Extreme volatility in demand, spiralling product ranges and increasingly lengthy lead times were all hot topics at this year’s Automechanika Birmingham event. However, in today’s uncertain business environment, maintaining the consistently high levels of availability that consumers demand, was undoubtedly seen as one of the most pressing challenges businesses across the automotive industry face.
The automotive industry is cut-throat at the best of times. However, according to the Guardian, automotive businesses are now at a tipping point. With an evolving political climate as a result of Brexit, rapid advancement of new technologies and a huge shift in car ownership, how can businesses attain the level of supply chain flexibility required to overcome the speed bumps that lie ahead?
Richard Evans, Managing Director at Slimstock UK, explains: “To keep up with ever-evolving customer demand and stay ahead of the competition, it is vital that businesses take steps to improve the efficiency of their supply chain operations now.”
Through the strategic re-alignment of their supply chain, automotive businesses can maximise availability, increase margins and mitigate risk: all whilst injecting invaluable working capital back into the business. Ultimately, through putting in place the right tools, technologies and knowledge, businesses can help their organisation action operational excellence.
With customers including some of the UK’s leading automotive brands such as FPS, Yuasa and Alexander Dennis, Slimstock has helped countless businesses to provide their customers with an industry leading service level. “Given the speed at which the automotive industry is moving forward, now is the time business leaders must drive performance improvements across their supply chain,” concludes Richard Evans.
Every year, China witnesses one of the largest human migrations in the world, as the nation’s workforce down tools and return to their home town’s to enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations. Factories across the country close shop for up to 40 days, meanwhile businesses across the rest of the world face a huge amount of supply chain disruption. Given the level of volatility during this time, what can you do to safeguard your operations before, during and after the factory closures?
With extensive lead times of up to several months, importing goods from China can be challenging at the best of times. However, when you consider that you may be left in the dark for over a month during the holiday period and even then, production may still be constrained for a further few weeks until suppliers catch up with back orders, it is vital that steps are taken to minimise the disruption during this time. Failure to do so could result in costly stock outs, missed opportunities and disappointed customers.
While the Chinese New Year holiday can have a major impact on global supply chains, this is not the only scheduled disruption that businesses should worry about. Throughout the year, there a range of events such as Christmas or even the extended summer holiday taken by some Southern European nations that may result in supplier closures. Consequently, these must also be planned for well in advance.
Download this article and discover how you can help your organisation mitigate disruption before, during and after the Chinese New year period. Explore how overcoming the following factors can help prepare your business for supplier closures:
Harness internal collaboration to identify and prioritise inventory requirements
- Utilise scenario planning to assess the financial impact of purchasing decision making
- Establish more collaborative relationships with suppliers
- Execute orders to guarantee stock availability
- Maintain close control of inventory costs