Evaluate the Visibility of Your Automotive Supply Chain

Written by Karen Kinsella
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3 minute read

Is it why I need part level visibility

Automotive supply chains can be complex due to a combination of forecasting, production demands, fulfillment cycles, dynamic planning, and customers who frequently change their mind.

If you speak with a logistics team who copes 24/7 with managing inventory, risk, compliance, and an increasingly diverse supplier base, it is no wonder they are turning to simpler, more agile solutions.

Knowing exactly where your parts are, instead of where they should be, enables easy decision making, eliminates risk, and saves timeIn order to efficiently manage it all, part level visibility needs to be incorporated into your automotive supply chain. 

When evaluating your supply chain visibility, here are some key questions to ask:

  1. How do you control your inbound supply chain? Does your part supplier dispatch on schedule? Are your Advance Shipping Notice accurate and on time? Do your parts arrive to match your production needs? How much time and cost is attributed to managing risk? Do you have visibility and control of the supply chain as parts are transported?

    If the parts are under or over shipped, the impact on a streamlined supply chain often results in a critical or emergency situation, which frequently requires additional cost and risk management. Effective visibility at part level, as well as control of the inbound supply chain, eliminates risk if delivered throughout the supply chain.

Four Things to Consider for a Successful Shipment

  1. What decisions can be made when visibility of the supply chain is guaranteed? How automated and reliable is the information? Will decisions be made quickly in response to change? Is there consistency across the supply chain or only partly? What is the consequence of a failure?

    The benefit of part visibility is only realized when the seamless interaction of multiple parties and milestones are connected. Partial information and the loss of visibility impacts the integrity of the supply chain.

    The lack of part visibility across different modes of transportation also leads to increased risk, cost, and inconsistency.

  2. If you have part level visibility, what decisions can be avoided? If the consistency and accuracy of part level visibility is required, do your transport partners provide this at each stage? If there is a gap, when and how do decisions need to be made? Can you use the information to consolidate and optimize inbound flows without the need to re-engineer the transport planning?

    If your inbound supply chain does not have part level visibility at all times and production issues occur, the consequence of increasing inventory and transportation costs are inevitable.

    If your partners do not have the desired capabilities, consider whether the benefits justify the use of technology. It is always important to look at the supply chain end-to-end.

In order to support easy decision making and effective planning, it is crucial that you ask the above questions to help evaluate the efficiency of your company's supply chain. 

These questions should help you evaluate how parts move within the context of your current inbound supply chain and the future business needs. It could help you efficiently manage inventory, risk, compliance, and an increasingly diverse supplier base

Finding a service provider that understands all of these factors and can create tailored solutions that meet your needs is critical for your continued success.

Our extensive expertise in this area can help you find a tailored supply chain solution for your unique needs. Reach out to one of our automotive experts for a customized needs assessment to incorporate visibility into your supply chain.

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Blog was originally posted on November 15, 2018 10 AM
Karen Kinsella

Written by Karen Kinsella

Karen is the Global Director, Automotive Vertical at Expeditors. She has an extensive and wide-ranging career within all sectors of the automotive logistics business for over 23 years. Karen has worked in all aspects of supply chain logistics, incorporating both inbound and outbound flows. Karen’s roles have encompassed responsibility for the commercial development of inbound parts flows, including logistics warehousing, linefeed sequencing, assembly, decanting operations, and inventory management. She also specializes in parts distribution throughout dealer networks, as well as the specialist sector of outbound distribution, finished vehicle distribution, and pre-dealer inspection processes. All activities extended to include multi-modal services, including road freight, air and sea freight, and rail solutions. Karen has a specialist knowledge of returnable packaging solutions, including pooled container management, supporting the areas of sustainability and environmental issues demanded by the marketplace.

3 minute read