Miele adopts a standardised product development process, aiming at efficient and streamlined structured to meet statutory and its own environmental requirements (Miele, 2018a). It also follows a scenario technique to recognize long-term trends and subsequent risks at the early stage to put them into its R&D strategy. This procedure is executed by the Design Center, in collaboration with the development departments at Miele’s plants. They design a continuous monitoring system for early detection and incorporate it into its innovation management process (Miele, 2018a).2.
1.2 ProcurementMiele’s materials are locally sourced. The procurement department often partners with local suppliers to lower logistics costs (Miele, 2017e). Miele’s major suppliers are small or medium sized businesses, typically located in nearby regions for shorter travel distance and flexibility of meeting the Miele’s requirements (Miele, 2018a). Miele selects new suppliers and monitors existing suppliers through a supplier management system, which factors in supply availability, quality and price, as well sustainability standards. Suppliers need to be compliant with environmental, social and economic sustainability criteria.
For example, the criteria includes the SA8000, which helps deal with social and human right issues (Miele, 2017e). Miele regularly monitors their business relationships with suppliers by process audits and sustainability criteria audit.2.1.3 Processing of raw materialsMiele’s products are manufactured at 11 productions sites across Europe and Asia: eight in Germany, one in Austria, one in Czech Republic and one in China (Miele, 2017a).
Concerning the environmental impact and cost-saving aspects, resource conservation plays a critical role in Miele’s strategic objectives. Miele uses recycled materials. For example, Miele washing machines have 50% of the secondary raw materials, because 85% of the domestic washing machines are made with high metal content. However, plastic recycling is low. Therefore, Miele tries to make the plastics manufacturing resource-efficient (Miele, 2018i).