In the third quarter, the pandemic-plagued year changed tack again – in a more favorable direction. Customer demand surged to such an extent in September that the supply of raw materials, which had previously been heavily reduced, could not be increased again as quickly as required. While so far ElringKlinger had been able to navigate through the pandemic without disruptions to the supply chain, late fall saw the emergence of bottlenecks that again posed a challenge for Purchasing. “We have always placed great importance on risk management, which also means scaling back dependencies. This too, however, has its limits,” emphasizes Bernd Weckenmann, citing an example of several serial production orders within the area of Lightweighting. A supplier of plastic granules had not been able to offer the quantities needed. The search for alternative suppliers at short notice was compounded by another problem: the material used for the mass-produced parts has to be validated by the customer, i.e., approved in line with strict and time-consuming procedures. In this specific case, escalation was avoided only in collaboration with the customer. By involving the Sales team and maintaining a close dialogue with the customer, ElringKlinger managed to source replacement materials in time for production.