply are:
- Make available for its suppliers a combined access point to services, information and support;
- Improve communication with suppliers;
- Create a preferred channel of information for suppliers;
- Improve and increase the online collaboration,
- Promote Airbus as a single entity.
The suppliers can access the services made available through the site’s menu.
All documents accessible through the portal are stored in a knowledge directory and it is also possible to make a search using determined keywords.
Airbus acquisition area is responsible for assuring that external goods and services satisfy the company’s demands regarding time, cost and quality according to program functions and operations. The acquisition area has established norms, policies and processes for the entire Airbus and its supply chain. This permits the management area to monitor the supplier performance and to take corrective and improvement actions aiming at collaborating with Manufacture and Quality.
In 2009, the acquisition area was reorganized in an optimized organization with consolidated teams and homogeneous structure in all commodities. The area was organized in the following six commodities that were in charge of buying different goods categories:
- Aero structures;
- Systems and Equipments;
- Propulsion Systems;
- General Acquisitions.
There is an acquisition department completely dedicated to the Airbus Military Program, with three support functions:
- Quality and Supply Chain;
- Contracts Management and Strategy;
- Suppliers Selection for A350.
In the Procurement-Organization-Major-Suppliers site (ref 9) one can see more details of the main Airbus suppliers.
Airbus Excellence Center
The Airbus industrial activities are grouped in three items: Operation, Programs and Essential Functions. In the Operation area there are four Excellence Centers that are grouped according to parts of the airplane, each one based on a speciality of the key areas of production: fuselage and cabin, wings and vertical structure, fuselage structure, tail structure and other aero-structures.
Even though the mentioned actions are not valid abroad, the units are in different countries and originally belonged to different enterprises. The Centers had the purpose of facilitating the integration of parts.
Regarding the management of Excellence Centers, Airbus underwent a complete reorganization and has revised its Excellence Centers in order to assure that they are totally transnational and organized around the elements of a complete airplane, each one with their own responsibilities and decision making chain.
The Airbus Excellence Centers are supervised by the operation head and his team responsible for all industrial processes. In this way it is assured that the best tools, methods and processes are selected and executed in their totality in the Center in order to increase efficiency and cost control.
The Excellence Centers maintain close contacts among them in essential functions such as acquisitions, human resources, engineering, quality and services to the clients in order to develop and manage competence, manage policies and assure that the Airbus employees will share knowledge and ideas with their colleges of other Centers.
BOEING SUPPLY CHAIN
Like Airbus, Boeing (which was established first) uses its suppliers list to increase its efficiency and productivity. Some characteristics of the chain established by Boeing are described as it was made regarding Airbus. Information is based on material available at the internet and the address is given in each case.
The complexity of constructing an airplane motivated Boeing to establish a stable relationship with its suppliers where risks and benefits are sometimes shared. Boeing has with its suppliers a connection of services and equipment demander, distinct from the Airbus case that was established as a network of companies that were unified later. The unification of the Airbus conglomerate and Boeing’s policy regarding sharing risks and results seems to lead to similar models in both companies.
Petrobras’ Supply Chain that is under conception has different characteristics of those of Airbus and Boeing. In the case of both airplane enterprises, the supply network is more directly related with commercial relationships while that of Petrobras, besides satisfying its direct demands, is concerned with increasing the capacity of industries and services in Brazil and even in neighboring countries. The idea behind Petrobras suppliers extrapolates the direct interest of the company and aims at increasing the development in its area of influence so that it will get its benefits.
However, there are many contact points among the networks of these three companies when it is considered the case of Airbus, namely, it was necessary to increase the capacity of the European countries to fabricate airplanes in an environment where the North American enterprise was predominant.
Supply Chain Services
Boeing has an integrated program of aero-spatial support service and one of the segments of this program comprises services to the supply chain. The objective of the services to the supply chain is to increase the viability of airplanes and reduce costs with preferences established by the clients.
In spite of this fact, these objectives are in some way reached by supplying to the customer the following benefits:
- Demand forecast, total visibility of the product, information about maintenance and fieldwork data;
- Support to decision-making in order to identify the optimum point regarding price and airplanes delivery;
- Timely rigour regarding delivery of necessary supply.
- In order to offer services to the supply chain and obtain the maximum benefit for each consumer, Boeing adopts the following procedures:
- Sharing specific and exact information among Boeing and suppliers in order to reach the highest effective level of services;
- Online information services in real time based on web architecture projects and a comprehensive base which gives reliable information concerning demand, total visibility of the product, information about maintenance and fieldwork data;
- Logistics and assets management practices that improve reliability and identify opportunities for reducing costs in the life cycle costs of the product so that managers can opt for trade-offs between stock levels and costs. These practices allow the managers to optimize the ratio between airplane delivery time and its viability;
- Use of better commercial practices of warehouse, delivery and innovative agreements regarding sharing of assets with commercial airline companies and parts manufactures. This assures that the correct parts are sent in the correct time and to the right place around the world (ref 10).
Boeing has a policy concerning material acquisition. The products must have high quality and be delivered in the right moment and in the right quantity. Furthermore, all acquisitions must be in conformity with the applicable laws, regulations and contract obligations.
