Aftermarket network design optimised for service quality and experience


Successfully starting-up a new organisation is never easy, not least in the rapidly evolving and highly barriered Automotive & Commercial Vehicle sector. OEMs must consider how to manufacture the product at a preferable economic cost, while maintaining resilience and quality. They must also look to develop innovative buying mechanisms, compelling marketing collateral and, not least, sourcing and shipping the parts and finished product to customers all over the world.

Often in the case of new start-ups, the learning curve is steep and there are many blind spots, a common one being the limited foresight to aftermarket operations with the primary focus being on production.

The implications of this can be profound for an organisation and customer experience – increasingly, customers require that retailers affect a service or repair more quickly, sustainably and to better quality, all of which demands significant focus and has significant impact on the required capability of the parts and service supply chain, the aftermarket.

Volta Trucks electric commercial vehicle

Volta Trucks are a newly-formed electric commercial vehicle organisation, who are revolutionising last-mile logistics by delivering safer, more sustainable electric trucks, improving city centre environments for all. Volta have designed a highly innovative product which positions them at the forefront of the sector in terms of sustainability, driver comfort and the safety of others in

 urban environments. Another innovative aspect of the Volta proposition is the model by which the vehicle is purchased and owned – Truck-as-a-service (TaaS).

TaaS is a solution which overcomes the traditional cost and complexity barriers surrounding commercial vehicle electrification, by providing a packaged solution of vehicle, access to charging infrastructure, servicing, maintenance, insurance and training to B2B customers, resulting in maximised uptime and operational efficiency through a scalable and environmentally conscious service provision.

Volta’s order book is already significant and is continuously growing, which creates the challenge of a growing vehicle parc (number of vehicles registered for road use) and a pressing need for a scalable aftermarket logistics network to support the customer promise of TaaS – simplicity, uptime and efficiency.

How we helped

Volta engaged Unipart Consultancy in 2022 to support the specification and design of its aftermarket network and future strategy to support a production ramp up through 2022 into 2023 and beyond.

The project began with a series of cross-functional workshops, facilitated by Unipart and comprising teams from across the Volta business including Procurement, Production, Logistics, Human Resources, Projects, TaaS and Business Systems. This gave Unipart an essential view into the current state, the scope of the network design and the nuances which the Volta team face across their business and supply chain enabling a clearly defined and documented set of requirements.

The Unipart team then took existing data from Volta and applied our best-practice understanding and experience from both automotive and commercial vehicle logistics and supply chains to establish what the future vehicle parc looked like over the next 5 years, from which vehicle serviceability and parts consumption assumptions were able to be derived and categorised to create intelligent data sets.

Demand projections were then analysed to give a view of the logistics centre-of-gravity and dynamic warehouse and resource scaling to meet this growing demand. This was modelled against a series of options and parameters, with a business case applied to each to demonstrate an assumed view of the best options for Volta in the present and future tense.

In parallel to the Supply Chain consultancy, our Systems consultancy team worked alongside the Volta teams to specify and design an appropriate systems solution to support the logistics. This comprised consideration for warehouse management, carrier management, inventory optimisation and dealer systems to give a future state architecture solution and implementation plan.

Benefits

Unipart’s partnership approach with Volta enabled x-business collaboration to create an integrated, scalable and flexible aftermarket logistics strategy informing scalable network solutions and a systems infrastructure to support the future growth of Volta.

The delivered some immediate and long-term benefits to Volta, enabling;

  • A key step towards executing the strategic objective of an integrated service to customers, TaaS
  • A scalable solution from which Volta can grow and pivot according to volume fluctuation scenarios – a major benefit to emerging businesses without mature supply chain and volume data