WU Study on the Supply Chain Act
A new study on supply chain responsibility highlights the outstanding achievements of Austrian companies and demonstrates that responsibility is a strategic success factor.
There are companies that view supply chain responsibility not just as an additional cost factor but as a strategic opportunity to differentiate themselves from their competitors. On behalf of the Austrian Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs, we conducted a detailed analysis of 12 Austrian companies, covering a wide range of industries, company sizes, ownership structures, and locations. The study was presented at the WU Vienna on September 22, 2023.
The examined companies closely collaborate with their strategic suppliers, understand their competitive situations and technologies, and work together with them on improvements that no single company could achieve alone. This reduces complexity, secures the supply of raw materials and intermediates, simplifies communication, increases response speed, and enables the implementation of common goals. Some of them were able to invest strategically in suppliers, thereby reactivating abandoned production facilities in Europe, while others ensured their supply capability even during times of crisis, and yet others were able to improve their product quality. Their deep understanding of business partners and the entire supply network allows them to drive its development in a targeted manner, making it more resilient. The close cooperation with these supply networks makes the examined companies more reliable, faster, customer-oriented, and thus more attractive to customers and industrial buyers.
The results of this study show that the goal of economic policy interventions should be to enable companies, value chains, and supply networks to organize themselves as a comprehensive system that is more goal-oriented, responsible, resilient, and sustainable. To achieve this, companies, value chains, and supply networks must be supported in becoming aware of their mutual dependencies.
The following companies are presented in the study:
The Greiner Group, based in Kremsmünster (Upper Austria), is an internationally active company that combines various business areas within a group. The company manufactures plastic and foam solutions as well as machinery and equipment for various industries and has a strong presence in Austria.
The Semperit Group is a company in the chemical industry specializing in the production of industrial rubber and plastic products. With Austrian roots, Semperit has become an international business partner known for its solutions in areas such as healthcare, industry, and mobility.
As a separate business unit within the Nestlé Group, Nespresso is a leading provider of coffee and coffee machines. Based in Switzerland, the company promotes a sustainable coffee supply chain from bean to end product through various initiatives and is represented in Austria both in retail and through its own boutiques.
Originally founded in Austria, Kelly Snacks produces and distributes a variety of salty snacks. The company has production facilities in Austria, has been part of the German Intersnack Group since 2008, a merger of various snack and food brands, and is responsible for Austria, Slovenia, and Switzerland.
The international provider of refractory solutions, RHI Magnesita, emerged from the merger of the Austrian RHI AG and the Brazilian Magnesita Refratários SA. The company demonstrates how supply chain responsibility and sustainability can be adopted and prioritized in an energy- and resource-intensive industry.
The Stoelzle Glass Group, representing the basic materials industry, shows how supply chain responsibility can be implemented at the beginning of the supply chain. Founded in Austria, the company is based in Köflach (Styria) and is a global provider of glass packaging.
The ZKW Group, based in Wieselburg (Lower Austria), is a global provider of lighting systems. The company works on innovative lighting technologies and contributes to responsibility and sustainability in the automotive industry.
Infineon Technologies AG is a globally operating manufacturer of semiconductor solutions, with production facilities in Villach (Carinthia), among others. The company operates in a complex supply chain and takes various measures to involve suppliers in supply chain responsibility.
Saint-Gobain Austria is part of the French Saint-Gobain Group and brings together various companies in the construction industry, such as Rigips and Kaimann. Saint-Gobain Austria serves a large part of the Southeast European market and is connected to an international supply chain in the construction industry.
Rhomberg Bau, based in Vorarlberg, is particularly active in the DACH region. The company offers services from planning to construction and prioritizes investment in sustainable and future-oriented projects in the construction industry.
EVVA Sicherheitstechnologie GmbH offers access control systems and primarily collaborates with European suppliers. The company has Austrian roots and is headquartered in Vienna.
As a medium-sized family-owned company with headquarters and production facilities in Austria, FAHNEN GÄRTNER demonstrates how even a relatively small business can take responsibility. With around 100 employees, the Austrian company strives for sustainability and responsibility from raw material to end product.