In June 2020, shortly after the end of the COVID-19 lockdown in Germany, DQS audited and certified the company GmbH according to the ISO 28000 standard for security management in the supply chain. is one of the leading solution providers for individual retail concepts in the DIY sector and specialized trade and operates in more than 40 countries. Following the audit, our auditor Mr. Juergen Freund spoke with the management of about the importance of security in the supply chain in these times. We have recorded the interview for you.

DQS: What is the importance of security in the supply chain for your company (before and after COVID-19)? High availability of goods has always been one of suki's trademarks. We are faced with the conflicting demands of global procurement with replenishment times of several months in some cases and Europe-wide distribution with a delivery time of just a few days. At the same time, the demands that we ourselves, our customers and also the legislator place on the quality of our products have grown continuously in recent years.

A secure, perfectly functioning supply chain that enables us to deliver high-quality products to our customers quickly and in the required quantities is therefore essential for us. This requires flexibility, a network of reliable partners, on-site packaging capacities, efficient logistics, permanent monitoring and continuous improvement of our supply chain.

The events surrounding COVID-19 have put our supply chain to the test. Delivery difficulties on the part of individual suppliers, particularly from the Asian region, coincided with very high demand for individual products. We are taking these events as an opportunity to increase the flexibility of our supply chain and further reduce our dependence on individual countries.

DQS: What are the main insights and impulses you have gained from the audit and what benefits has your company gained from the audit? The audit showed us that our supply chain is secure and stable. Nevertheless, we have discovered further optimization opportunities through the systematic analysis and documentation required for certification. These were discussed and evaluated in detail during the audit. As a consequence, we have set ourselves the goal of successively realizing the identified improvement potentials for security in our supply chain.

DQS: How have your customers reacted to the successful certification? Do you see competitive advantages for your company through the certification according to ISO 28000? Our customers expect a secure supply. With the ISO 28000 certification, we can now provide reliable proof that our supply chain is secure and that we are continuously improving this security.

Constanze Illner

Constanze Illner (she/her) is Research and Communications Officer in the area of sustainability and food safety. In this position, she keeps an eye on all important developments in this context and informs our clientele in a monthly newsletter. She also moderates the annual Sustainability Heroes conference.