SAAB entrusted Sisource with responsibility for chemicals

Lower costs and better control, while at the same time reducing the number of suppliers from hundreds to one. This was the outcome when Saab Aeronautics allowed Sisource® Chemical Management Services to take overall responsibility for chemical management.


overall responsibility for chemicals management

Many chemicals were being discarded before they passed their ‘best before’ date. This problem led to Saab Aeronautics in Linköping deciding to outsource its chemical management.

“Chemistry isn’t part of our core business, yet it is an area that needs a lot of knowledge, and handing this over to a highly skilled partner suited us well,” said Per Lund, who is a buyer with overall responsibility for chemicals in the Saab Group.

Saab decided to work with Sisource. The partnership began in the autumn of 2005. Since then, Sisource has had overall responsibility for chemicals management for Saab Aeronautics. This covers the procurement, storage, mixing and disposal of chemicals. Sisource is also responsible for compiling reports to the authorities in close cooperation with Saab’s environmental department. The assignment also involves inspecting all new products coming into the company together with Saab’s environmental department in relation to environmental and working environment issues.


Saab supplies world-leading products and services to the military defence and civil security sectors. The company is represented in 30 countries and sells to more than 100 countries. The group has around 13,000 employees and annual sales of around SEK 23 billion. Investments in research and development constitute 22 percent of the turnover.



the management of chemicals by an external party has led to a number of positive effects for Saab.

“Chemicals have a limited lifespan, often somewhere between three months and one year. This requires good planning to ensure that chemicals are purchased in the right quantities and at the right time. Our controls were previously not good enough and chemicals were purchased by different parts of the company with little coordination. This led to excessive waste. We made real savings from the very first year,” says Per Lund.

Costs and administration have also been cut, as a result of Saab switching from hundreds of suppliers to a single supplier, with the result that the partnership generated immediate benefits, yet it has also been improved further since the early days.

“Sisource has shown considerable flexibility and has always worked with us to bring about improvements. We’re very satisfied. Sisource has come up with many good improvement proposals over the years,” says Per Lund.

Security of supply in a timely manner is based around Saab providing Sisource with continuous information regarding production rates. “An important point for me is also that Sisource has a Chemicals Manager for each business area. These are highly qualified chemical engineers and we feel entirely confident that Sisource is up-to-date as regards laws and regulations and can help us with all kinds of chemical issues that crop up within in the organisation.”

Sisource does not produce chemicals itself, but operates as an independent party in the market. Sisource has built up a thorough and very detailed knowledge of products through good partnerships with both manufacturers and distributers of chemicals.

Sisource is now the ‘preferred supplier’ of chemicals to the Saab Group. This means that Sisource is the supplier that Saab turns to in the first instance. Sisource also supplies chemicals to Saab’s suppliers throughout the world.

Initially, Sisource’s assignment only covered the Aeronautics business area in Linköping but, as Category Account Manager (CAM), Per Lund is now responsible for a process that aims to outsource chemical activities for the entire group to Sisource. This has already been done for the company’s units in the business areas of Electronic Defence Systems and Security and Defence Solutions. Locations affected by this in Sweden include Gothenburg, Karlskoga, Jönköping, Huskvarna and Järfälla. The next phase covers the remaining business areas of Support and Services and Dynamics.

“The ambition is to incorporate all business areas into the partnership,” says Per Lund.