Each Boeing business unit establishes its acquisition requirements and chooses their own supply sources. In some cases corporative agreements are established to satisfy the requirements of two or more divisions.
The present and potential suppliers should contact Boeing through the Supplier Management which has the authority to make acquisition contracts.
When choosing its suppliers, Boeing emphasizes the importance of a competitive budget as well as good practices. It also takes into account the competence, capacity, integrity, financial stability, geographical localization, performance, reliability, quality, delivery and global relationship for the evaluation of a potential supplier before and after the execution of an acquisition contract.
Boeing is committed on using tools and services that permit sharing of information and technology exchange in order to have a better relationship with its suppliers.
Boeing is also a founding partner of Exostar (ref 11), a website that allows exchange of experience in aero-spatial and defense matters. All Boeing suppliers are encouraged to register in Exostar and participate in this interchange (ref 12).
Exostar’s mission is to create a reliable working place where it is possible to share information safely, to collaborate and integrate processes through global supply networks. It was created to use internet’s power to permit improving the capacity of enterprises of working together in a more efficient way and lower risk. Furthermore, its aim is to give support to the complex supply network and to the safety requirements of the aero-spatial and defense industries. Presently the enterprise designs, develops, operates and gives support to a portfolio of products and processes implanted in their working environment and connect more than 70,000 enterprises around the world (ref 13).
The Boeing 787 model originated from the idea of creating an airplane with a more accessible price and lower operation and maintenance costs. The airplane, that has most of its parts made of composite materials, is lighter, more efficient regarding fuel consumption and faster. The Boeing 787 supply chain is complex and most of its suppliers share with it both risks and profits.
Boeing has asked the suppliers to assume all non recurrent costs, therefore assuming certain risks, and in exchange it gives intellectual property rights for components and systems provided by the suppliers.
Contracts with suppliers are made so that, in case the airplane has a good performance in the market, the partners that assumed risks together with Boeing will gain direct benefits (revenues from amortized investments costs based on the sales volume initially expected).
However, suppliers at a lower level will not have intellectual property rights but will be granted with a long term relationship that will permit them to benefit from an economy of scale.
Therefore, Boeing has resigned from the control of a great part of the production process but is responsible for gathering and assembling the parts and so it saves time, efforts and money.
For this purpose Boeing maintains a list of pre-qualified suppliers/vendors and some of the majority of suppliers participates from the start of the project until its entire development. The company maintains a long term relationship with key supplier that is mutually beneficial, reliable and stable.
Partnerships with suppliers are limited to those that continually demonstrate excellence in their performance, interest in long term business and invest in projects and development.
In the case of Boeing 787, the suppliers have more responsibility in the project, development and fabrication through a close collaboration, partnerships and integration through networks for suppliers. So they assume a more important role in the value chain and act as an integrating agent in the system, promoting more integrated components and managing its sub-suppliers.
The suppliers have autonomy, create relationships, work together and Boeing solves cases when there is conflict.
Boeing considers its relationship with its suppliers as fundamental for team agility, integrity, competitiveness and capacity of satisfying the client’s need.
EMBRAER SUPPLY CHAIN
Embraer was established in 1970 as a mixed economy society controlled by the Federal Government and linked to the Aeronautics Ministry. Its mission was to develop in the country an aeronautic industry. Initially R&D programs were developed through taxes incentives and governmental acquisitions.
The industry was build up in São José dos Campos, which had already the Aeronautic Technology Center (Centro de Tecnologia Aeronáutica-CTA) and the Aeronautics Technological Institute (Instituto Tecnológico da Aeronáutica-ITA). This city also hosted cars, telecommunication and oil industries which made it a technological pole.
The first Embraer product were civilian airplanes such as the airplane denominated Bandeirantes (19 passengers), the Brasilia (30 passengers) and a subsonic military fighter aircraft, the AX-Men
Embraer is articulated with the São José dos Campos S&T system which has CTA as main center. It includes: ITA (Instituto de Tecnologia Aeronáutica), IAE (Instituto de Aeronáutica e Espaço), o IFI (Instituto para Coordenação e Promoção Industrial) and IEAv (Instituto de Estudos Avançados).
In 1990 the industries situated in São José dos Campos inaugurated a new era with deregulation, restructuring and privatization.
In 1994, Embraer was transferred to the private sector. This change has led to a new situation and in 1998 it conquered the fourth world rank among the largest manufacturers of regional jet planes; In 1999, Embraer sold 20% of its shares to a French consortium, 3.3% shares belong to the Brazilian Government and the remaining shares belong to the national capital.
Embraer has been transformed after its privatization. It aims at becoming a leader in the high technology international market traditionally dominated by companies from OECD countries.
Competition for market leadership caused a dispute between Embraer and Bombardier in the World Trade Organization due to export subsidies given by BNDES (National Bank of Economic and Social Development). This fact caused a change in strategies, namely, to attract partners to install themselves in the São José dos Campos region.
Due to the establishment of multinational companies in the São José dos Campos region, local suppliers created in 1999 an export consortium comprising 16 small companies that are in the local aeronautic network. This initiative presented a marginal potential for supplying the external market. After the privatization process, Embraer became one of the few Brazilian companies with ample innovation capacity and complete mastering of the learning process.
