Major vehicle manufacturers already seeking ways to optimise benefits of future digitalised supply chain
A recent report from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) highlighted the £2.6bn opportunity1 presented to the UK automotive industry by supply chain digitalisation. Following an Open Forum where the opportunity was again discussed by stakeholders, emergency logistics specialist Evolution Time Critical has revealed that it is already working with vehicle manufacturers and major OEMs to establish best practice, with the aim of maximising the potential benefits of future integration of digitalisation. Challenges that the premium freight specialist are helping the industry overcome include the need for flexibility and enhanced supply chain visibility.
“Digitalisation presents a wonderful opportunity in terms of streamlining automotive production, but for maximum value to be extracted from this new trend it is crucial that the entire supply chain is carefully aligned without exception, from vehicle manufacturer through all suppliers,” explains Evolution Time Critical managing director, Brad Brennan. “We have witnessed improving clarity in terms of supply chain visibility in the last 2 to 3 years, but there can be no weak links if the full range of benefits made possible by digitalisation – such as real-time order adjustments that are felt throughout the supply chain as a response to customer choice or demand fluctuation – are to be utilised.
“The automotive industry cannot afford to make mistakes as it adapts to new technologies and evolving capability so, for this reason, we are already working closely with major vehicle manufacturers to help support the transition to digitalised practices, such as providing the necessary robust flexibility,” Brennan continues. “Emergency logistics is already utilised to provide production flexibility without jeopardising supply chain durability, and the gradual implementation of digitalised practices will increase the short- to medium-term reliance on this expertise.”
By definition, it is considered that a digitalised supply chain increases autonomy and data generation for improved efficiency, flexibility and analysis. A consumer could make a late change to the specification of their car and the supply chain would be able to react: “For this potential capability it is vital that the benefits of digitalisation are felt throughout the supply chain and not just at the top,” explains Brennan. “One of the challenges for OEMs adopting digitalised systems is ensuring that communications not only reach all suppliers, but that individual nuances and capacity are also considered – you cannot have a scenario where one half of the supply chain is working to orders and numbers that the other half cannot react to. Due to the ultra-time-sensitive nature of our business, Evolution Time Critical already utilises a number of digital and online systems that could become more commonplace within a fully digitalised supply chain.”
Further benefits identified by the emergency logistics expert include the ability of OEMs to react autonomously to supply chain disruption, either through a time-sensitive resolution or proactively by identifying potentially turbulent factors within an extensively modelled network. Built-in contingency could be provided for a range of threats to continuity, such as the ability to precisely control stocks in the face of logistics or worker strikes, or in the face of reduced demand.
About Evolution Time Critical
Evolution Time Critical is a Metro Supply Chain Group company and is the world’s leading specialist in emergency logistics for the automotive industry. Analysts are available 24 hours a day, ready to develop and implement solutions in any part of the world within a 15-minute response window, calling on a vast range of techniques, skills and contacts to ensure that goods reach their destination on time.
The skills of Evolution’s team are also available for consulting projects, helping clients to achieve additional savings in their supply chains while also strengthening and improving manufacturing efficiency. Increasingly, Evolution has found that emergency logistics is playing an integral role in lean strategies as the automotive industry returns to higher production volumes, allowing further inventory reductions while maintaining the reliability of deliveries to manufacturing plants.
The expertise and techniques developed by Evolution for the automotive sector are also benefitting the aerospace and marine industries, where the company helps clients to release capital trapped in spare parts by facilitating urgent parts deliveries, and return aircraft and ships to service more quickly.
Gareth Charlton at Market Engineering
+44 (0)1295 277 050
Sales and Marketing Contact
Brad Brennan at Evolution Time Critical
+ 44 (0)1332 814 914