Supply Chain Management: “The future is digital”


Sabine Hannaske started working for SGL Carbon as an SAP expert - and today manages the efficient utilization of some of SGL’s facilities as a team leader in Supply Change Management. Find out why the corona pandemic is making her think outside the box - and why her unusual career path is helping her in this process.

“I’ve been working in the Graphite Materials & Systems business unit at SGL Carbon since 2012. My team and I are responsible for the worldwide planning of material production for mechanical components for use in the automotive industry and other sectors as well as the material production of isostatic graphite for use in the LED and semiconductor industries. My job is to ensure that all the participating production facilities are optimally supplied with the products they need. My team and I are the interface between procurement, production and sales.

Making Processes as Efficient as Possible

From Bonn we control a large international network with a focus on isostatic material production. Three of our five plants are involved in the process and we move several thousand tons of material annually. Our clear goal in all of this is to organize everything so that the processes run as smoothly as possible. It’s quite a challenge, particularly during the corona crisis—some orders have been partially cancelled and logistics bottlenecks in one country must be compensated for by increased production in another country. This makes it crucial to continually adjust capacity utilizations at the factories and optimally distribute the orders. Thus it can happen that our factory in Chedde, France takes on production volume for the Chinese market.

My background in IT is an enormous help to me when realigning production planning.

Manager Global Supply Planning, Isostatic Graphite / Mechanical Solutions Sabine Hannaske

Honestly, when I started with the company fourteen years ago, I never planned or expected to become a team leader for the global supply chain for graphite specialties at SGL Carbon. I’m actually an IT specialist and worked for many years as an SAP consultant, which was also my first job at SGL Carbon. Thanks to my certification in the Six Sigma management system, I was able to begin supervising a number of projects in many different areas quite quickly. Which is also how I ended up in the supply chain division. I’ve spent the past six years as a project manager dealing with process optimization and cost savings.

Completely Redesigning the Processes

Now my team and I have the chance to completely redesign the processes in production planning—particularly with a view to digitization. My background in IT is naturally a great help and that’s what I focused on right from the beginning. When we got started, we had Excel, SAP and our in-house Manufacturing Execution System (MES) running side by side. All the entries had to be made twice: once in the MES and once in SAP. Now the messages are automatically transferred from MES into SAP. Our goal is to automatically link the control system data with the data in the MES and the SAP entries, which is what we’re working on at the moment. Furthermore, we’d like to get to the point where we can simulate the planning decisions for the individual facilities and thus better evaluate them. Here, too, the future is clearly digital.



The city of Bonn located on a map of Germany

Sabine Hannaske, Manager Global Supply Planning, Isostatic Graphite / Mechanical Solutions, in Bonn, Germany

I find interesting about my job

An icon with a truck in the middle, from which several arrows lead away in different directions

International cooperation, the variety of the topics in production planning, interdisciplinary cooperation with other company divisions

Keeps me busy outside of work

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My two children (four and seven years old), going to concerts and cycling

What’s interesting about my job is that I can get a view of very different company divisions and thereby get to see how the entire company works. That way I also get to know our product a bit better every day. Theoretically I especially need commercial sales knowledge, but in practice it always helps to understand the material and its product, at least to some extent.

Never Boring

My path into supply chain management has brought me personal change. I’m in the hot seat a lot more often than before because we’re often the first point of contact for our colleagues in sales and procurement. Our work demands an immense degree of flexibility from me and my employees because we have to plan everything from scratch each month. At the same time, that’s exactly what I find so exciting about the job.”

Contact us

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call or write us.

Sabine Hannaske from SGL Carbon on the plant in Bonn
Sabine Hannaske
Manager Global Supply Planning for Isostatic Graphite / Mechanical Solutions

phone: +49 228 841-481