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Supplier data bank, qualification process and vendor rating

The Group’s supplier data base was further consolidated during the year, improving the level of integration and convergence with the business’s processes and systems. There are approximately 5,300 suppliers who are registered and qualified for at least one category of goods and services on the suppliers’ portal, and of these 1,908 received at least one order from A2A in 201114.
Maintaining one single register of qualified suppliers enables greater consistency and transparency to be achieved in the use of the register by all of the Group’s companies. For suppliers, this translates into a simplification of relations with the Group, in managing qualifications and obtaining knowledge about the relative procedures.
The Post-purchase Vendor Rating process was gradually extended to all the internal users of the various Group companies in 2011 (excluding Ecodeco and Partenope Ambiente); this process requires suppliers to be assessed when the ordered goods are received and an attestation to be given on the performance relating to the goods and services commissioned by the Group. Through this process the preventive assessments carried out during the stage of qualifying a supplier and including its name in the register are supplemented by those conducted on the actual performance of suppliers in carrying out the work requested of them. In this way the quality of a supplier is always rated by all the users involved in the contract and the specified means by which the assessment is carried out also enable the Group to focus on aspects inherent to the quality of the service, the environment and safety. By means of an advanced computer dashboard developed in 2011, the supplier qualification department is able to monitor the ratings, the users making the ratings and the rated suppliers in order to conduct detailed ad hoc enquiries (internal meetings and/or meetings with suppliers) and other activities for managing the rating. These activities and actions are periodically discussed in specific coordination meetings of the provisioning department and if necessary can give rise to action being taken against suppliers (e.g. the suspension of the qualification, inclusion in the watch list, exclusion or blacklisting of the supplier, ...).
The A2A Group’s e-procurement portal has enabled the Group to create a more effective contact channel with suppliers, thus streamlining the information exchanged and making the process faster, more efficient and safer. To increase the satisfaction level of suppliers who have access to these “listening channels”, instruments for monitoring the reports received by Customer Support on all matters relating to qualification and the use of electronic trading tools have been introduced. Approximately 1,200 reports and requests for telephonic assistance were dealt with in 2011, of which 99% were settled within the time set by Group procedures.

14 Does not  include Amsa, Ecodeco, Aspem, Partenope Ambiente, Coriance, Plurigas, A2A Calore&Servizi (Heat Management).

Disputes with suppliers

In 2011 82 legal cases involving suppliers and their employees were in progress or closed. Many were appeals against awards or exclusion from tenders called by Group companies, while others regarded contractual non-performance by suppliers or, conversely, by Group companies. In 17 cases certain Group companies might be called to respond in cases of joint liability with the contracted companies for wage shortages which some of their employees have requested be made up. Three cases involved accidents to the employees of contracted companies, of which two fatal; one of the fatal accidents occurred at a power station not owned by the Group.