Efficiency in project management and ongoing process improvement, within the framework of common corporate culture, values and identity, are crucial to consolidating and developing the ground Abengoa has made in the markets in which the company is established, as well as those being developed. These are the driving forces in the quest for innovation and the pursuit of new business opportunities.

Integration of company suppliers is an essential element in achieving these objectives. Suppliers are viewed as strategic partners, based on the principle of partnership and unity in securing common goals, and in many cases this involves the signing of long-term mutual agreements and commitments of loyalty.

Suppliers are active participants in tender preparation, business activity preparation and in customer presentations. It would not be possible to market the products and services that Abengoa offers today in the absence of a coordinated strategy.

In view of their importance to the company and the role they play in meeting objectives successfully, both prior to and over the course of the relationship with Abengoa, in-depth supplier assessment is conducted on their compliance with legal and business matters, logistics, health, safety and security, quality, environmental aspects, technical issues and after-sales service.

All Abengoa companies have standardized supplier selection processes and control and monitoring mechanisms in place. Agreements with suppliers are formalized by issuing all pertinent documents, listing the agreements reached between both parties, both from the standpoint of technical requirements to be met by the supplier, as well as the business conditions to be applied.

In order for the supplier relationship to be as fruitful as possible, Abengoa demands the highest standards of quality, respect for the environment, and stringent occupational safety and security standards compliant with the corporate occupational risk prevention policy. In many instances, this entails an obligation to comply with different validation criteria, such that the technical and economic capabilities of the supplier will be certified, with special attention being paid to the internal policy and procedures of the Integrated Quality, Environment and Health and Safety Management System implemented throughout the company in accordance with the ISO 9001, ISO 14001, EMAS and OHSAS 18001 standards, respectively.

Furthermore, within the context of the partnership arrangements with our suppliers and collaborators and in order to ensure consolidation and improvement of these, troubleshooting (TS) applications and proposed improvement actions (IA) have been developed and made available throughout the organization. This corporate application is a strategic tool for increasing competitiveness and promoting bottom-up participation from all of the elements of the organization, hence from the company’s suppliers and collaborators as well. This tool represents a tremendously valuable source of knowledge and ongoing assessment; it mitigates risk, is self-critical and generates ideas, which in themselves ensure continuous improvement in the processes, activities, services and the products we offer society.

In the case of small service providers or suppliers operating in regions characterized by slower development, Abengoa sometimes assists its strategic partners by:

  • securing financing or providing channels for access to financing;
  • improving health, safety and security systems;
  • providing technical training geared towards occupational risk prevention.

Abengoa understands that maintaining a close relationship based on communication, knowledge and mutual support with suppliers and collaborators creates value for the entire organization.

Case Study Abener and its Relations with Suppliers

In keeping with its strategic vision, Abener forges long-term relationships with its suppliers, based on the firm belief that time generates trust and each party’s awareness of the other’s needs. This ultimately results in improvements in quality, response time and costs, in turn leading to enhanced competitiveness. This does not mean that the company forsakes new supply sources, which are after an additional way of incorporating new ideas that contribute to the same goal.

Furthermore, supplier management at Abener reflects the company’s commitment to sustainable development by requiring suppliers to adhere to our values and standards.

To put these ideas into practice, we at Abener sign multiple supply agreements that define a specific framework in which to work: optimization of design processes, improvements to efficiency and cutting the costs of the human teams and materials utilized in the projects. The process of continuously appraising our suppliers and the resulting feedback are key to forging a relationship based on day-to-day trust. Ably backed by Abener’s technological experts, the company actively seeks out potential supply sources that contribute value, while in turn creating a whole new horizon of opportunities for suppliers.

As an example, we would highlight a collaboration agreement reached with an international manufacturer of pumping systems with which the company has worked for many years. The agreement entails improving the design of the heat transfer fluid pumps for Abengoa’s solar thermal power farms. This joint initiative has enabled us to increase timeframes by 15%, up returns significantly and curb costs by over 10%. These kinds of projects are essential in a market such as solar thermal power, where improvements to efficiency are the only sure bet for the future.


Photo taken by Gary Trautman, from Abener, to the 1st Edition of the Abengoa Sustainability Photography Contest

2009 Milestones
  • Implementation of a competitiveness plan, which includes the suppliers, throughout its Brazilian companies, the ultimate aim being to push Abengoa Bioenergy to the forefront of the Brazilian market.

Abengoa is fully aware that maintaining a tight relationship with suppliers and collaborators, encompassing communication, shared knowledge and mutual support, generates value throughout the entire company