How Riese & Müller creates transparency in the supply chain with VERSO

Riese & Müller has set itself the goal of being the most sustainable company in the eBike industry by 2025. Along the way, the company uses the VERSO Supply Chain Platform to create comprehensive transparency in the supply chain and develop suppliers in terms of sustainability.

Riese & Müller GmbH

Riese & Müller is a German premium manufacturer of e-bikes, cargo bikes and folding bikes. With its innovative products and as an expert in cargo bikes and fast HS bikes, Riese & Müller is shaping the mobility of tomorrow and stands for a sustainable lifestyle, application-oriented product development and pioneering e-bike technologies.
In addition to the continuous further development of products, responsibility for people and the environment is part of Riese & Müller’s overall strategy. The company has set itself the goal of being the most sustainable company in the e-bike industry by 2025.



The challenge at Riese & Müller

Riese & Müller is one of the leading premium manufacturers of e-bikes. More transparent supply chains are an important component of the sustainability strategy. “We are convinced that transparency is the basis for trustworthy and responsible cooperation in the global supply chain,” says Managing Director Dr. Sandra Wolf resolutely.

In addition, transparency also makes it possible to fulfill regulatory requirements such as the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act or the upcoming EU Sustainability Due Diligence Directive – even if Riese & Müller is not yet subject to the German law due to its number of employees.

“Once we had defined the transparent supply chain as a goal, we started to create huge Excel lists and develop criteria. This quickly became quite time-consuming and rather confusing. Since an evaluation also includes many criteria of a political, economic and human rights nature that are completely outside our area of expertise, it was clear that we needed a tool that would support us,” says Managing Director Dr. Sandra Wolf.


The solution

At the start of the collaboration, transparency in the supply chain was still a new topic in the bicycle industry. As a first step, a pilot project was therefore set up to test the willingness of suppliers in particular to provide the necessary information.
For the three-month pilot, 16 suppliers were involved, who already account for a large proportion of the purchasing volume. All selected suppliers have registered on the VERSO Supply Chain Platform and completed the Maturity Assessment.
The Maturity Assessment makes it possible to obtain information from suppliers via self-disclosure with minimal effort and automatically determines a Maturity Score that can be viewed by suppliers and their customers.

The pilot already provided the first important insights into the suppliers’ sustainability processes and risks.

In view of the rapid implementation of the pilot and the positive feedback from suppliers, the course was set for a long-term partnership to achieve comprehensive transparency along the supply chain.

“We were immediately impressed by the platform, the visualization and the processes,” says Hannah Müßener, Sustainability Manager at Riese & Müller.
The pilot was followed by the roll-out to the entire supplier base. Over 70 direct suppliers were invited to the platform, accounting for more than 90% of Riese & Müller’s purchasing volume. A further 60 suppliers from further down the supply chain have registered on the platform.


The result

As part of risk management, Riese & Müller has also used the VERSO Supply Chain Platform to identify the three risk raw materials aluminum, copper and cobalt, for which comprehensive transparency is also to be achieved at lower supply chain levels.
The VERSO Supply Chain Platform was therefore used to carry out supply chain mapping for components and frames that contain these risk raw materials in significant quantities. This is still a young methodology that requires intelligent technology due to its complexity. After just six months, transparency was created up to the second and third stages of the supply chain.

The analysis capabilities of the VERSO Supply Chain Platform enabled a comprehensive overview of the geographical distribution and supply chain structure, including potential risks, in order to initiate measures.

After more than a year of cooperation between VERSO and Riese & Müller, the conclusion is consistently positive. The objectives set – to prepare for regulatory requirements and enable a comprehensive risk analysis – were successfully implemented.
With the maturity assessment, the supplier base can now be continuously developed. Progress in the sustainability performance of the supply chain automatically becomes transparent. Supply chain mapping also enables the in-depth analysis of raw materials at risk.

“The VERSO Supply Chain Platform helps us to continuously increase transparency in the supply chain and to qualify our suppliers in terms of sustainability,” says Alexander Eilhauer, Head of Purchasing and Supply Chain Management at Riese & Müller.

At the same time, the VERSO Supply Chain Platform supports quick and easy CSR reporting thanks to the comprehensive key figures: the first progress has already been documented in the sustainability report from the 2020/2021 financial year.
Other players from the bicycle industry joined the initiative after it became known, including Fazua, a manufacturer of e-bike drives.

Foto Dr. Sandra Wolf von Riese & Müller

The partnership with VERSO is an important step towards gaining a holistic overview of our international supply chain and creating transparency right down to the depths of the complex supply and value chain.

Dr. Sandra Wolf
CEO at Riese & Müller