The technological innovation cycle is not restricted to the R&D routines since the technological learning process requires interdependence and intercommunication involving production, human resources, financial, economical and marketing areas so that the demands of the market can be satisfied.
In recent years Embraer also became an aggressive international investor and acquired in 2005 the Portuguese OGMA (Indústrial Aeronáutica de Portugal S.A) as part of the privatization process. This organizational process has evolved until consolidation on the base of the present knowledge with the build-up of new capacities. It is argued that OGMA’s high management had no clear vision of how to integrate technology, organizational changes and marketing in order to reach competitiveness.
Embraer Supply Chain
The structure of Embraer’s supply chain follows the world trend verified in Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier, that is, optimized production techniques, globalized production and assembly, reduction and selection of suppliers, specialization and centralization of activities related with product project and development and management of supplier chain.
According to Prof. Luiz Guilherme de Oliveira who made the study called “A Cadeia de Produção Aeronáutica no Brasil: uma análise sobre os fornecedores da Embraer” (The Aeronautic Production Chain in Brazil: an analysis of Embraer’s suppliers), published in August 2005 (ref 14), the Brazilian learning process is defective since it is not articulated with the innovation process. So, Embraer has developed a mechanism for appropriation of knowledge by connecting external technological processes with internal adaptation processes. This connection has determined the acquisition of competence.
In the case of Embraer, the Supply Chain comprises the Traditional Chain, the Modular Products Chain, the Complex Products Chain and the Technological Development Chain. The suppliers follow the procedures imposed by the chain’s coordination.
In the Embraer supply chain two different universes can be distinguished: in the first one are enterprises with national capital and of small size; in the second one, the enterprises that share risks, have external capital, except two enterprises that participated in the conception after the post-privatization process. They concentrate R&D activities in their headquarters. It should be emphasized that the aircraft sector presents a non typical production chain in the national panorama since it manufactures a product of high technological components.
The operation of the supply chain is characterized by:
1) Nationalization of equipment and sub-system suppliers;
2) Selection and reduction of external and local suppliers;
3) Reduction of systems integration, structures and components and consequently a new supply logic regarding supply and managerial flow among suppliers of technological systems, components, structures and services.
At the national level, Embraer makes contracts with companies and individuals that receive raw material and projects from Embraer and sell services by man-hour that can be carried out at Embraer’s installations or externally. For the Brazilian enterprises, the fact that they participate in the supplier chain of Embraer permits them to offer their products and services to international suppliers and the associated companies.
A new dimension was give to the dynamics of innovation and learning by the strategic alliance between Embraer and the consortium including Aerospatiale Matra, Dassault Aviation, Thomson-CSF and Scecma. Through this alliance Embraer will have access to new technologies both in the civil and military aviation areas.
By selecting international partners and suppliers, Embraer obtains indirect investments since it benefits by buying components and parts in other countries whose suppliers had R&D projects financed by big industries of the sector such as Boeing and Airbus.
About 95% of the physical input, raw material and components come from the external market. The nationalization index of the aircraft industry considering the final cost is estimated in 40% (ref 15).
III - VALE SUPPLY CHAIN
According to information from the Vale site, its mission is to transform mineral resources in wealth and sustainable development aiming as becoming the biggest mining enterprise in the world and exceed the usual standards concerning research, development, project implantation and business operation (ref 16).
It searches performance excellence through continuous improvement and control of results using performance indexes considered as reference of the best practices, promoting a high performance environment and assuring the gain and maintenance of durable competitive advantages. It is an organization that incessantly looks for new opportunities and innovative solutions regarding problems and needs and assuring the execution of strategies that will make Vale grow.
Vale is a pioneer mining company that discovers and transforms resources into ingredients that are essential for our daily life. It is the second biggest mining company in the world and it has business in the logistics and energy generation projects sectors.
Vale operates in five continents in a responsible way and it is committed with sustainable development. It considers itself global not only because it is in the world but also because it is concerned with the world.
Vale is a Brazilian mining company that produces and commercializes iron ores, pellets, nickel, copper, coal, bauxite, alumina, aluminum, potassium, kaolin, manganese, ferroalloys, cobalt, metal of the platinum group and precious metals, besides operations in the logistics, energy and steel industry segments, and has branches in 38 countries.
Vale’s history is characterized by the capacity of transforming not only mineral ores but also transforming questions into answers, adversities into results, problems into challenges.
The enterprise was established by the Brazilian government in 1942. In 1997 it became a private company venturing in diverting its portfolio of products. Presently it is a global enterprise operating in five continents. This seventy-year-old history was characterized by challenges, success and changes.
In 2003 Vale bought 50% of the stock of Caemi Mineração e Metalurgia S.A. In the following years it has signed contracts with different national and international enterprises including Petrobras in order to identify and evaluate business opportunities in Moçambique.
Vale is the world leader regarding production of iron ore and pellets, the second nickel producer. Through offices, operation, exploration and joint ventures, it is the second most diversified mining company in the world and the biggest in America in market value.
