Developments within the organization
To achieve our strategic goals and to continue to be a leading specialist in steel pipes and tubes, we rely on a large team of skilled and motivated professionals. Over the coming years, we will continue to use our People Strategy to work on having sufficiently trained employees, the integration and strategy of our company, standardizing our work processes and creating pride and job satisfaction for our people. We aim to be an attractive employer, now and in the future.
Our presence in 33 countries, with 78 branches and 58 different nationalities, illustrates our international scope. The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group's total workforce currently consists of 2,419 employees. Women comprise 30% of the total workforce, men comprise 70%.
HR digitalization forms an important part of the People Strategy. We started working on this in 2020. In Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary we implemented a state-of-the-art HR digitalization system.
To even better bring our culture to life, the leadership competencies we need in the future will once again be mapped out. We will use the results of this process as the basis for new leadership programs. Furthermore, we will develop a clear, global method of working to attract new talent, retain existing talent and further develop their skills.
Van Leeuwen is an equal opportunity employer. Efforts are made by the Management Board and Executive Board to achieve a balanced level of gender and cultural diversity within the various operating companies.
Apart from its care for customers, Van Leeuwen also demonstrates its corporate social responsibility by supporting various regional and local sports, cultural and charitable projects, and education.
In 2020, preparations were made for the implementation of our new SAP S/4 HANA ERP system for the Dutch branches in Deventer and Beesd. Its implementation at the beginning of 2021 is a further step in the innovation of our European IT backbone. An entirely new SAP warehouse module was implemented for the new branch in Tobel-Tägerschen, Switzerland. This SAP EWM module supports all logistics processes in this new warehouse. In 2020, important steps were taken in establishing automated communications (EDI) with customers, suppliers and carriers; new Van Leeuwen partners were also added. The use of digital connections with customers and suppliers means less paperwork, a reduced chance of errors and fast data processing time. Furthermore, we are devoting constant attention to cybersecurity by protecting our IT systems and by regularly informing our employees about cyber-secure behavior.
To be able to further expand the services we provide to customers, Van Leeuwen is continuously developing its global network of stock-keeping locations, and service and treatment centers. We continuously invest in plant and machinery in support of our value added services. The optimization of stock management systems, customized services and logistics concepts helps us reach our customers faster and with a broader and better product portfolio.
To be able to effectively track developments relating to digitization and Industry 4.0 and to apply these to our logistics processes, we created a team of experts in the areas of operations research, logistics and digitization. This team is constantly busy identifying new possibilities and how these can be integrated into our operations.
In 2020, with a near-daily transport shuttle between our warehouses in Duisburg (Germany) and Zwijndrecht (the Netherlands), we made the stocks at both logistics hubs even more accessible to our customers. With our investments in plant and machinery, we are constantly expanding our value added service. In Europe alone we have over 360 machines, including over 230 saws, that enable us to provide virtually any custom treatments. At Van Leeuwen we make use of a platform that enables us to communicate with all parties in the supply chain through means of EDI. This enables us to receive customer orders, send out confirmations, supply delivery information in real time, as well as make certificates and invoices available.
Quality, safety and sustainability
Our customers are confronted with increasingly stricter requirements relating to quality, safety and sustainability. These are areas to which Van Leeuwen devotes constant attention as well. Every year we set high quality standards for ourselves that are translated into objectives. We regularly monitor progress on the basis of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and internal audits. Our Approved Manufacturers List (AML) only contains certified suppliers that are approved by Van Leeuwen following a strict selection process.
Quality awareness has a long history at Van Leeuwen. We have been working in accordance with ISO standards for tens of years. The ISO 9001 standard and the associated certificate form the basis of our quality policy. With regard to sustainability and an energy-conscious approach to work, we adhere to the international OECD guidelines and we operate in line with ISO 14001:2015. Branches focused on the automotive sector are IATF 16949 certified.
We pursue an active safety policy in accordance with ISO 45001:2018. Health and safety of all our employees have our continuous attention. The safety system in the Group is supported by a set of Group procedures. In 2020, safety campaigns were executed to reinforce the safety focus and further improve safety awareness.
Van Leeuwen recognizes its responsibility to carry out business activities and growth plans in a sustainable way, with respect for the environment. This policy is set out in the Van Leeuwen Code of Conduct and also in the internal HSE policy documents.
We devote a great deal of attention to complying with the increasingly wide-ranging local and international regulations. Compliance is a high priority for Van Leeuwen. Laws and regulations, such as competition law, privacy legislation, international sanctions, and import and other constraining measures: all applicable regulations are closely monitored, evaluated and applied within the organization. Internal procedures, training and auditing are key areas for attention in this respect.
Our Code of Conduct clearly sets out our principles relating to the attitude and behavior of our employees. This information is provided to each employee on joining the company. Last year, no code of conduct incidents were received by the Code of Conduct Compliance Committee.