Michael Druml (pictured) has taken over as vice-president of purchasing for Magna International Europe replacing Klaus Iffland, who has retired from the company.

Druml will continue to work as director of purchasing and logistics at Magna Steyr, the company division which provides contract manufacturing and engineering services. Here he oversees purchasing, along with managing supplier quality, logistics, materials handling, customs and distribution.

Magna Steyr builds vehicles under contract at its Graz plant in Austria for a range of companies, including BMW, Daimler and Jaguar Land Rover. Druml started working at the plant in Graz in 1992 when it was owned by Eurostar Automobilwerk, a joint venture at the time between Chrysler and then-Steyr Daimler Puch, later becoming a division of DaimlerChrysler.

Magna took over the Eurostar joint venture in 2002 and Druml joined as director of logistics before becoming lead global supply chain across purchasing, logistics and supply chain management.

His new role reaches across the Magna business in Europe for purchasing and includes logistics. It reflects Magna’s drive for collaboration across the group, which is made up of different divisions and operations each with their own level of autonomy.

In a previous interview with Automotive Logistics Klaus Iffland explained how Magna was moving toward a more standardised process across the organisation to improve the company’s ability to make ‘total cost of ownership’ decisions about parts purchasing and manufacturing decisions. At the time he said the Magna Logistics division was coordinating more tenders centrally across European operations and divisions, especially for common and international freight, while it has also been expanding its focus in planning.

Talking to Automotive Logistics last year about the changes he has seen in the industry over the last 20 years, Druml pointed out how production and logistics systems were now based more on data and information flow, and that transport management was more integrated, compared to tracking by individual transport lanes. He said that logistics providers needed transparency in processes and a willingness to share information.

“Logistics organisations must work to bring together various systems through a single interface,” he added.

Logistics costs have also changed according to Druml. “Twenty years ago, most companies would have measured logistics costs as mainly transportation and maybe inventory,” he observed. “Today they include other factors depending on a business case. Supply chain risk departments, which assess disruption costs, didn’t even exist back then and today they are an integral part of any larger supply chain organisation.”

Druml officially took up the new additional role at the beginning of July this year.

He is also a member and initiator of the BMÖ (the Federal Austrian association of materials management, purchasing and logistics).