It operates in South Africa, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Canada, Kazakhstan, Chile, China, Singapore, Colombia, South Korea, Arab Emirates, United States, Philippines, France, Gabon, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Japan, Liberia, Malaysia, Mali, Mozambique, Mongolia, Norway, New Caledonia, Oman, Paraguay, Peru, Congo Democratic Republic, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Zambia, Thailand, Taiwan, besides Brazil
Differently of the aircraft enterprises and even Petrobras, Vale does not aim to fabricate a specific product since it operates in different areas such as mining, steel industry, logistics, transport and energy. It is an enterprise different from the other ones analyzed up to now.
According to the article “Strategies – Strategic Networks and Alliances in Brazil – the CVRD case” Tatiana Tahuata (ref 17)and due to changes and growing complexity in the entrepreneurial panorama, the image of isolated enterprises competing in the market is not adequate anymore. In order to support its competitive advantage, a growing number of enterprises in Brazil and in the rest of the world is establishing alliances of different types, creating networks in the global environment, and this reinforces the search for competitiveness. This fact became absolutely decisive and these networks move through industries and countries.
In the academic area there has been numerous studies concerning the establishment of strategic relationships such as joint ventures and other types of alliances as well as networking. These network configurations are becoming increasingly important and critical for the performance and conduct of most of industries (ref 18).
In the case of Brazil it has been verified that most of the leader enterprises (67%) have established strategic alliances mainly for sharing complementary resources/competence and costs reduction. It has also been verified that one third of the largest leading enterprises in the country operate in strategic networks and the majority of these companies has noticed that these networks have influenced their performance and have changed the competition nature.
In the iron and steel mining industries, traditional sectors and closely related, structural modifications have occurred in the sense of approaching the relationship among the actors through organizational networks involving mainly suppliers and clients and in certain cases, even competitors.
The steel industry is characterized by the consolidation, restructuring and internationalization of producers, including a series of fusions, acquisitions, alliances and strategic blocks formation involving the main participants in the sector that extrapolate the national and regional dimension, mainly in Western Europe and Asia. Recently, the iron mining industry has gone through an intense consolidation process, amplifying the pressure on the steel industries, increasing the participation of the three largest iron mining companies (CVRD, Rio Tinto and BHP-Billiton) from 47,5% in 1996 to 71,4% in 2000. On the other hand, they have alliances with steel industries in order to create strong commercial links and to develop projects and technologies.
One of Vale’s initial steps was to identify and classify alliances that constitute the strategic network of the enterprise, a set of relationships, both horizontal and vertical, with other organizations including those that cross frontiers of industries and counties; they constitute durable inter-organizational ties with strategic purposes. The next step was the identification of the strategic characteristic of the network and analysis of its implications at the entrepreneurial and industrial levels in terms of strength and weakness, opportunities and menaces.
Vale Supply Chain
Like other big enterprises, Vale has also a supply chain that is considered as fundamental partners regarding sustainable development of the productive chain. Invest in the development of suppliers, in different places where Vale operates, strengthen ties and motivate the establishment of more productive partnerships that have as result gains for all involved. All supply management process is electronic in Vale.
The Inove Program is a program aligned with Vale’s business strategy that has as main goal to strengthen the relationship among suppliers through educative actions, credit lines and incentive to business. It includes all regional suppliers of different industrial, commercial and services sectors. The program stimulates and increases business that involves local enterprises so that they become more competitive and satisfy the market ‘s demands.
Inove objectives are mentioned in what follows:
· Contribute to sustainable development in areas were Vale operates;
· Execute together with class organizations, governmental organs, financial and educational institutions the Program of Suppliers Development aiming at improving the competence of managers, workers and enterprises;
· Qualify and strengthen Vale’s supply base and guaranty the supply of material and services to all the productive chain;
· Stimulate business among the productive chain participants promoting the growth of local enterprises creating jobs and revenue
Among the Inove one can mention:
· Education – capability and qualification remote training courses;
· Financing – partnership with financial institutions facilitates credit lines;
· Supplier kit- the supplier has advantageous conditions to acquire goods, materials and/or services. Inove provides technical courses focused on administration and operation, improvement of techniques and business such as civil construction, mechanics, hotel administration, among others (ref 19).
To improve the development of local suppliers agile credit lines are given with competitive interest rates and several options depending on the profile of the enterprise.
Vale organizes events aiming at gathering suppliers to discuss the main problems and has several partners in the Inove Program such as States’ Development Programs, Industrial and Commercial Associations, SENAI, SEBRAE, IBRAM and others.
IV - Toyota Supply Chain
“Toyota and learning networks” was a case study of the Japanese enterprise carried out by Jeffrey H. Dyer and Nile W. Hatch, (ref 20). The company shares its valuable knowledge with its suppliers organized in the so called “kyohokai” and therefore they gain a sustainable competitive advantage.
In order to assemble its cars in the USA, Toyota buys more than 70% of parts from North American suppliers, uses practically the same suppliers and acquires smaller quantities than the national competitors. How does it create competitive advantages?
Another important fact: from 1965 to 1992, the Japanese enterprise and its suppliers have increased their productivity in 700% while in the same period, the North American car companies and their suppliers got 250% increase and less than 50%, respectively. What is the explanation for such difference?
