May 17, 2020

Inside Rolls-Royce's supply chain

Supply Chain
Sean Galea-Pace
3 min
Supply Chain Digital takes a closer look at Rolls-Royce's supply chain.
With the Rolls-Royce Phantom topping the Top 10 Luxury Car Supply Chains, Supply Chain Digital takes a closer look at the automotive company’s supply...

With the Rolls-Royce Phantom topping the Top 10 Luxury Car Supply Chains, Supply Chain Digital takes a closer look at the automotive company’s supply chain.

Rolls-Royce operates as a global purchasing organisation with a total supply chain spend of over £4.7bn ($6bn). With more than 950 purchasing employees worldwide, the company employs 18,000 active suppliers across a large and ever-growing number of products and parts. Rolls-Royce has purchasing employees in 10 countries across Europe, Asia and North America.

Rolls-Royce supply chain process

  1. Invite interest

  2. Register

  3. Pre-selection inspection

  4. Select for RFP

  5. Deselect following tender submissions

  6. Negotiate and select

  7. Accredit

  8. Award

  9. Maintain performance and delivery


Rolls-Royce fully utilises its resources, processes and structures to offer significant benefits to its customers. The firm manages an external supply chain for nuclear components and has proven capabilities in the following areas:

  • Optimised supply chain design, planning and control

  • Supplier engagement, development and maintenance

  • Strategic sourcing

  • Supply chain relationships

  • Purchase execution and logistics management

  • Quality management

  • Total cost management 

  • Total life-cycle management

With technology becoming a major part of supply chains around the world, Rolls-Royce continuously invests in modern IT solutions to support supply chain management functions. It employs web enabled sourcing software through its preferred service provider “EXOSTAR” which includes the use of e-auctions and electronic request for quotes/proposal. Rolls-Royce has implemented tools such as:

  • Strategic sourcing toolset - an online system facilitating the creation of commodity and supplier strategies, contract creation and negotiation, supplier performance management and supply chain spend analysis.

  • Raw material planning/ supply chain mapping - an integrated software package which maps the sub tier supply chain providing demand signal visibility, risk and utilisation analysis, demand simulation and key points of failure analysis.

  • An accessible web-based “Global Supplier Portal” which enables rapid information interactions and provides valuable supply chain quality and performance data.

The company is heavily reliant on the ability of its supply chain to deliver to Rolls-Royce standards without any delays or disruptions. Rolls-Royce invests a large proportion of time identifying and mitigating potential points of weakness in its external supply chain. The firm spends more than £7bn ($9bn) annually with its suppliers.

Did you know?

Rolls-Royce placed fourth in Supply Chain Digital's Top 10 largest sustainable supply chain's worldwide in September. Check out our in-depth look at their sustainability initiatives here!


For more information on all topics for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

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Image: Rolls-Royce Press.

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Jun 21, 2021

Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain

2 min
Jewellery retailer Pandora teamed with IBM to streamline supply chains as sales of hand-finished jewellery doubled across ecommerce platforms

Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery. 

The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales. 

A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.

Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs. 

Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption. 

"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added. 


Pandora’s pivot to digital 

The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand. 

“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”

Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”. 

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