Supply Chain Visibility in Automotive

The Challenge…

The average car has over 30,000 parts. These parts come together from suppliers all over the globe with any given item potentially crossing multiple international borders while being passed between various suppliers for different layers of the production process before eventually concluding its journey at the final assembly point.

Supply-chain in the automotive aftermarket sector is even more complicated with companies having to strike a balance between the costs of stock-holding and transport operations while still providing optimum service-levels by having the right part in the right place at the right time for any given customer.

Expectations of customers often differ depending on a particular aftermarket part, if a customer requires a new wiper-blade, for example, that customer expects to be able to receive this instantly, while their expectations may differ in the situation where serious bodywork is required.

Changes to the industry and customer behaviours, such as autonomous vehicles and smart ordering, also now allow for dealerships to better predict servicing needs and help ensure parts availability in advance.

Therefore there is no single automotive supply chain solution that fits all, with Professor Dan Jones of Cardiff University, in particular, describing “the automotive aftermarket as one of the most complex human endeavours on the planet.”

The Solution…

It is for this reason that it is essential for all automotive companies to have complete supply chain visibility and processes that are as lean as possible. If a part is found to be missing during the final assembly process, the whole production line risks being brought to a halt, with the potential cost impacts in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

In the automotive aftermarket, the ‘Customer is King’ philosophy continues to grow and transform operations. The demand for continuously improved customer experiences goes on, putting ever greater pressure to build inventory levels to deliver. To avoid huge investment in inventory, better visibility is critical to ensuring vital turnaround time in the repair process is not lost with significant cost and customer satisfaction implications.

As the UK’s leading automotive logistics provider, Unipart Logistics has been there throughout the decades as automotive supply chains have evolved and understand the importance of this visibility that allows companies to make rapid decisions, plan more effectively and finesse customer-service options.

Through Unipart Logistics’ visibility and control tower tools, data science capabilities and digital experts, Unipart provides precisely this, with an interface that not only integrates all supplier’s and third party’s systems into a single all-encompassing visibility platform but also provides forecasting and scenario simulation in order to assess supply-chain impacts for customers.

With this unique combination of in-house capability along with Unipart’s expertise over decades of working alongside some of the world’s top automotive brands, Unipart Logistics are positioned to build superior supply chain solutions for all its customers as the automotive supply-chain leader of choice.