According to this study, Toyoto actively promotes the transfer of knowledge to its suppliers instead of trying to protect it. For this purpose it stimulates meetings of its suppliers that are gathered in the so called “kyohokai” associations and develops the necessary inter-organizational infrastructure and networks.
Many companies continue to keep distance from their suppliers and are zealous about the accumulated internal knowledge. Contrary to that, Toyota insists on welcoming its suppliers and stimulates sharing knowledge with them creating networks that facilitate exchange of information.
This attitude has helped suppliers to rationalize their operations. The results have been fantastic if compared with those of current transactions of Toyota’s competitors: 14% increase in production per employee, 25% reduction in stocks and 50% decrease in the number of defective parts. Such advances have permitted Toyota not only to gain competitive advantage in the market but also to get higher prices in exchange of higher quality of its vehicles.
Toyota is not alone. Enterprises increasingly admit that their competitive advantage is the result of the way they work with their partners;
Even the powerful Microsoft needs partners around the world to adapt and translate its products to different markets such as China, Chile and the Czech Republic. Actually, both the velocity that Microsoft puts its products in the market and the quality of its offers in these countries depends on the quality of its products and knowledge sharing with its partners.
Other enterprises such Boeing, Harley-Davidson and Xilinx (manufacturer of semiconductors in San Jose, California) have noticed how important is to share knowledge with partners and have tried to strengthen this process. Evert Wolsheimer, vice-president of Xilinx has declared:” I believe that our partnerships along time will develop in a way similar to that of Toyota.”
In order to understand what has happened with Toyota and its suppliers it is sufficient to read the study carried out by Jeffrey H. Dyer and Nile W. Hatch. They have found out that the enterprise has developed an infrastructure and a series of inter-organizational processes that facilitates the transfer of explicit and tacit knowledge transfer to the supplier network.
The explicit processes are those that can easily be passed such as facts and axiomatic propositions. The tacit ones, more complicated to decipher, usually involve practical learning and therefore are more complex and difficult to imitate.
Conducted by the acquisition department and by the operation management consulting division (internally known as OMCD), there are three key processes for knowledge transfer: stimulation of suppliers association, creation of consulting groups and formation of voluntary learning teams.
Estimulation of suppliers association
In 1989 Toyota has gathered its North American suppliers in an association, the Bluegrass Automotive Manufacturers Association (BAMA) that followed the model used in Japan (called kyohokai). The initial objective was to transform the association into a regular forum in which Toyota could share information and get feedback from its suppliers. Membership to BAMA was voluntary but gradually it was widespread in the country that membership was advantageous. According to Toyota’s acquisition general manager, Chris Nielsen, “We did not know if there was the possibility of success in the United States. Before BAMA the suppliers executives and those of the assembling companies considered that it was not natural to exchange information but this has changed.”
How Toyota facilitates the learning process of its suppliers
Toyota uses three inter-organizational processes – association of suppliers, consulting groups and learning teams – to facilitate transfer of knowledge in its supplier network.
The association of suppliers shares general information including Toyota’s policies and the “best practice” of ample application. The consulting groups promote local intensive assistance by Toyota’s specialists through workshops and seminar.The learning teams share know-how to groups of 6 to 12 suppliers.
Details of the operation of kyohokai reveals the different mechanisms used to exchange information. The association of suppliers organizes general (bimonthly) or specific (monthly or bimonthly) meetings. The general meetings permit the sharing of information in high level relative to production plans, policies, market trends within the supplier network. The specific meetings permit more frequent interactions in four specific areas – costs, quality, safety and social activities.
Creation of consultation and problems solution groups
In the mid 1960s Toyota in Japan started to use specialized consultants to give assistance to its suppliers. The enterprise has created the OMCD division aiming at acquiring, storing and disseminating valuable knowledge about production. OMCD includes six high executives with much experience (each one responsible for two factories and about ten suppliers) and about 50 consultants. About fifteen to twenty of these consultants are permanent members of OMCD and the remaining ones are younger professionals aiming at growing fast in their career.
These young professionals absorb their knowledge of Toyota’s Production System (STP) during three to five years while they are in OMCD. Toyota makes these internal specialists to work with suppliers, sometimes for months and months in order to help the enterprises to solve problems during implementation of the STP. Curiously, Toyota does not charge for the work time of their consultants and puts OMCD as a resource at the disposition of all employees of the group.
In 1992 Toyota has created the North American version of OMCD. The TSSC group (former Toyota’s Supplier Support Center) has now more than 20 consultants. Like OMCD, TSSC demands from their suppliers to share results of their projects with other suppliers. This policy permits all suppliers to know the “best practices” that have successfully implemented STP elements and gives them incentive to open their operation to other participants. This practice is crucial because it increases considerably the possibilities that a supplier will be able to successfully reproduce the knowhow acquired by other suppliers. However, the enterprises may forbid visitors to enter certain areas of their factories to which Toyota has not given any assistance, in order to protect patented knowledge.
