The significant impact of the automotive industry on logistics goes without saying. When we think of an assembly line, most of us will see the Ford T manufactured over a hundred years ago in a factory in the United States. The concepts of Just-in-time and Lean Manufacturing also originated in car factories albeit on the other side of the Pacific (Toyota Production System). The automotive sector cannot afford inefficiency of the supply chain hence servicing it is quite a challenge for a logistics operator.
WHERE IS THE RUB?
The automotive industry calls for the combination of high quality and cost-effectiveness. Nevertheless the concept of high quality is very complex in this case. It does not only refer to timeliness. The very management of deliveries generates many difficulties and requires many KPIs to be kept on a high level. Am operator, when delivering components from an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), must verify their quality and make sure that the factory receives necessary components on time and in the required quantity.
Add to this the management of returnable packagings and the operations typical for a logistics operator also in other sectors (optimization of loading space and routes, measurement of performance in cross-dock warehouses, etc.), and the number of processes which need to be overseen turns out to be really high. And naturally everything is done under constant pressure to increase productivity and lower costs!
However that is not all. The automotive sector is characterised by really high volume fluctuations. One month the operator may be required to deliver components allowing for manufacturing a certain number of cars; next month this number must be tripled and yet the next it is halved. A logistics operator whose operations are not extensive enough is simply not able to cope with such a situation. It is necessary to have knowledge of warehousing and a necessary number of transport vehicles to provide transport services in a timely manner.
HOW IS IT DONE IN RABEN GROUP?
Raben Group offers comprehensive logistics solutions for the automotive sector. Support is offered at every stage of the supply chain - inbound, outbound, inhouse operations (in the Customer's warehouse), Just In Sequence deliveries (supplying components to the assembly line in the sequence they will be used) - depending on the Customer's needs. The Customer may also use our cross-dock infrastructure, well-developed fleet of transport vehicles and modern intermodal solutions.
We have experience in servicing Customers from the automotive industry. At present, the cooperation with them generates approximately 20% of the Group's turnover. It is big enough to to be sure that we are able to cope even with the most complex logistic solutions and small enough to be sure that fluctuations in individual sectors will not influence the quality of our services.
So if the automotive sector is the greatest challenge for logistics operators, we can proudly say: We make it here so we will make it anywhere!