Delivery reliability became the quintessential criterion in 2020. Know-how and profound understanding of supply chains even outside the first tier of suppliers and participants have become key to preventing late deliveries. Even before the onset of the coronavirus epidemic in Europe, the SIJ Group monitored developments in non-European markets, where some strategic raw materials come from. We have established scenarios for the supply of strategic raw materials of non-European origin. We have introduced a geographical diversification of warehouses of suppliers of the essential alloys. With the escalation of transport restrictions, we raised the minimum stock of raw materials from critical areas. In the first half of the year, the supply of critical raw materials was never interrupted. The additional measures taken in the planning of deliveries and stocks enabled us to timely adjust and mitigate supply disruptions throughout the year.
The SIJ Group uses secondary raw materials for steel production, i.e. steel scrap. Within the vertical integration framework, we successfully managed the risks associated with non-supplies of steel scrap from abroad by increasing supply from our own sources on the Slovenian market. The positive effects of vertical integration also meant shorter and more predictable transport routes and thus a more flexible adjustment of supply to production needs. We took into account the experience from the previous year in the strategies of individual categories for 2021. What we have added, changed or deepened in key categories will be presented through examples from our practice.