Up to now, STP knowhow transfers have been difficult and slow. Even though the goal is to perform it in six months, no project in the USA was concluded in less than eight months and even in a year and a half. “It is necessary much time and a high degree of commitment to implement Toyota’s Production System” declares the TSS general manager, Hajime Ohba. “In many cases it is necessary a complete cultural and organizational change. Many North American enterprises have management systems that hinder the necessary changes”. Let us examine the Summit Polymers case, a manufacturer of plastic parts for internal use and one of the first North American factories to use the TSSC. In the initial phase, Toyota has sent to the factory two or four consultants every day during three to four months and continued to give support for more than five years. The results were incredible. On the average, TSSC has helped Summit to increase its productivity in 123% (production per employee) and reduced 74% of its stock.
In the case of Continental Metal Specialty (CMS), a metal stamping industry, the consulting process started when Toyota has sent its personnel to teach STP to CSM employees. Next the two enterprises evaluated together the production process of CMS in order to identify the steps and find out those that aggregated value and those that did not. Of the 30 steps examined four aggregated value: metal cutting, forging process, welding and painting. The CMS production system was then re-configured in order to eliminate the largest possible number of steps that did not aggregate value. With time, the CMS has eliminated 19 steps and decreased the machine preparation time from two hours to 12 minutes. Furthermore, the stock of many parts was practically reduced to one tenth of the previous level.
It is important to emphasize that Toyota does not demand immediate price discounts or part of the economy resulting from improvements. The suppliers gain all the initial benefits, opposite to General Motors’ common practice that demands discounts when it gives assistance to a supplier. Naturally Toyota gets part of the economy made resulting from the set of annual prices revisions made together with suppliers. However, it adopts all measures to maintain the activities that create value. For example, it has used regularly the “price-goal” system through which it informs the suppliers about the prices it considers fair regarding determined parts during de duration of a contract. It motivates the suppliers to continually reduce costs in order to have higher profits.
Organization of teams for voluntary learning
In1977, OMCD gathered more than 50 of its key employees in Japan, in voluntary studies groups (called jishuken) to work together aiming at improving productivity and quality. With the assistance of an OMCD consultant the teams defined a theme and analyzed its problems during three months. Toyota has sent consultants to SUMMIT that supplied to the manufactures of all suppliers. The jishuken is a modern mechanism for sharing knowledge.
V - Petrobras’ Supply Chain
When the pre-salt oil became a palpable reality there was also the menace of the so called “Dutch disease”. This phenomenon, frequently associated with oil exploration and gas, occurred in Holland in the sixties. It can be considered almost as a natural consequence of the “market laws” when one considers only immediate results and it is due to the rapid input of foreign currency as a consequence of commercialization of this commodity.
An integrated oil enterprise with its refineries, production platforms offshore and onshore, oil and gas pipelines and storage base, ports and support ships and boats, distribution and sale logistics, petrochemical and fertilizers units, alternative and renewable energy production, demands goods and services from all national economic segments. In the case of Petrobras, due to its size, its expenditures regarding maintenance and investments exceed 50 billion dollars annually. This makes it the flagship of any project for developing a modern and competitive supplier chain in Brazil.
It should be noted that the “Dutch disease” is typical of countries with some industrial advance, where there is an industry to be destroyed, but there are variants where the activity to be destroyed regards agriculture or tourism. That is, in the Brazilian case it is not only to promote the national industry of goods and services but also to avoid the timely advance of importers which would occur with the excessive input of dollars (super valuation of the Real), the hurry to impose the new productive system (it is not possible to promote national development in a timely manner) and the commitment of the foreign multinational enterprises exclusively with the profits and the fastest return of capital.
One solution to prevent the “Dutch disease” is inspired in the example of Norway where it was possible to use the North Sea oil to lever the development of that country as well as that of England. Their solutions practically coincide with the proposal of Petrobras/Government since 2003 relative to the National Chain of Goods and Services Suppliers.
The starting point of this approach (or plan) is the existing demand in the oil and gas area that would result in an annual investment that in 2020 would be seven (7) times that of 2005 (Petrobras values). This large investment value to be satisfied by the national industry is due to three factors:
In 2010 Petrobras’ investments in Brazil 42.5 US$ billion as compared with the average value of 5.8 US$ billion between 2003 and 2005, that is, the guaranty of local participation would prevent one of the consequences of the “Dutch disease”, namely, deactivation of the national industry. The big challenge is to increase the productive capacity, promote technological innovation and elevate the capacity of personnel and managers. To face this challenge it will be necessary financing, fiscal incentives and adequate management that also emphasizes the technological question.
From the political point of view Petrobras builds a larger base of political support from the enterprises and achieves better stability in its role in the future economic panorama when it favors local participation. It also contributes to the creation of jobs multiplying in an extraordinary way the relative number that would be necessary for the assembling activities, operation and maintenance of productive equipment. Furthermore, but not less important, a successful policy in this field, due to the dimension of Petrobras’ expenditures, is surely a critical factor for the national sustainable progress, creating the strong Petrobras in strong country binomial, producing new economic and strategic gains for the enterprise.
On the other hand, the idea is to construct a competitive industry at the international level starting from the challenges of the new and old oil provinces, considering the finite character of the big oil and gas reserves. One of the important points to be considered in the Brazilian case is that development of oil and gas exploration will be carried out in a competitive environment were national and multinational enterprises will be present. Competitiveness is necessary not only as a training for future situations when oil will not be the main industrial driver but also in the medium term so that the industries established here will profit from competitive advantages of a local market, independently of the eventual Petrobras’ favoring policy.
