Axel Johnson International’s sourcing and sustainability office in Ningbo, China, helps the group’s companies with quality and sustainability audits as well as managing quotations, purchase orders, inventories and shipping.
Axel Johnson International took a long-term strategic decision to systematically work with minimising risks related to product quality and sustainability, and it was logical to focus on Chinese suppliers when addressing potential business risks in the supply chain. The office in China is located in Ningbo, near Shanghai, which is the area where the majority of our suppliers have their facilities. In 2020 Livvy Chen was appointed Managing Director for the operations.
The main driver for the Chinese operation is that supply chains need to be transparent. The local presence gives the possibilities of building partnerships and keeping control of quality and working conditions in the manufacturing process.
“With great expertise in-house and the advantage of being close to the local market we aim to support with supplier management activities in China.
“And with our own sourcing office, we have easier access to the factories, and we can be ‘the eyes and ears’ for our colleagues in Europe, which allows us to make quicker decisions,” says Livvy.
Jukka Toiviainen, Area Manager Asia and Strategic Purchasing, has been part of the China operation since the start and been developing the work with purchase and sourcing for new products.
“We now have a 1,000-square-metre central warehouse, which allows us to consolidate less container load into full containers,” says Jukka.
They now load trucks every week and at least one full container is loaded in the warehouse every month. A new workshop has been built for inhouse testing and re-packing of bearings. The testing includes measuring product dimensions and testing tolerance and performance in order for our products to meet quality standards. The bearings are then laser marked and finally packed into boxes.
One focus area is functional expertise and processes and systems.
“Our team members come with rich experience of working with Chinese suppliers and various trading practices. Our goal is to support as many sourcing activities in China as possible for all the group companies”, Livvy ends.