How Corona is changing C-parts management

Whether the Spanish flu, world wars, oil or financial crises – anyone who has been in the market as the oldest “screw dealer” in Germany for over 150 years knows well that crises are part of business. For Ferdinand Gross, the main challenge is to identify the processes triggered by the crisis and to find the right answers. Because one thing is certain: The corona crisis will change C-parts management permanently.


In the course of the home office boom, there is a growing demand for web‐based tools that not only provide real‐time insight into the company's own Kanban system, but also offer active control options. With the “Falcon” tool, Ferdinand Gross was reportedly the first company to bring such an innovation onto the market. It enables buyers to control the use of C-parts from the home office in an effective manner and to react quickly to peaks in demand using statistics and evaluations.


The increased price competition is a further development that will intensify significantly. While the scope for cost savings has largely been exhausted with standard C-parts, the market for custom‐made parts, which has grown strongly in recent years, offers potential for savings. Cost reductions can primarily be achieved here by sourcing outside of Europe.

C‐parts dealers who have aligned their supplier management to this trend at an early stage and who can present successful reference projects are in a good position here. Provided that they can guarantee the customer long‐term security of supply.


In the wake of the corona crisis, there is much talk of the dark side of globalisation. The highly internationalised supply chains and the resulting potential dependencies and bottlenecks in crisis are discussed in particular. But what does that mean for C-parts management? In principle, C‐parts specialists can bring their strengths into play right now. The problem is often not so much the globalised supply chains but just‐in‐time production.

As a C-parts dealer, however, you can secure the JIT production of your customers with the appropriate stocks and easily cushion short‐term delivery difficulties of the C‐part manufacturers. And even in the event of long‐term crises and production stoppages, the supply of C-parts can be guaranteed: Ferdinand Gross anticipates potential delivery bottlenecks as part of the “Safe Supply Chain” management and approaches customers actively with alternative suggestions. In this way, additional sources are organised and, if necessary, accredited at an early stage, especially for drawing parts. It can be said that globalisation, with its diverse, geographically widely distributed sources of supply, with competent support from an international C-parts specialist, does not endanger security of supply, but rather increases it.

In summary, the crisis also turns out to be an opportunity to accept the developments of recent years even more resolutely and to advance them with important innovations and services. Above all, it harbours the opportunity for more intensive and productive cooperation with the customer, which can lead to more appreciation for the complex service of C-parts management. And in the end, appreciative and personal customer relationships are the best means to emerge stronger from a crisis.

This article was first published in Torque Magazine. Don’t get the mag? You can apply for a free subscription online today. Or take a look at back issues in the Torque Magazine archive