It is also implicit that the foreign goods and services segment will try to occupy the existing space, therefore the state and Petrobras should favor the active participation of the local capital and technology in the undertakings.
In the 1970s/1980s Petrobras was engaged in the nationalization of goods and services it needed as part of a broader national development program and then it had to face a serious hard currency crisis. At that time there was no deep concern with R&D or with world competition in the formulated programs.
Petrobras’ actions were notable and the nationalized products and services had their market in the enterprise and they reached record levels regarding participation of local content. It was a war effort and Petrobras’ expansion and of its suppliers of goods and services was outstanding. However, the 1980 oil crisis and the privatization movement aiming at the privatization of Petrobras, allied with an unreal price policy in the 1990s, have made the plans go downstream (for twenty years). Investments increased upstream but they were not sufficient to compensate both the quantity and complexity and the ensuing deceleration. This was followed by the opening policy which favored acquisitions abroad by all Brazilian enterprises. As a result, the national park of goods and services became unstable in the 1990s and the country generally paralyzed all its investments.
When the P-51 e P-52 platforms were constructed (2003), Petrobras and the Federal Government have shown once again the intention of nationalizing a good part of their undertakings. Petrobras’ investments became important once again in the country and there was a progressive revival of the national economy.
In 2003 PROMINP (Program for Mobilization of the Oil and Natural Gas National Industry) was created aiming at promoting the development of the goods and services of national industry in order to accompany the advances of the oil sector foreseen at that time (there was no pre-salt, but only reserves that indicated great advances). Petrobras’ Business Plan clearly indicated that there would be a high deficit of manpower, of infrastructure and of national suppliers of goods and services. PROMINP structured by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and Petrobras was a crucial partner. Besides MME and Petrobras, PROMINP had the participation of the National Bank of Economic and Social Development (BNDES), the Brazilian Institute of Petroleum (IBP), the National Organization of the Petroleum Industry (ONIP), Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Base Industry (ABDIB), the Brazilian Association of Petroleum Drilling Industries (ABRAPET), the Brazilian Service for Supporting the Small and Medium Industries ( SEBRAE) and the Industries’ Federation. ONIP was established well before, based on the efforts of a pool of entities (including Petrobras) but its action was still incipient. One of them was the organization of the Petro Networks directed to small enterprises by region. ONIP’s actions have gained an extra incentive after the creation of PROMINP.
PROMINP became one of the largest and best programs for the mobilization of the Brazilian productive park and after almost ten years it is still going on. It has also given a new projection to SEBRAE as an agent in the oil and natural gas segment of the small enterprises.
PROMINP operates in different fronts:
Petrobras’ objectives relative to the Program are:
PROMINP aims at creating a new acquisition model for the oil companies different from the paternalistic model that was the usual one in the substitution phase decades ago. Some of its projects try to eliminate bottlenecks already known by the oil and gas industry. One can mention as inspiring thesis the creation of a national industry that is competitive at the world level.
After PROMINP, another action of interest was the installation in 2008 of the Engineering, Supply and Construction Excellence Center - CE EPC. This entity gathers oil and gas producers, service providers, professional organizations and universities with the objective of making the big service providers (connected with the productive chain, especially in the oil and gas segments) competitive and sustainable in world terms.
One should also mention other Petrobras’ Excellence Centers and thematic Networks that are concerned with the technological question, refurbishing of universities’ equipment and human resources training for researching in the oil industry. In 2011, more than 40 thematic Networks, according to the enterprise, could be adjusted to give more emphasis to the productive segment of the supplier chain which would bring new gains to the country.
Petrobras – Supply Chain
Due to the size of its actions, Petrobras had to create an apparatus and an interaction model with the goods and services suppliers market since the 1950s because in the first decades after its establishment Brazil had no industrial tradition. So Petrobras was pioneer in the material management question, with ample warehouses in all its units, with control systems regarding acquisitions and local and national stocks. In the 1970s the Quality Management doctrine, then fashionable in Japan, in the Engineering (Construction and Assembly) became international and consequently all its contractors had to adopt the quality principle aiming at improving significantly its constructions and operational units. Later this was applied to the Material Service of the enterprise and now any supplier of goods and services must follow well defined quality and certification standards. Due to this pioneer action, this movement has influenced all national enterprises to follow the same direction. And more important, this is responsible for the nationalization of almost 100% of the national content in goods and services supplied to the enterprise by its supplier’s chain from 1970 to 1990 with the adequate quality.
In this journey, Petrobras has helped the establishment of organisms responsible for certifications and actions connected with its industrial units such as the welding and non-destructive testing. These incentives gave birth to the Brazilian Foundation of Welding Technology – FBTS (ref 22) and the Brazilian Association of Non-Destructive Testing – ABENDI (ref 23). These entities are now on the way to consolidation as Excellence Centers with methodology described in the book “Vanguarda, Caminhos do Desenvolvimento Sustentável” (Vanguard, Paths for Sustainable Development) already mentioned.
Presently Petrobras/Brazil is preparing itself for new arrangements regarding incentives and improvement of Suppliers Chain of goods and services besides PROMINP, the Engineering, Supply and Construction Excellence Center - CE EPC, the Thematic Networks, the research centers of the enterprise and those of the suppliers, different financing forms regarding acquisitions and construction and other long term measures as flagships of this new era.
VI - Conclusion
In the present article we have tried to show that big enterprises attempt to understand how their suppliers’ chain is a critic factor of success, They consider the technological development as a differentiation factor and they cultivate an action connected with management of these factors, not interfering in the life of each enterprise but rather in the their dynamics in order to unite them aiming at a more advanced result. The power regarding acquisitions of a big enterprise or of the government, the knowledge relative to the final product and of the key technologies and processes enable goods and services of thousand enterprises to be “physically united” and to create a universal good, as if there is a “single big enterprise” leading to production escalade. There is no way to optimize results without concentration of incentives and directions.
Some enterprises are creating Centers of Excellence in the process of consolidation of their suppliers’ chain. It is noticed that it not enough to aspire to have their services and component comply with pre-established standards, an essential question, but to pursue an innovative and vanguard component, product or service that leaves behind their competitors. Presently the winner has mastered the triplet: conventional quality, better cost and higher continued innovation. That is why one of those who have made large investments in technological research and development, the President of Toyota has declared (ref. 24):
“I always advise the executives and employees to look for the world leadership. We Japanese have a virtue, namely, establish high goals and make efforts to reach them”…”In our business it is essential to place product in the market before our competitors. We must win the first place because to fall behind can be too expensive”…”We have to constantly think about products that are different from those existing now”…”If we don´t take risks in business and only follow the competitors we will not have conditions to survive regarding competition for consumers in the world market”.
That is, the podium is not for life and not even durable even for giants. There are thousand and thousand of enterprises worldwide trying to reach the top insistently in different countries. The R&D investments reach almost one trillion dollars and therefore surprises can arrive anytime anywhere. So it is necessary to look for synergies, unions, consortiums, combined management of many virtual suppliers, large R&D investments and furthermore the creation of excellence nucleus for grouping R$D for enterprises because the chance of maintaining vanguard is small if they work separately.
Assuming that Petrobras’ investment and operation costs in the next four years will be around 300 billion dollars, one can notice that each 1% that can be saved as a result of an excellent ordering of its suppliers’ chain would mean an additional profit of three billion dollars! Certainly much less than one fourth or one fifth of this value that would be necessary to attain these results. But it is believed that 10% would be a good figure for an exceptional movement in this area and expectation of very expressive gains for the enterprise. These would be direct gains.
Additionally a large scale movement related with the Supplier Chain in general, as proposed by PROMINP for the oil and gas sector, produces gains regarding larger competitiveness in new markets with general economic growth as well as that of all the national system – this is the most important of all results.
As a conclusion, it is recommended that, considering the international experience and of PROMINP, the government should look for consensus to create in a well structured form Mobilization Programs one by one for other sectors with high density as it is now envisaged for the pharmaceutical and arms industries, for the agriculture, computing, electric-electronic, health, and chemical and fertilizers sectors. It has been largely proven that when political willingness, good conciliation, intelligence in the adopted models, investments in excellence centers dedicated to niches, good use of the national market, incessant incentive to exports together with national market expansion it is possible to have an exceptional development level.
The developed nations exert protectionism and promote excessive
liquidity that devaluate their currency and facilitate their exports in
order to face their crisis. In our case, the necessary protection
mechanisms should be created but doubtless the most important is to act
transforming our intelligence into vanguard products, processes and
services, as shown in the present article.
VII - References
2) Dicionário APICS (The Association for Operations Management – Advanced Productivity, Innovation and Competitive Success)
4) Peter Drucker on the Profession of Management (Harvard Business Review Book), 1998
5) Coase, R. “The new Institutional Economics” in The American Economic Review (AER) V.88, (2), 1998.
6) Renga: a systems approach to facilitating inter-organizational network development, Henk Akkermans,published on line 2001
7) Jornal Valor de 02/03/2012
9) http://www.airbus.com/fileadmin/media_gallery/files/supply__ world/Procurement-Organisation-Major-Suppliers_261110.pdf
“A Cadeia de Produção Aeronáutica no Brasil: uma análise sobre os fornecedores da Embraer”, Luiz Guilherme de Oliveira, 2005.
17) Tatiana Tahuata “Estratégia – Redes e Alianças Estratégicas no Brasil – caso CVRD” rae- eletrônica, v. 3, n. 1, art. 4, jan./jun 2004.
18) Gulatti R., Nohria, N. and Zaheer, A. 2000, “Strategic networks” Strategic Management Journal, 21 (3), 203-15.
20) “A Toyota e as redes de aprendizado”, Jeffrey H. Dyer e Nile W. Hatch, 2011, Young University, de Provo, Utah, EUA.
21) “Vanguarda, Caminhos do Desenvolvimento Sustentável” www.ecentex.org
24) Revista Veja, 24 de agosto de 2011)
 This thesis was distinguished by the creation of EMBRAPI, that aims at stimulating the creation of technological nucleus (consortia among different entities) to help small- and medium-sized Brazilian enterprises.
Graphic Edition/Edição Gráfica:
Monday, 08 October 2012.